Legendary Jazz Musician Dave Brubeck Dead at 91

Brubeck lived in Wilton, Conn.

Legendary jazz pianist Dave Brubeck has died at the age of 91, the Chicago Tribune reports

Brubeck, who lived in Wilton, was born on Dec. 6, 1920. A concert celebrating Brubeck's would-be 92nd birthday was scheduled to take place in Waterbury tomorrow.

Brubeck is known for penning a number of jazz standards, including "The Duke." His band, the Dave Brubeck Quartet, is best known for their song "Take Five."

According to the Tribune, Brubeck died of heart failure Wednesday morning at Norwalk Hospital on his way to a regular appointment with his cardiologist. 

Howard Reich, an arts critic for the Tribune, writes the following:

Throughout his career, Brubeck defied conventions long imposed on jazz musicians. The tricky meters he played in “Take Five” and other works transcended standard conceptions of swing rhythm. The extended choral/symphonic works he penned and performed around the world took him well outside the accepted boundaries of jazz. And the concerts he brought to colleges across the country in the 1950s shattered the then-long-held notion that jazz had no place in academia.

As a humanist, he was at the forefront of integration, playing black jazz clubs throughout the deep South in the ’50s, a point of pride for him.

"For as long as I’ve been playing jazz, people have been trying to pigeonhole me,” he once told the Tribune.


Joe Buhler December 06, 2012 at 03:32 AM
Just finished watching again the documentary - Dave Brubeck: In His Own Sweet Way - by Clint Eastwood. It was broadcast on Dave's 90th Birthday on December 06,210 by Turner Classic Movies. A wonderful tribute to a great musician and human being.
Daniella Ruiz December 06, 2012 at 10:22 AM
Musicians as this will leave us with a deeper and better rhythm for all to appreciate, and to know. So many cultural borders are penetrated easier with music, than drums of another beat. RIP, a true humanitarian and visionary.
Ted Riegel December 06, 2012 at 01:47 PM
Wilton, and the world, has lost a true legend. Dave literally changed the way the world listened to jazz. I remember Dave most as a very gentle, quiet man in everyday life, but sit him down in front of a piano and stand back. He'd attack the keys, the passion expressed in his face. RIP Dave, Take Five.
Gerry A. Albin December 07, 2012 at 08:13 PM
I first learned of dave and his guys while in music school. my first jazz album was his carnegie hall concert recording. what a beginning! I knew he got his lobve for block chords from his mentor Darius Milhaud( one of his sons was named after the famous "les Six" composer). A friend of mine from conservatory had taken master classes with joe morello as well. I had reasd of his refusal to play gigs in the 50s and 60 south where his bassist Gene Wright (the Senator) was not welcome. My deepest condolences to his family and yet the joy they must feel from the remembrance of having such a loving , inspirational and talented father, and grandfather, sincerely with all my heart, Gerry Albin, Defiance College class of 1969 and life long jazz enthusiast.
Gerry A. Albin December 07, 2012 at 08:23 PM
Please forgive the typos in my previous comment. I certainly meant no disrespect to Dave. G. Albin


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