Dr. Oliver Jones
Dr. Oliver Jones is one of Canada’s‚ best-known jazz pianists. Born and raised in Saint-Henri, a predominantly working class area of Montreal.. Oscar Peterson’s sister, Daisy Peterson Sweeney, became his first piano teacher, with lessons continuing for the next 12 years. These lessons solidified young Oliver’s skills, which were already considerable; Oliver was performing publicly at age five, and by the time he had his first nightclub appearance, he was only nine years-old. Oliver’s 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, Oliver could play anything from swing to rock-n-roll; in those days playing jazz was not considered a viable career.
His diverse training proved invaluable when, in 1964, the opportunity to become musical director and pianist for Jamaican singer Kenny Hamilton presented itself. Oliver, with his wife and young son in tow, moved to Puerto Rico and continued with the Hamilton band for the next sixteen years. In 1980, he returned to Montreal, determined to pursue jazz professionally. During the course of his career, Oliver played with many jazz greats including Charlie Biddle, Dave Young, Ray Brown, Ed Thigpen, Clark Terry, Ranee Lee, and others. Having toured internationally, he has performed in South America, Europe, Africa, Australia and New Zealand.