I sat in the audience enthralled and bewitched by Oscar Peterson many years ago - just amazing - so beautiful and rich and warm and full was his sound with his trio. His parents were immigrants from the West Indies and Virgin Islands and he and his four siblings grew up in Montreal where they were all encouraged and taught to play a musical instrument.
From this family and teacher support and dedication he grew to be a master of performance and composition. "His “Hymn To Freedom” became one of the crusade songs of the Civil Rights Movement led by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in the United States. It is still performed frequently by choirs worldwide." (from his website)
"Oscar Peterson has an extensive discography of his trio and quartet recordings, as well as his recordings with many of the other jazz greats. His varied albums include recordings with Ella Fitzgerald, Count Basie, Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Dizzy Gillespie, Roy Eldridge, Ben Webster, Coleman Hawkins and Joe Pass." (from his website)
From the bio page on his website: "Preferring not to use his celebrity status to sway public opinions, Mr. Peterson nevertheless remained dedicated to the belief that his native Canada has a responsibility in leading the world in equality and justice. With this in mind, he took a firm stand to promote the cause of human rights fair treatment for Canada’s multicultural community. In recognition of this effort, Mr. Peterson was promoted to Companion of the Order of Canada, Canada’s highest civilian honor. He had been inducted as an Officer of the Order in 1972."