EXCLUSIVE: Deadline has your first look at Oscar Peterson: Black + White, a docu-concert film, which Hulu has acquired for release in the U.S. on February 15.
The doc from director Barry Avrich (Made You Look, The Reckoning) explores the life and legacy of jazz icon and composer, Oscar Peterson—his sound, stardom and staggering virtuosity over the course of his seven-decade career. It delves into his days as a child prodigy, the development of his signature sound on recordings with his trio, his collaborations with huge stars and his shifts to brilliant solo performances around the world, as well as his tenacious experiences confronting racism and segregation while touring in the United States, which culminated with his epic composition, “Hymn to Freedom.”
Oscar Peterson: Black + White features interviews with Billy Joel, Jon Batiste, Herbie Hancock, Quincy Jones, Ramsey Lewis and Branford Marsalis, along with performances by such jazz musicians as Jackie Richardson, Measha Brueggergosman, Joe Sealy, Denzal Sinclaire, Larnell Lewis, Reg Schwager, Dave Young, Robi Botos, Stu Harrison and Daniel Clarke Bouchard.
Avrich and Randy Lennox produced the film with Mark Selby, also exec producing it alongside Jeffrey Latimer, with Peterson’s widow Kelly Peterson serving as a consulting producer on the project.
“Along with Count Basie, Duke Ellington and Ella Fitzgerald, Oscar Peterson undoubtedly takes his place on the Mount Rushmore of Jazz with the legends that he inspired and those that inspired him,” said Avrich. “There is no telling the history of Jazz without telling Oscar’s story.”
Avrich’s latest had its world premiere at the 2021 Toronto International Film Festival, with Fremantle acquiring international rights, outside of Canada.
Check out the clip from Oscar Peterson: Black + White above.
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