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Oscar Peterson at TIFF

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Oscar Peterson, image,
Promotional still from Oscar Peterson: Black + White courtesy of Melbar Entertainment.

Oscar Peterson at TIFF
by Staff Editors

(August 4, 2021 – Toronto, ON) Melbar Entertainment Group, founded in 1998 by veteran producer and director Barry Avrich and now one of the largest producers of non-scripted content in North America, has announced the World Premiere of its latest documentary feature film, Oscar Peterson: Black + White, which will take place on Sunday, September 12, 2021, at the 46th edition of the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF).

Oscar Peterson: Black + White delves into the seven-decade career of the Montreal-born jazz master; from his days as a child prodigy, to the development of his signature sound on recordings with his trio, and from collaborations with the legends of his era to his brilliant solo performances around the world — as well as his tenacious experiences confronting racism and segregation while touring the United States, which culminated with his epic composition, Hymn to Freedom.

Documentary filmmaker Barry Avrich (Made You Look, The Reckoning, David Foster: Off the Record) presents a vast archive of rare performances and extraordinary interviews that powerfully illustrate his passion and admiration of the form and style that cultivates a moment of discovery.

“It is beyond thrilling to celebrate, reimagine and get lost in the genius of Oscar in an era where icons are often forgotten when we need them the most,” said Avrich. “I’m humbled for the opportunity to pay tribute to Oscar, one of Canada’s greatest gifts to the world.”

The film also illustrates Oscar’s career via conversations with musicians that played with him, his family, music legends, and a series of new live performances with an exceptional array of artists playing Oscar’s music, including Billy Joel, Jon Batiste, Quincy Jones, Ramsey Lewis, Herbie Hancock, Branford Marsalis, Dave Young (a seminal member of Oscar’s legendary trio for many years), Larnell Lewis, Jackie Richardson, Reg Schwager, Joe Sealy, Stu Harrison, Measha Brueggergosman, Denzal Sinclaire, Daniel Clarke Bouchard, and Robi Botos, a Peterson protégé.

Oscar Peterson: Black + White is presented by Melbar Entertainment Group and produced in association with Bell Media. Producers also include Mark Selby, Barry Avrich, and Randy Lennox. Executive Producers are Randy Lennox, Jeffrey Latimer, Barry Avrich, with Kelly Peterson, who was married to Oscar until his passing in 2007, as Consulting Producer. The film will have a limited theatrical release at Cineplex following its world premiere at TIFF.

Also see: Oscar Peterson’s filmography.