Dave Brubeck, 91, has died

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Dave Brubeck, 91, has died. The jazz pianist and composer, perhaps best known for “Take Five” (watch video below).

Read the AP obituary here.

Brubeck was no stranger to the Capital Region. The venues he performed in include the Saratoga Jazz Festival at Saratoga Performing Arts Center, Proctors in Schenectady, Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, the Massry Center for the Arts at The College of Saint Rose in Albany, and Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival in Becket, Mass., His most recent performance was with his son’s band, Chris Brubeck Triple Play in June 10, 2011, at Zankel Center at Skidmore College.

What are your memories of Brubeck?



  1. Saw him a year or two ago as Massry Center at St Rose and further back at SPAC (Freihoffer Jazz). I don’t know what was more inspiring, the brilliance of the music or his obvious passion and joy. He made the world a better place and will be missed.


  2. Thanks for those links Don.

    I saw Dave Brubeck at least a half dozen times over the years, at SPAC, Troy Music Hall and Tanglewood, and I was never disappointed.
    The last time, at SPAC, I watched hi mwalking across the stage so slowly that I thought he wouldn’t make it.

    Dave was given an afternoon slot, which meant that the shed would be half empty while most of the people were getting tanked out on the lawn waiting for the disco/R&B acts that close the “Jazz” Festival. And then Dave spoke after getting to the piano, and his voice was so weak and frail that I was afraid he was going to embarrass himself once he started to play.

    Of course, for the next hour he played like it was 1960, and after it was over and he moved off the stage in the same slow manner, I knew he wouldn’t be around much longer of course. Then again, I think I thought that when I saw him a few times in concert before that day.

    He was a brilliant musician and a great ambassador for jazz and music in general. He’s gone but he left behind Koto Song, Take Five, Blue Rondo and countless other gems for us to remember him by.



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