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Oliver Jones Trio
“Canada’s master of the jazz piano…”
– Globe & Mail
Jazz pianist Oliver Jones is one of Canada’s most beloved and admired musicians and most distinguished cultural ambassadors. A legend in the international jazz community, he has toured tirelessly in Canada and around the world and has devoted much of his time to encouraging young Canadian musicians as they begin their careers.
He was born in Montreal in 1934 and studied piano with Daisy Peterson, his friend Oscar’s sister. By the time he was 17 he was playing regularly in clubs and hotels around the city, and it was there, in the early 1960s, that he hooked up with Jamaican calypso singer Kenny Hamilton. For the next 20 years he worked as Hamilton’s music director and pianist, touring the Caribbean and the U.S.
He returned to Montreal in 1980 determined to pursue jazz professionally, and got a job at Biddle’s, a legendary downtown club run by bassist Charlie Biddle. Soon afterwards, Jim West, founder of the Justin Time label, invited him to record an album: the result was Live at Biddles , featuring Oliver Jones and Charlie Biddle. Over the next 15 years he released over a dozen albums, performing his own compositions and jazz standards, and worked with Montreal’s leading musicians. In 1993 he received the Martin Luther King, Jr. award for Excellence in Music and was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada; the following year he was named a Chevalier de l’Ordre national du Québec.
Oliver Jones “retired” in 2000 but still makes over 20 appearances yearly, including numerous charity benefits. In recent years he has contributed his expertise to the du Maurier Arts Council, served as artistic director of the jazz segment of the Montreal Chamber Music Festival, and acted as consultant to Georges Durst, founder/owner of the House of Jazz in Montreal. In 2006 he released "One More Time", with bassist Dave Young and drummer Jim Doxas.
Perhaps alluding to his reemergence on the concert front and the recording studio, after his brief but much-publicized retirement, Oliver chose to name the opus One More Time. It's one of his best recordings to date, in a career filled with superlative achievements. Oliver's 2007 recording, Second Time Around, with drummer Jim Doxas and bassist Eric Lagacé, won the Juno Award for Best Mainstream Jazz Recording.
Released in October, 2009, Pleased To Meet You is a duo piano recording with the legendary Hank Jones, (sadly Hank Jones passed away in May 2010). Taking the recent passing of their mutual friend Oscar Peterson as a point of departure, the men pay homage to the late master.