Written by Suraya Mohamed from NPR
Oliver Jones may be the most famous living jazz pianist you’ve never heard of. But in Canada, Jones is a hero — adored in his native Quebec and across the country for helping to build a vibrant jazz scene that can sustain the country’s top musicians.
A serious talent and a tireless advocate for Canadian jazz, Jones is a champion for local musicians — a folk hero of sorts. You can find his images on the sides of buildings and on his very own postage stamp. He’s also a serious talent with charisma and charm that’s been winning over fans for years.
This week on Jazz Night In America, we’ll introduce you to the 81-year-old ambassador for jazz — a former protege of another great Canadian pianist, Oscar Peterson. Here, Jones sits down with Peterson’s daughter to discuss what jazz means to Canada and what Canada means to him.
Jones celebrated his retirement this year with a special sold-out trio performance at the Montreal Jazz festival. Jazz Night was there to bid him farewell.