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Embassy theatre named for jazz legend
(Published: April 05, 2007)

Oscar Peterson's teenaged daughter Celine stood in for him this week when a theatre at the Canadian Embassy in Japan - where the jazz legend has a huge following - was named for the Mississauga musician.

Poor health kept 81-year-old Peterson from attending the March 30 ceremony himself, but he sent along a video clip in which he expressed his thanks for the honour, one of many international and national accolades he has received in recent years.

"Thank you for gathering to celebrate this special occasion. I am greatly honoured to have this dedication and I am pleased that my name has found a permanent home in Japan at Canada's Embassy," said Peterson, a 35-year Mississauga resident.

In announcing the naming of the theatre in the Tokyo embassy, Minister of Foreign Affairs Peter MacKay said, "Oscar Peterson is a jazz legend in Canada and around the world. He has received many awards and has demonstrated the importance of the arts in fostering strong ties between nations as culturally diverse as Canada and Japan. Given his distinguished reputation in Japan, there is no other overseas Canadian venue more suited to the Oscar Peterson name."

One of Peterson's old friends and another superb jazz pianist from Montreal, Oliver Jones, performed at the awards ceremony. Jones once took piano lessons from Peterson's sister, Daisy.

Japan has always had a special relationship with the seven-time Grammy winner. During his lengthy career, he has toured the island nation more than 40 times, receiving a hero's welcome. It was also in Japan that he received the Praemium Imperiale, an award given annually by the Japan Art Association and a mark of the highest international distinction for achievement in the arts.

More Information: http://www.mississauganews.com/mi/arts/story/3935058p-4547199c.html

Submitted By: jazzears

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