Downtown Stockton Art Contest concert with the BIJQ

The Brubeck Institute and the Bob Hope Theatre welcomed nearly 2,000 children from throughout SUSD and Stockton charter schools to enjoy some live jazz!

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This event was the start of the Downtown Stockton Art Contest “Music of Dave Brubeck Inspires My Imagination”

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The best way to introduce Dave Brubeck is through his music. So, over 2,000 students from Stockton Unified School District get that experience Tuesday. Along with students from downtown charter schools, they’ll listen to an hour of the late jazz master’s music – played by University of the Pacific’s Brubeck Institute Jazz Quintet. Then they’ll use their imaginations, creating paintings reflecting impressions of Brubeck and his music. “We’re hoping, for many of them who probably haven’t heard jazz live or on recordings, that it gives many of them a first taste,” said Simon Rowe, the Brubeck Institute’s director. “And Dave’s music is a good exemplar. “We were looking for a way to get kids involved. We thought of an art contest.” The concert is part of “Music of Dave Brubeck Inspires My Imagination,” a collaboration among Pacific, the Downtown Stockton Alliance, Delta College and Stockton Unified. The musically motivated art contest is designed to inspire and educate students as a preliminary to the March 18 to 23 Brubeck Festival. “The music of Dave Brubeck is just phenomenal,” said Pheon Davison, Stockton Unified’s administrator of visual and performing arts and physical education. “It’s important for them (students) to experience all different types of music. This will be great.” The Stockton Unified students – third-, fourth- and sixth-graders – will transfer their visual interpretations into paintings. The winning entries at each grade level will be combined into a mural that’ll be placed on the boarded-up downtown Main Hotel’s exterior.

Click here for the complete article from the RecordNet


Adam Kolker visits the Brubeck Institute

Here are some highlights from Adam Kolker’s visit to the Brubeck Institute. During his time at the Brubeck Institute, Adam performed with the BIJQ, the UOP Jazz Ensemble, presented several masterclasses, and taught private lessons.

Here is a clip of Adam and the Brubeck Institute Jazz Quintet performing at the Take 5 Jazz Club.

Adam also performed with the University of the Pacific’s Jazz Ensemble under the direction of Patrick Langham.

Here is a clip of Adam and Brubeck Fellow, Paul Bloom, performing an original of Paul’s entitled “Empty City”. It was Paul’s birthday that night so as a treat Paul got to play a duo with Adam.

Adam Kolker is a multi-talented performer, composer and arranger. He performed and recorded with latin-jazz artist Ray Barretto from 1994 through 2002 (with whom he received two GRAMMY nominations). He also appears in New York City with groups including the Village Vanguard OrchestraFred Hersch’s “My Coma Dreams,” the Maria Schneider Orchestra, Bruce Barth, Judi Silvano, Lucia Pulido, and his own groups with John Abercombie and Billy Hart. He has recorded with Bruce Barth, John Hébert, Marty Ehrlich, The Story, Allan Chase, Bobby Previte, Gunther Schuller, Bruce Saunders, Frank Carlberg, among others.

For more info on Adam Kolker and his music click here……….

Glenn Zaleski remembers Dave Brubeck

Remembering Dave Brubeck – Five Great Records

I first heard Dave Brubeck in 2000 when I was in the 8th grade. His quartet was playing in Worcester, MA at Mechanics Hall. (This was the band with Bobby Militello, John Dankworth, and Randy Jones). The concert was magic, with an explosive energy and focus. I was captivated throughout the whole concert in a way that I had never felt before. From that moment I was completely hooked on Dave’s music: I bought every record that I could find, bought every LP that wasn’t yet re-released on CD, learned every tune I heard him play. I really became a “superfan”.

In 2005, after five years of study and practice inspired by Dave’s music, I was honored to be selected as a Brubeck Institute Fellow. While studying at the Brubeck Institute I met the musicians who would become my best friends and strongest musical inspirations, I studied with the most amazing musicians currently on the scene, and I had international performance opportunities, and even got to know and work with Dave himself. My time spent there was honestly a dream come true.

