biography center image
Home Suggest a Biography Forum Contact
Browse by Alphabet Most Popular Highest Rated   back to  search
Browse by Letter : A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Dave Brubeck ( 1920 - )  Category ( Musicians ) [suggest a correction]

Dave Brubeck's musical genes (and genius) obviously came through his mother's side of the family.

She was a former concert pianist who taught her son and his two brothers how to play when Dave was growing up in Ione, CA. Brubeck's father was a cattle rancher.

Nevertheless, Brubeck originally leaned toward the paternal profession (in part because his brothers were already musicians), and went to the College of the Pacific to study veterinary science. But according to Fred Hall's biography of Brubeck, the head of the zoology department told him "Brubeck, your mind's not here. It's across the lawn in the conservatory. Please go there. Stop wasting my time and yours."

So he did, and the rest is jazz piano history. Although his music instructors were initially appalled when they discovered that he could not read music, his innate ability to grasp musical composition proved more than adequate compensation.

Drafted into the Army in 1942, Brubeck avoided a potentially fatal battlefield assignment when he played piano for a Red Cross show and was ordered to form a band -- one of the first integrated musical groups in the armed forces.

When he was mustered out in 1946, Brubeck went back to school, studying under Darius Milhaud at Miles College. That's when he first began experimenting with jazz.

In 1951, Brubeck and saxopohonist Paul Desmond formed the Dave Brubeck Quartet, based in San Francisco. Three years later, Brubeck was featured on the cover of Time Magazine as the harbinger of a new and distinctly American musical form.

As in the military, Brubeck's band was integrated, and he refused to play concerts during the 1960s and '60s at venues that would not allow African-American bassist Eugene Wright to perform.

"Time Out," arguably Brubeck's most successful album, came out in 1959. It included his signature tune, "Take Five," which was actually written by Desmond. Another high point in his career was his live album recorded at Carnegie Hall in 1963.

Stricken with an itch to do more composing and arranging and less touring, Brubeck disbanded his quartet in 1967 and began delving more deeply into alternative forms. He became renowned for taking odd time signatures and making them work.

In 1973, Brubeck went back to performing with a lineup that included three of his sons -- keyboardist Darius, drummer Don and Chris on electric bass. In 1976, the Brubeck Quartet reassembled, although Paul Desmond died the following year.

Throughout his career, Brubeck has spoken out on peace and justice issues, culminating with his "Mass for Hope" in 1980.

The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts honored Brubeck in December of 2009. He was also inducted into the California Hall of Fame and presented with the Benjamin Franklin Award for Public Diplomacy in 2008.

starstarstarstarstarstarstarstarstarstar    Rating  0
Rating [Comment on this link]
starstarstarstarstarstarstarstarstarstar    Rating  0
Rating [Comment on this link]
starstarstarstarstarstarstarstarstarstar    Rating  0
Rating [Comment on this link]
[Suggest another Link for this biography]
Browse by categories
Biographies beginning with
Biographes by Category
Most popular biographies
Most rated biographies
View all categories
Browse by categories
arrow Suggest an addtional category for Brubeck Dave
arrow Suggest a Biography
arrow Add details to this biogaphy
© Copyright 1998-2023 Biography Center