This statue of jazz pianist Oscar Peterson is located at the corner of Elgin and Albert streets in Ottawa, Ontario, outside Canada's National Arts Centre. The life size statue depicts Peterson sitting on a bench at a piano, smiling, and includes a space for visitors to sit next to him. The statue was intended to depict Peterson as if he had just finished playing and had turned toward his audience. The statue is made from bronze, and was created by the Canadian sculptor Ruth Abernethy. Abernethy said the statue was designed so that Peterson was "...very accessible to people who love him and that is an unabashed set-up to just have a moment with Oscar". The statue was unveiled on June 30, 2010 by the reigning sovereign of Canada, Queen Elizabeth II, during her nine-day tour of Canada.
Some of you may not know who Oscar Peterson is, so allow me to provide a brief biography. Oscar Emmanuel Peterson, (August 15, 1925 – December 23, 2007) was a Canadian jazz pianist and composer. He was called the "Maharaja of the keyboard" by Duke Ellington, but simply "O.P." by his friends. He released over 200 recordings, won eight Grammy Awards, and received numerous other awards and honours. He is considered one of the greatest jazz pianists, and played thousands of concerts worldwide in a career lasting more than 60 years. Please click on the links below to check out a few of Oscar Peterson's performances. Enjoy.
Thank you Oscar Peterson for sharing your musical talents with the world for so many years. Although you may be gone, your music lives on forever.