Dave’s music represents an unwavering commitment to personal creativity, but also balanced with an endearment that touched millions of people across the globe. Anyone could listen to the music of Dave Brubeck and feel the heart in it. This is what I felt at my first Dave Brubeck concert experience in 2000, what inspired me and thousands of others to pursue their creative passion, and what will continue to inspire listeners for years to come.

Here are five records of Dave’s that are particularly inspiring to me:

Brubeck Plays Brubeck (1956)

Dave wrote nine tunes, recorded solo piano versions of them in his house, and released it on Columbia Records in 1956 as “Brubeck Plays Brubeck”. The result is one of the great solo piano records: every tune is original, but every tune feels like a classic. (Of course “In Your Own Sweet Way” and “The Duke” did go on to become classics, but their original recordings appear here.) Dave’s solo playing is crystal clear, often blurring the line between “melody” and “improvisation”. Every track listens like an entirely composed piece, but also maintains a casual, “just playing in your living room” sentiment. Check out the re-harminiaztions of the last “A” section of the in head of “In Your Own Sweet Way”, and the slow stride on “One Moment Worth Years”.

Jazz Impressions of the U.S.A. (1957)

This is my personal favorite of the “Jazz Impressions” series that Dave recorded for Columbia Records. The compositions stand out among Dave’s strongest for the quartet. Here is the original recording of “Summer Song”. Also “Plain Song” is one of the wildest minor blues heads you would ever hear. And to close this record is “Home At Last”, which is another solo piano classic that Dave recorded in his California home. (This track was basically a textbook for jazz piano harmony for me, with drop 2’s, walking tenths, upper structure triads, and inner voices…) Fortunately this classic record recently became available on CD/iTunes!

Dave Digs Disney (1957)

One of the first jazz records to explore Disney music (which wasn’t that old then!), Dave’s quartet captures the joyful energy of these beautiful melodies in a way that no other quartet could. And some of Dave’s solo playing on this record is absolute magic: the piano intro on “Someday My Prince Will Come”, and the outro on “When You Wish Upon a Star” are some of Dave’s best recorded playing, absolutely virtuosic.

At Carnegie Hall (1963)

Although the classic DBQ is known for its “cool” records of the late 50’s and 60’s, this record captures the explosive energy that they would produce in a live concert. “Southern Scene” is particularly beautiful, and one of Dave’s lesser known tunes. And “Blue Rondo a la Turk” is unforgettable. Paul’s solo is as classic as his “Time Out” take, and Dave’s solo takes its time, building into an amazing double time. This is a must- hear.

The Duets (1975)

The chemistry between Paul Desmond and Dave Brubeck is felt on this record in a more personal way than almost any other.  Dave and Paul are basking in each other’s sounds, working together to create a duo sound that could only result from years of experience together.  “Koto Song” is one of my favorites on this record, a rare example of Dave and Paul exploring more open improvisation.

Thank you Dave!

Glenn Zaleski

Joe Gilman’s Tribute to Dave Brubeck

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The world mourns the loss of our beloved teacher and mentor Dave Brubeck this week. 

I am not a member of Dave’s biological family. If you were to ask my parents, I may as  well have been. Dave was my musical father and role model. I was introduced to Dave’s music by chance on a televised program in 1976 on PBS. It was a 25th anniversary reunion tour of the DBQ. Of course I fell in love with “Take Five” and immediately went to Tower Records and purchased “Time Out”. Other than “Charlie Brown Christmas”, this was my first exposure to jazz. 

Jazz piano lessons began immediately. I practiced “Take Five”, “Blue Rondo”, “Three to Get Ready” et. al. for months. Several more Brubeck records followed. By 1978 I was entirely hooked on jazz. Thank you Mr. Brubeck.

After devoting my life to music as an educator for 20 years, I serendipitously began a series of positions at the Brubeck Institute, including instructor, Director of the Fellowship Program, Artistic Director of the Summer Jazz Colony, and Artist-in-Residence of the Institute.

