Oscar Peterson memorialized in Montreal

A new space, named in honor of Oscar Peterson, pianist and jazz legend, will open in Montreal, at the end of McGill College Street, in what is now Place Ville Marie.

This was announced by the mayor of Montreal on Tuesday. This is part of the major repair work that should change the face of the street and downtown.

In August 2020, a petition was launched to rename the Lionel-Groulx metro station in honor of Oscar Peterson. More than 26,000 people signed it.

The Montreal troupe also submitted a proposal in October of the same year to propose that the Festival Square be named after him.

mixed reception

Coincidence? Several black community organizations called on the media Tuesday morning to denounce the city’s inaction. On Monday evening, management sent out its invitation on Tuesday afternoon.

Black community organizations were not consulted. Hopefully his memory will not be used in a partisan way with a surprise announcement,” Max Stanley Bazin, president of the Black League of Quebec, told Max, who couldn’t explain why it was so difficult to honor the musician’s memory.

He added that the city of Toronto, where the pianist spent the second part of his life, had done much to honor his memory, renaming many places and schools.

In Montreal, there is only one amusement park in the Little Burgundy area that bears his name. A gesture “too small” for such a tall musician, according to Mr. Bazin. “The black community supports the request for a key place name in a visible location to properly identify its contribution,” he added.

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Who is Oscar Peterson?

Born in Montreal, in the Little Burgundy region, in 1925, and died in 2007, Oscar Peterson was a major influence in the jazz world. Known for his piano prowess, he won seven Grammy Awards in particular for his recordings, as well as an eighth in 1997, for recognition of his body of business.

During his 60-year career, he has recorded over 200 songs, collaborating with some of the biggest names in jazz, including Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington.

Among the many honors he received for his work, he was awarded the Chevalier de l’Ordre national du Québec and a Companion of the Order of Canada.

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