December 29

Pianist set standard in field of jazz

first_imgMcPartland said she first met Peterson when she and her husband, jazz cornetist Jimmy McPartland, opened for him at the Colonial Tavern in Toronto in the 1940s. “From that point on we became such goods friends, and he was always wonderful to me and I have always felt very close to him,” she said. “I played at his tribute concert at Carnegie Hall earlier this year and performed `Tenderly,’ which was always my favorite piece of his.” Born on Aug. 15, 1925, in a poor neighborhood southwest of Montreal, Peterson obtained a passion for music from his father. Daniel Peterson, a railway porter and self-taught musician, bestowed his love of music to his five children, offering them a means to escape from poverty. In 2005, Peterson became the first living person other than a reigning monarch to obtain a commemorative stamp in Canada, where he is jazz royalty. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! TORONTO – Oscar Peterson, whose early talent, speedy fingers and musical genius made him one of the world’s best known jazz pianists, has died. He was 82. Peterson died at his home in the Toronto suburb of Mississauga on Sunday, said Oliver Jones, a family friend and jazz musician. He said Peterson’s family were with him during his final moments. The cause of death was kidney failure, said Mississauga’s mayor, Hazel McCallion. “He’s been going downhill in the last few months,” McCallion said, calling Peterson a “very close friend.” During an illustrious career spanning seven decades, Peterson played with some of the biggest names in jazz, including Ella Fitzgerald, Count Basie and Dizzy Gillespie. He is also remembered for touring in a trio with Ray Brown on bass and Herb Ellis on guitar in the 1950s. Peterson’s impressive collection of awards include all of Canada’s highest honors, such as the Order of Canada, as well as a Lifetime Grammy (1997) and a spot in the International Jazz Hall of Fame. His growing stature was reflected in the admiration of his peers. Duke Ellington referred to him as “Maharajah of the keyboard,” while Count Basie once said “Oscar Peterson plays the best ivory box I’ve ever heard.” In a statement, French President Nicolas Sarkozy said “one of the bright lights of jazz has gone out.” “He was a regular on the French stage, where the public adored his luminous style,” Sarkozy said. “It is a great loss for us.” Jazz pianist Marian McPartland called Peterson “the finest technician that I have seen.” last_img
October 24

Regulatory Reform Important – Dr. Robinson

first_img Chairman of the Private Security Regulation Authority (PSRA), Dr. Ronald Robinson, has highlighted the importance of regulatory reform and the training of regulatory professionals in improving how Government functions. Story Highlights Regulatory reform is aimed at helping governments improve regulatory quality; that is, reforming regulations that raise unnecessary obstacles to competition, innovation and growth, while ensuring that regulations efficiently serve important social objectives. The PSRA is a statutory body under the Ministry of National Security charged with monitoring and regulating the operations of all stakeholders in the private security industry. Chairman of the Private Security Regulation Authority (PSRA), Dr. Ronald Robinson, has highlighted the importance of regulatory reform and the training of regulatory professionals in improving how Government functions.Regulatory reform refers to changes that help improve regulatory quality, that is, enhance the performance, cost-effectiveness, or legal quality of regulations and related government formalities.Such reform creates an environment that fosters competition, innovation and growth, while ensuring that regulations efficiently serve important social objectives.Dr. Robinson said effective regulations will ensure that State agencies operate efficiently and that best practices are adhered to, which will benefit Jamaicans.He was speaking at the opening ceremony for a five-day training workshop in International Regulatory Affairs, which got under way on Monday (June 20) at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston.The certification course, which targets regulatory professionals from key State entities, provides a comprehensive analysis of mechanisms behind strategic regulatory reform.Regulatory reform is aimed at helping governments improve regulatory quality; that is, reforming regulations that raise unnecessary obstacles to competition, innovation and growth, while ensuring that regulations efficiently serve important social objectives.It is focused on the instructional architecture for regulatory reform, strategies and approaches to regulatory reform, reduction of administration burdens, enforcement and compliance issues, monitoring and evaluation of regulatory reform.The participants are drawn from the Office of Utilities Regulation (OUR); the Betting, Gaming and Lotteries Commission (BGLC); Firearm Licensing Authority; Cannabis Licensing Authority; Spectrum Management Authority; Passport, Immigration and Citizenship Agency (PICA); Airports Authority of Jamaica; Pharmacy Council of Jamaica and the Private Security Regulation Authority.Dr. Robinson urged the participants to take advantage of the training. “Remember, you can’t have too many certifications… so just take it seriously and absorb,” he said.The workshop will run from June 19 to 23 and is organised by the PSRA and the United Kingdom (UK)-based International Centre for Parliamentary Studies (ICPS). The course is being delivered by Regulation Trainer, Ian Rennie.At the end of the course, persons will receive internationally recognised certification.The PSRA is a statutory body under the Ministry of National Security charged with monitoring and regulating the operations of all stakeholders in the private security industry.last_img read more

October 16

Richard Branson And Bill Clinton Help Launch Haiti Forest Initiative

first_imgNobel Peace Prize Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus, founder of Yunus Social Business, Sir Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Unite, and U.S. President Bill Clinton, founder of the Clinton Foundation, announced last Sunday the launch of a new social initiative called Haiti Forest.The partnership aims to solve social and environmental problems in Haiti by bringing sustainable, productive and socially responsible forests to the country.Ten thousand hectares of land are being promised by the Ministries of Agriculture and Environment to develop the new, bold Haiti Forest Initiative in the Artibonite and northern part of the country. Haiti Forest has full support of the Government of Haiti and is in line with the priorities of the Government to support long-term reconstruction efforts, especially those that create jobs and promoting economic opportunities. The multi-year project will provide affordable food, timber, and employment in Haiti, and will be organized as a Social Business – a company set-up for maximizing social benefit rather than private profit.“I am pleased that my Foundation is working with Yunus Social Business and Virgin Unite,” said President Bill Clinton. “Through this partnership, we hope to create a replicable model for programs that demonstrate long-term, positive social and environmental impact as well as economic benefits across Haiti.”“Haiti Forest is an example how social business represents a unique opportunity to drive economic growth in Haiti,” said Nobel Peace Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus, founder of Yunus Social Business. “Social Businesses like Haiti Forest that are aimed at an environmental or social need represent not only the solutions to these pressing issues, but the financially sustainable means for continued development in Haiti.”“Virgin Unite is very pleased to partner with the Yunus Social Business Initiative and the Clinton Foundation to invest in supporting entrepreneurial solutions to generate reforestation and sustainable livelihoods in Haiti,” said Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Unite. “This project will create much-needed economic opportunities for many and is wonderful way to do something good for our planet and the people of Haiti.”The new initiative’s four main objectives are: to re-forest Haiti; provide sustainable livelihoods to farmers; and over the long term help mitigate Haiti’s dependency on food imports; and help identify alternative fuel sources to reduce usage of charcoal. To ensure that the benefits of re-forestation are lasting and durable, Haiti Forest will empower micro-entrepreneurs and local communities to preserve and maintain their country’s forests.The announcement marks the beginning of a six-month planning and preparation study that will form the basis of the Haiti Forest pilot program. The study will work closely with Haitian rural communities and small holder farmers to determine what trees and crops should be planted, engage community leaders on the reforestation aspects of the project, and work with government to identify applicable land areas.The Haiti Forest partnership was created out of a recognized need to address environmental degradation and deforestation in a sustainable way. Haiti has lost virtually all of its forests over the last half-century, resulting in massive soil erosion and a consequent decline in the amount of arable land. By enabling sustainable forest management, Haiti Forest works toward providing a model to help reverse this trend.Source:PR Newswirelast_img read more