A Dave Brubeck Memorial Service by Doug Ramsey

Here is another wonderful write up about the recent Dave Brubeck Tribute by Doug Ramsey.

St John The Divine At the very moment that last evening’s memorial service for Dave Brubeck got underway, the rumble of thunder penetrated the massive Gothic walls of New York City’s Cathedral of St. John The Divine. A murmur ran through the throng filling the 120-year-old church.

With dignity and a commanding presence, Iola Brubeck read Langston Hughes’ poem Iola-Brubeck “I Dream a World.” She said that it echoes the core of her husband’s belief in the equality of all peoples. An excerpt:

A world I dream where black or white,
Whatever race you be,
Will share the bounties of the earth
And every man is free…

Recalling one of the last times her husband played in the cathedral, Mrs. Brubeck said, “The 5/4 is still echoing somewhere in here.”

5/4, 9/8 and assorted other time signatures sounded through the cathedral as combinations of musicians remembering Brubeck  Cathy and Dave Brubeck played a dozen of his compositions. Catherine Brubeck, pictured here with her dad, told of the time in the 1950s that her father came off the road to their home in the Oakland hills above San Francisco Bay and initiated a jam session with his very young sons. She was two years old. Inspired by the family musicale, she slipped into her tiny tutu and danced around the room. That, in turn, inspired Brubeck to write “Cathy’s Waltz.” After she told the story, Catherine introduced her brothers Danny Brubeck Darius, piano; Chris,bass; Danny, drums (pictured); and Matthew, cello; who played her song. That initiated a succession of performances by musicians young and old, from the Brubeck Institute Alumni Quintet in their early twenties to bassist Eugene Wright (pictured), the surviving member of the classic Brubeck quartet of the 1950s and ‘60s. Two weeks short of his 90th birthday, Wright joined Darius to play “King For a Day,” his feature from Brubeck’s musical The Real Ambassadors.

Eugene Wright

Read the entire post at Doug Ramsey’s Rifftides blog


 Doug is a recipient of the lifetime achievement award of the Jazz Journalists Association. He lives in the Pacific Northwest, where he settled following a career in print and broadcast journalism in cities including New York, New Orleans, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Seattle, Portland, San Antonio, Cleveland and Washington, DC. His writing about jazz has paralleled his life in journalism… Read More…


Voted 2010 blog of the year by the international membership of the Jazz Journalists Association. This blog is founded on Doug’s conviction that musicians and listeners who embrace and understand jazz have interests that run deep, wide and beyond jazz. Music is its principal concern, but it reaches past… Read More…


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s