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February 15-17, 2019

The second edition of the Oscar Peterson International Jazz Festival promises another exciting weekend of true, swinging jazz in picturesque Niagara wine country.

artist lineup coming november 19th

Oscar Peterson festival brings true jazz to Ontario
— The Globe and Mail

On February 15-17, 2019, Bravo Niagara! will produce the second edition of the Oscar Peterson International Jazz Festival (OPIJF) in Niagara-on-the-Lake and St. Catharines. Named for the internationally-renowned Canadian jazz giant, the OPIJF was created to present the essence of jazz, and the sound of swing. Oscar Peterson dedicated his life to music with intense vitality: music which encompasses the entire live history of jazz, and the OPIJF represents the same unshakable excellence and integrity for which he was known. 

It is the mission of OPIJF to showcase world-class Canadian talent performing alongside American and international artists, thereby ensuring the future of jazz in Canada. Under the expert guidance of Artistic Director Renee Rosnes, the 5-time JUNO Award-winning jazz pianist, composer, and arranger and Artistic Producer Kelly Peterson, widow of the late jazz great and President of Two Lions Records, this annual festival provides a rare opportunity to hear unique combinations of musicians, individual stars, in once-in-a-lifetime settings. OPIJF celebrates the past, the present, and the future of the music Oscar loved. 

The Oscar Peterson International Jazz Festival is produced by Bravo Niagara! Festival of the Arts in partnership with The Estate of Oscar Peterson.

 

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2018 Inaugural Festival Overview

This was that kind of jazz festival - the Bordeaux-sipping, dreamy ballads kind, something of lovely social fantasy not far in spirit from that evoked by the “dear gentle folk of Newport,” as sung in That’s Jazz by Bing Crosby in the 1956 film High Society. In broader terms, here was a reminder of jazz’s golden afterglow in the 1960s and early 70s, when the music still made money, when compact festivals from Newport, R.I., to Juan-les-Pins on the French Riviera, were well-curated at the start.

— Peter Goddard, The Globe and Mail
A grand festival to celebrate the genius of Oscar Peterson
— Howard Reich, Chicago Tribune

The first annual Oscar Peterson International Jazz Festival took place February 16-18, 2018 in the Niagara Region of Ontario and was dedicated to Norman Granz, celebrating the 100th anniversary of his birth. “Impresario, record producer, civil rights activist, and founder of Jazz at the Philharmonic, Norman Granz is arguably the most important non-musician in jazz history,” said Kelly Peterson, Artistic Producer of the festival. “The role that Norman played in presenting jazz cannot be underestimated. The role he played in breaking down racial barriers, however, was his proudest accomplishment.”

Jazz at the Philharmonic (“JATP” as it was known) was a series of all-star jam-session-style concerts that began in 1944 when Granz presented a concert at the Philharmonic Auditorium in Los Angeles. The first to present jazz in concert halls, giving it the same respect as classical music, he made it a contractual obligation for there to be no segregation in the concert venues, leading the charge against discrimination long before the Civil Rights Movement began. Granz himself said, “The whole reason for Jazz at the Philharmonic was to take it to places where I could break down segregation and discrimination.”