Thursday 24 April 2014
News updated at 7:07 PM IST
Weather
Max: 34.6°C
Min : 22.8°C
In Bangalore
Generally cloudy

Jazz great Dave Brubeck dead at 91

New York, Dec 6, 2012 (AFP)

Jazz pianist and composer Dave Brubeck, who tinkered masterfully with rhythm and style and won millions of new fans around the world for the quintessentially American musical genre, has died of heart failure at the age of 91.

A day shy of his 92nd birthday, Brubeck yesterday died in a hospital in Norwalk, Connecticut, his manager Russell Gloyd told AFP. Brubeck won a slew of awards over the course of a career that spanned more than six decades. He was still playing as recently as last year. He played at the White House for presidents and visiting dignitaries, and was designated a "Living Legend" by the Library of Congress.

Brubeck's 1959 album "Time Out" became the first million- selling jazz record of the modern era, as songs "Take Five" and "Blue Rondo a la Turk" defied the indifference of critics to become classics in the genre.

A big party had been planned for this Sunday to celebrate Brubeck's 92nd birthday, but he fell ill yesterday and his son called for an ambulance, which took him to the emergency room.


"They came up later and said we just can't keep this heart going," Gloyd said. Brubeck's success cemented his reputation as one of the great popularizers in the history of jazz, after years of nudging the music into mainstream culture by relentlessly performing on university campuses.

His Dave Brubeck Quartet also toured the world on behalf of the United States government, becoming so popular in Europe and Asia that it was said that when Washington needed to fix up damage somewhere, they sent in Brubeck.

According to Brubeck's website, highlights of his career include the premiere of his composition "Upon this Rock" for then Pope John Paul II's visit to San Francisco, California in 1987.

His accolades included receiving the National Medal of Arts from then president Bill Clinton in 1994; a Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences; and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Brubeck himself once described his approach thusly: "There's a way of playing safe, there's a way of using tricks and there's the way I like to play, which is dangerously, where you're going to take a chance on making mistakes in order to create something you haven't created before."

Over the course of his career he also experimented with integrating jazz into classical forms. In 1959 his quartet played and recorded with the New York Philharmonic under Leonard Bernstein, and a year later he composed "Points on Jazz" for the American Ballet Theater.

Born on December 6, 1920 in Concord, California, Brubeck at age four was improvising tunes from the classical pieces he was taught by his piano teacher mother. But he dreamed of being a rancher like his father, and went to university to become a veterinarian, only to transfer to the music department when a teacher noticed he spent all class staring out the window at the conservatory.

Go to Top

Photo Gallery
A worker spreads paddy crop for drying at a rice processing unit in Bavla...

A worker spreads paddy crop for drying at a rice processing unit in Bavla...

A helicopter flies past as Bangladesh's naval frigate BNS Abu Bakar participates in multi-country...

A helicopter flies past as Bangladesh's naval frigate BNS Abu Bakar participates in multi-country...

Sachin Tendulkar poses for a photograph with his wife Anjali during his 41st bithday celebrations...

Sachin Tendulkar poses for a photograph with his wife Anjali during his 41st bithday celebrations...

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh showing the ink mark on his finger after casting vote for Lok Sabha...

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh showing the ink mark on his finger after casting vote for Lok Sabha...

Residents trying to salvage their belongings after a massive fire gutted their houses in Patna...

Residents trying to salvage their belongings after a massive fire gutted their houses in Patna...

A honeybee ‘caught’ by a ‘len’s eye’ while feeding on nectar...

A honeybee ‘caught’ by a ‘len’s eye’ while feeding on nectar...

Labourers thrash cornflower stalks in a field during morning hours near Vrindavan...

Labourers thrash cornflower stalks in a field during morning hours near Vrindavan...

Chief Minister of Manipur O Ibobi Singh offers floral tribute at Khomjam War Memorial Complex...

Chief Minister of Manipur O Ibobi Singh offers floral tribute at Khomjam War Memorial Complex...

In this Sunday, March 2, 2014 file photo, Olivia Wilde, and Jason Sudeikis arrive at the ...

In this Sunday, March 2, 2014 file photo, Olivia Wilde, and Jason Sudeikis arrive at the ...

Britain's Prince William and his wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, attend a reception ...

Britain's Prince William and his wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, attend a reception ...

Copyright 2014, The Printers (Mysore) Private Ltd., 75, M.G Road, Post Box 5331, Bangalore - 560001
Tel: +91 (80) 25880000 Fax No. +91 (80) 25880523