Oscar Peterson performs during the 39th Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland, 2005 (AP Photo / Keystone, Martial Trezzini)
Oscar Peterson was a jazz piano virtuoso, one of the greatest of all time. Called "the Maharaja of the keyboard" by Duke Ellington, he won eight Grammy awards, blazed a trail by playing with a racially integrated trio, and passed his knowledge on to a new generation as a respected teacher. He played with many of the biggest names in jazz – Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong, Billie Holiday, Anita O'Day, Fred Astaire, Count Basie, Stan Getz, Dizzy Gillespie ... and the list goes on and on.
Peterson died five years ago today, just before Christmas 2008. On the anniversary of his death, with Christmas right around the corner, it is a fitting day to remember him and the way he used his musical skill to celebrate the season. Here are a few of our favorite Oscar Peterson takes on classic holiday songs.
O Christmas Tree
God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
Let it Snow
Written by Linnea Crowther