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Oliver Jones

Pianist Oliver Jones is one of Canada’s finest musicians. His career also intertwines with the proud history of jazz in his native Montreal, the thriving city that in its heyday also produced the late Oscar Peterson, Oliver’s lifelong friend and one of his influences. Oliver was born and raised in Saint Henri, a predominantly working class area of Montreal, several blocks from Peterson, and young Oliver would sit on the Peterson porch, listening to the older boy practice. Oscar’s sister, Daisy Peterson Sweeney, became his first piano teacher, with lessons continuing for the next twelve years. These lessons solidified young Jones’ skills, which were already considerable; Oliver was performing publicly at age five, and by the time he had his first nightclub appearance, he was nine. Oliver Jones’ six-decade musical career has been rich and varied. His classical music education was followed by stints at Montreal’s Café St-Michel, enthralling patrons with his acrobatic piano stunts. From his teens to his early twenties, Jones could play anything from swing to rock-n-roll; in those days playing jazz was not considered a viable career. This diverse training proved invaluable when, in 1964, the opportunity to become musical director and pianist for Jamaican singer Kenny Hamilton presented itself. Jones, with his wife and young son in tow, moved to Puerto Rico and continued with the Hamilton band for the next sixteen years. While popular music may have taken care of his practical needs, it did not satisfy his artistic cravings. While touring with Hamilton, Jones would take every opportunity to check out local jazz clubs and to participate with other like-minded musicians. In 1980, Oliver Jones returned to Montreal, determined to pursue jazz professionally. He started by working regularly at Biddle’s, the now-closed downtown jazz club run by bassist Charlie Biddle. Three years later, after a fortuitous meeting with Justin Time Records founder Jim West, Jones’ dream came true. “There was a lot of hullabaloo surrounding Charlie and myself. Anything pertaining to jazz, we were asked to do. I’d made my first recording. Truthfully, I was in a state of shock, because when you dream something for 30 years…” Justin Time Records' very first recording would be Oliver Jones with Charlie Biddles, called Live At Biddles, and it was also Jones' first ever recording as leader. Oliver Jones’ association with Justin Time has produced an impressive catalogue of recordings whose sidemen are among the very finest in jazz.

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Album Review

Oliver Jones: Just For My Lady

Read "Just For My Lady" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

Pianist Oliver Jones has become something of a national treasure on the Canadian jazz scene over the past three decades. That's all the more remarkable considering the fact that this soon-to-be eighty year old didn't start making jazz recordings until he was in his 50s. In many respects, as his recording career has evolved, Jones has become the poster boy for the Justin Time imprint; he's released about twenty records on this label over the past thirty ...

Album Review

Oliver Jones: Just in Time

Read "Just in Time" reviewed by Jack Bowers

This could be an uncommonly brief review. After acknowledging that Canadian Oliver Jones is one of the most consistently inventive and technically awesome mainstream Jazz pianists on the planet, one who is at the absolute pinnacle of his typically hard–swinging creative powers on this newly released two–disc concert date from Justin Time, there’s not a whole lot more to say. Even while laboring always beneath the immense shadow of fellow countryman and alter–ego Oscar Peterson, Jones has managed to transcend ...

Album Review

Oliver Jones: Have Fingers, Will Travel

Read "Have Fingers, Will Travel" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Nearly 70 minutes of awe-inspiring technical brilliance and emphatic swinging at any and all tempos by Canada's “other" wizard of the contemporary Jazz piano, Oliver Jones. The comparisons to Oscar Peterson are inescapable, so let's dispense with them first. Yes, Jones did study piano with Oscar's sister, Daisy; yes, his command of the keyboard and his apparently endless profusion of inventive twists and turns rival those of the master himself; and yes, he and his sidemen - bassist Ray Brown, ...

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Award / Grant

Christina Beaudry-Cárdenas Wins The Oliver Jones Award Presented By The Festival International De Jazz De Montréal!

Christina Beaudry-Cárdenas Wins The Oliver Jones Award Presented By The Festival International De Jazz De Montréal!

Source: Braithwaite & Katz Communications

Christina Beaudry-Cárdenas will celebrate her prize on July 9 at 6 p.m. during a show presented as part of Le Studio TD Entrée Libre series. The Oliver Jones Award: A history of gratitude and knowledge sharing The award was created in honour of Montréal jazz legend Oliver Jones. Born in the neighbourhood of Little Burgundy, this piano giant left an indelible mark on the history of the jazz fest. When two of Oliver Jones’s close collaborators approached the festival to ...



Michel Legrand, Dave Brubeck, Oliver Jones & Ahmad Jamal to Perform at TD Canada Trust Toronto Jazz Festival

Michel Legrand, Dave Brubeck, Oliver Jones & Ahmad Jamal to Perform at TD Canada Trust Toronto Jazz Festival

Source: All About Jazz

Honouring the works of four outstanding figures in jazz, the GRANDMASTERS Series will feature piano virtuosos Dave Brubeck, Michel Legrand, Oliver Jones and Ahmad Jamal as the TD Canada Trust Toronto Jazz Festival takes place this summer in June.

Now in its second year, the GRANDMASTERS Series, presented by Panasonic, is dedicated to highlighting artists who have made significant contributions to jazz throughout the course of their careers. Creative geniuses, innovators, legends and true musicianship, these are the hallmarks of ...



Oliver Jones, Ravel, Poulenc, Saint-Saens, and Tchaikowsky close the Montreal Chamber Music Festival

Oliver Jones, Ravel, Poulenc, Saint-Saens, and Tchaikowsky close the Montreal Chamber Music Festival

Source: All About Jazz

Rosemarie Landry, David Jalbert, Wonny Song, Gabriel Gascon, Nina Hellman among featured musicians and artists Montreal, June 13, 2005 ─ The Montreal Chamber Music Festival closes its 10th year of programming with an enchanting series of classical and jazz concerts at the Chalet atop Mount Royal. Memories of childhood will be reawakened by Thursday’s concert, featuring Ravel’s Mother Goose Suite, Poulenc’s The Story of Babar and Saint-Saëns’ Carnival of the Animals. Friday night is Jazz night and this year’s season ...





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