Born in Montreal, August 15th,1925. Studied piano and trumpet
at age 5, and was forced because of a lung ailment to give up
the trumpet and continue his piano studies. He later attended
the Montreal Conservatory of Music for a short period, but it
was found that he prospered more readily under private tuition.
He became a student of classical pianist Paul deMarkey, under
whose guidance he remained during most of his high school days.
In his mid-teens he won First Prize on the Ken Soble Amateur Show.
As a result of this, he was then given his own weekly radio show
over the CBC network, and became a regular guest on various radio
shows such as the Happy Gang and the Light Up and Listen Show.
He then spent five years with the Johnny Holmes orchestra in Montreal,
and it was during this time that he began doing concert appearances
throughout the major cities of Canada. It was also during this
period that RCA Victor signed him up to make his first recordings.
During these years which happened to be war years, he gave freely
of his services and performed on innumerable troupe shows and
After the war and during the year 1947, Peterson formed his first
trio in Montreal and played numerous nightclubs and concerts throughout
the land. He also continued his activities on the Canadian networks.
In 1950 Norman Granz the American impresario, persuaded Peterson
to appear at a trial concert in Carnegie Hall in New York City
which featured well established stars, for example Ella Fitzgerald,
etc. He received rave reviews, and was persuaded to come to the
United States and make numerous concert appearances. In 1952 he
won his first of twelve Down Beat Awards as the best jazz pianist
of the year. He has won, since that time, awards from the Metronome
Magazine, numerous Playboy Awards as the musicians' musician,
several awards in England, Japan, Germany, France, Belgium, to
mention a few places. His recordings have remained constant sellers
throughout the world, and he has headed various award winning
trios which is still his primary occupation. In the year 1966
he composed a lengthy pictorial suite which he dedicated to his
country of birth by titling it the 'Canadiana Suite'. In it he
has tried to depict musically, scenes of his homeland. This Suite
was recorded and has remained a constant seller throughout the
world. Apart from his professional activities.
Peterson and his associates formed a school
of music in Toronto known as the Advanced
School of Contemporary Music which he headed for five years. The
school drew students from all parts of the world and received
numerous write-ups in various journals along with the fact that
it was constantly visited by important and interested stars of
the music world.
They operated the school without the benefit of a grant or any
outside help and had to relinquish it due to the fact that their
concert itinerary in various parts of the world was suffering
by their absence. Being unable to continue the school did not
deter Peterson from continuing to teach. He managed this by holding
seminars in the various cities that the trio performed in. He
was forced to turn down an offer by the German Educational Authority
to conduct a summer seminar for them due to the reasons stated
Peterson has appeared on many television shows throughout Canada
and the United States. He has been honored by luminaries such
as Danny Kaye, Johnny Carson, Frank Sinatra, etc. In 1967 the
CBC network paid tribute to him by devoting their Telescope television
show to telling his life story.
This email from Roland "Canada" February 2012"
I came across your site and was impressed with the Oscar Peterson midi files you have. I am working on a project at Roland and would be interested in getting a large collection of these midi files. How much would it cost per song, as these will be played on a digital piano that is on display as a loop. Obviously we would give credit for the arrangements/transcriptions to you. I would need the copyright info on each song for the appropriate mechanical licence to play these publicly.
Thank you in advance for your efforts!
Piano Sales Specialist
Roland Canada Ltd.
170 Admiral Blvd
Mississauga ON L5T 2N6
Roland purchased all of the Oscar Peterson midi files that I created at
All selections are available as midi, .pdf files, sheet music,
recorded on cassette or CD.
These samples have been altered. Purchased copies have additional
features. You will hear enough of the song to give you a feel,
about 16 meaures. The full midis are much longer.
To order anything by email click --------->
For a somewhat incomplete and out of date list of midi files click ------------------------->
Many of the solos were taken from the book "Piano Signature Licks
Oscar Peterson Plays Standards
I have marked those selections with a star *.
The original transcriptions are by BRENT EDSTROM. The book is published by Hal Leonard and is
available in music shops and on line.
Just in case you are wondering.
When you hear a midi file, the sound is generated by your sound card.
When you hear an Mp3 file, the sound is what I recorded.
Most of the mp3's are complete renditions.
The songs marked with * are NOT entire songs.
They are extracted fragments of Oscar Peterson Piano solos.
midi * All Of Me
As played on "A Jazz Portrait of Frank Sinatra"
Falling In Love With Love (Piano Solo)
As played by Oscar Peterson on "The London Concert Album"
Fly Me To The Moon (Piano Solo)
As played by Oscar Peterson on "Tristeza On Piano"
I Love You (Piano Solo) As played on
"Oscar Peterson Trio, Bursting Out with the All Star Big Band"
midi * In A Mellow Tone
As played on "Exclusively For My Friends"
It's All Right With Me (Piano Solo)
As played on "Jazz 'round Midnight"
It's Only A Paper Moon (Piano Solo)
As played on "Oscar Peterson Plays The Harold Arlen Songbook"
midi John Hardy's Wife (midified - Piano, Bass, Guitar and Drums)
My Heart Stood Still (Piano Solo)
As Played on The Jazz Soul Of Oscar Peterson
midi Roundlay (Piano Solo)
mp3 Roundlay (Piano Solo)
midi Take The A Train (midified) - Piano, Guitar, Bass
When Lights Are Low (Piano Solo)
As played on "Oscar Peterson Plays Jazz Standards"