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Rare chance to savour sound of world great; Jazz.

Byline: MARTIN LONGLEY

ONE of the world's greatest pianists will be making his first visit to Birmingham's Symphony Hall next week.

This is an extremely rare opportunity to catch Oscar Peterson as he is playing only three UK dates. Peterson was born in Montreal, Canada, in 1925 and his guiding light was fellow pianist Art Tatum.

He joined the Johnny Holmes Orchestra in 1942 and had formed his own trio by 1947.

He also met producer Norman Granz around the same time and he immediately booked the Canadian on one of his highly-influential Jazz at the Philharmonic tours.

Arthritis became a problem in the 1990s and Peterson suffered a serious stroke in 1993 and began a determined drive towards recovery.

Now, his left-hand side is in better shape, and he sounds like a much younger man during interviews.

Peterson might not be as dextrous or high-powered as he was back in the golden age, but he remains a formidable performer, winning out against some serious setbacks.

The concert on Monday sees him joined by guitarist Ulf Wakenius, bassist David Young and drummer Alvin Queen.

CAPTION(S):

'FORMIDABLE PERFORMER'... Oscar Peterson performs in Birmingham next week, one of three UK dates.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Jun 30, 2006
Words:200
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