Oscar Peterson: TRIOS TIMES TWO

a performance-based seminar with Anthony Dowd

Wed, June 12

11:30am – 3pm

$40 (includes lunch) – limited to 25 jazz fans

*Firehouse Members, $15 discount -- please give us a call for tickets and reservations!


Spend the afternoon with Richmond's own jazz star Anthony Dowd in an entertaining and informative performance-based seminar about the history and music of jazz pianist Oscar Peterson. Anthony will demonstrate the genius of Oscar Petersen’s piano virtuosity with the help of fellow RVA jazz stars Matthew Hall (bass), Aaron Binder (drums), and Chris Whiteman (guitar).

Oscar Peterson (1925-2007) is considered by many to be one of the greatest jazz pianists ever. His career spanned 50+ years. He performed thousands of concerts around the world and recorded with the likes of Billie Holiday, Fred Astaire, Benny Carter, Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, and Roy Eldridge.

We're calling this TRIOS TIMES TWO because of the two trios Peterson played with over his career -- in the '50s he his trio was a piano, bass, and guitar. A lot of piano players had that format so it was a big deal within the jazz community when Peterson dropped the guitar and added the drums in the '60s. The seminar will conclude with a quartet of piano, bass, guitar, and drum that will feature live performances from recordings Peterson did in Germany in the '70s. 


Anthony Dowd was born and raised in Richmond VA. He started playing piano by ear at age 6 and began lessons at 12. He learned to play guitar from his father and became the country's youngest carilloneur at 15. In 1975 he began performing with the Kings of Swing at Kings Dominion. For the next decade he played piano at Busch Gardens and Carnival Cruise Lines and studied with legendary jazz pianist Mary Lou Williams. Anthony enjoyed a few "house gigs" in the 80's including Spencer's Restaurant in Hartford, CT and Benjamin's Restaurant in Richmond. Anthony had the good fortune to play with Frank Sinatra, The Four Aces, Marian McPartland, Clark Terry, Andrew White, Victor Goines, Steve Wilson, James Genus, Clarence Penn, and Jim Snidero. Besides his solo and trio work Anthony tours the East Coast with the Jeff Decker Quartet and occasionally subs with the Virginia Symphony Orchestra.

Chris Whiteman began playing guitar at age 12. He studied classical guitar performance at Virginia Commonwealth University and jazz performance at the University of Miami. He has performed throughout the United States and Europe, worked with Grammy winning artists and producers, and even composed music for film.

Matthew Hall graduated from VCU with a degree in music performance. Since that time, he has performed in a variety of situations from solo to big band performances and classical ensembles. Matthew recently returned to Richmond after residing in Istanbul, Turkey for almost 10 years. He was busy touring and playing music during his time there. Having returned to Virginia in 2018, he has been fortunate to play with some of the finest musicians in Virginia and the United States. 

Drummer Aaron Binder got his BA in jazz performance from VCU in the 1990's and has been a mainstay on the club scene ever since. Binder had the good fortune to play concerts with jazz legends like New England Conservatory professor Gunther Schuller and big band drummer Louis Bellson. His musical partnership with Anthony Dowd goes back twenty years, and with bassist Randall Pharr almost thirty years.