Oscar Peterson Dies at 82

Jazz virtuoso known for quickness at the keyboard
By Dustin Lushing,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 24, 2007 2:10 PM CST
Canadian jazz pianist Oscar Peterson wipes his eyes while being honored by Canada Post on his 80th birthday with a Canadian stamp at HMV record store, Monday, August 15, 2005 in Toronto. Peterson, whose...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Legendary jazz pianist Oscar Peterson died last night at his home near Toronto from kidney failure, CBC News reports. He was 82. The Canadian musician made hundreds of recordings, won seven Grammys, and played alongside greats like Louis Armstrong, Charlie Parker, and Ella Fitzgerald. "The world has lost the world's greatest jazz player," said Peterson's hometown mayor.

Born in Montreal, Peterson first kindled a keyboard at age 5 and grew into a virtuoso known for his quickness and dexterity. He later formed a fabled trio with Ray Brown and Herb Ellis, reveling in nightclub gigs where "you had to be on your toes." A stroke disabled his left hand in 1993, but Peterson continued to play and record music. "There is always the chance for moments of great beauty to emerge," he once said of jazzmaking.