Obituary: Pianist and composer Dave Brubeck, 91

Posted on: December 6, 2012

In Thursday’s (12/6) Sacramento Bee (California), Edward Ortiz writes, “In the world of jazz, the Central Valley has few native sons like Dave Brubeck. Brubeck passed away Wednesday of heart failure in Norwalk, Conn., a day shy of his 92nd birthday. Few works of music, jazz or otherwise, are as recognizable as the opening piano line of ‘Take Five,’ a work recorded and arranged by Brubeck in 1959, and composed by collaborator Paul Desmond. His work with the quartet that bears his name was known as quintessential California jazz, but his legacy extends far past music. … Brubeck’s influence was a constant presence locally, and included many projects with the Stockton Symphony. ‘He was an accessible and totally humble man,’ said Peter Jaffe, artistic director of the Stockton Symphony. Jaffe recalls encountering Brubeck’s music genius when he perused Brubeck’s student scores. It was then, in 2001, that Jaffe realized Brubeck was already composing with the same sophistication as some of Igor Stravinsky’s compositions. Jaffe soon tapped Brubeck with the idea of writing a piece for the Stockton Symphony. The result was Brubeck’s ‘Millennium. Intervals,’ which premiered with the Stockton Symphony in 2001. A four-day Brubeck Festival followed in 2003, and the relationship culminated in the work ‘Ansel Adams-America,’ which Brubeck wrote with his son, Chris Brubeck, and was performed by the Stockton Symphony and the Sacramento Philharmonic in 2009.”

Posted December 6, 2012