To the greater general public, Dave was that hip and cerebral jazz cat from the 1950’s who recorded “Take Five”. A jazz icon. To many jazz musicians, Dave was a fine composer, exceptional bandleader, innovative pianist, and craftsman of brilliantly produced acoustic jazz recordings. A jazz master. To those more familiar with Dave’s extended body of work, they will tell of his tremendous humanitarian efforts across the globe and his bandleading of some of the first military and commercial racially integrated jazz ensembles. In my unique position with the Brubecks and at the Institute, I would like to tell you more.

More than any other jazz musician in the past 100 years, Dave Brubeck has created a legacy. A legacy that even arguably surpasses Ives, Gershwin, Bernstein, and Ellington. A cultural legacy. A legacy of connections. A legacy that transcends generational, cultural, and geographical boundaries.

Here are the names of all of the Brubeck Fellows over the past ten years. There have only been 37 students. Perhaps you recognize some of the names. You should if you appreciate jazz from the younger generation; Justin Brown, Joe Sanders, Tommy Morimoto, Fabian Almazan, Anthony Coleman II, Tobin Chodos, Mark Zaleski, Scott McGinty, Sean McGinty, Dominic Thiroux, Hayden Hawkins, Josh Gallagher, Peter Spear, Colin Stranahan, Glenn Zaleski, Lucas Pino, Brian Chahley, Chris Smith, Cory Cox, Ben Flocks, Javier Santiago, Chad Lefkowitz-Brown, Zach Brown, Adam Arruda, Corey Fonville, Noah Kellman, Nick Frenay, Colin McDaniel, Sam Crowe, Bill Vonderhaar, Alec Watson, Tree Palmedo, Rane Roatta, Tom Kelly, Malachi Whitson, Adam Goldman, and Paul Bloom.

The Dave Brubeck Summer Jazz Colony has now enrolled over 150 students between the ages of 14-18. There are far too many to list here, but a few notables include Grace Kelly, Eldar Djangirov, Matt Marantz, Ben Van Gelder, and Marcus Gilmore. 

It is only through Dave Brubeck’s legacy that these young people met and created beautiful music together before moving on to all parts of the world to begin to shape the musical landscape of the 21st century. 

My children, who are now 6 and 11, are still unfamiliar with the music of Dave Brubeck. But to them “Brubeck” means a cool Summer hang in Stockton where those high school kids from around the country with unbelievable talent make remarkable music together, and then travel back home to share the experience with their friends. This is possible only through the legacy of Dave Brubeck. “Brubeck” means more than jazz.

Believe me, when you hear any number of the most successful jazz acts in the world today, you are hearing a onetime Brubeck Fellow or Colonist, or an innovation created by Dave Brubeck in the last 50 years.

Because of the Brubeck legacy, these fellows and colonists of awe inspiring talent and dedication were able to meet, play, and be mentored by their idols, a list which now includes but is not limited to;

Christian McBride, Stefon Harris, Freddie Hubbard, Wynton Marsalis, Nicholas Payton, Robert Glasper, Joshua Redman, Roy Hargrove, Kenny Werner, Fred Hersch, Darius Brubeck, Geoff Keezer, Danilo Perez, Taylor Eigsti, Donald Brown, Mark Levine, Gerald Clayton, Orrin Evans, Benny Green, Robert Rodriguez, Sam Yahel, Bobby Militello, Jimmy Heath,  Bob Mintzer, Yosvany Terry, Bobby Watson, Bennie Maupin, Greg Tardy, Jim Snidero, Anton Schwartz, Vincent Herring, Miguel Zenon, Stacy Dillard, Donny McCaslin, Walter Smith III, Chris Cheek, Dayna Stephens, Willie Akins,  Ingrid Jensen,  Ralph Alessi, Brian Lynch, Marvin Stamm, Mike Rodriguez, Gilbert Castellanos, Ambrose Akinmusire, Sean Jones, Michael Moore, Robert Hurst, Jeff Chambers, Rufus Reid, Marcus Shelby, Matt Penman, Essiet Essiet, Ray Drummond, Larry Grenadier, Harish Raghavan, Willem von Hombracht, Randy Jones, Ndugu Chancler, Jeff ‘Tain’ Watts, Joe Chambers, Lewis Nash, Dan Brubeck, Eric Harland, Jeff Ballard, Karriem Riggins, Montez Coleman, Akira Tana, Matt Slocum, Chris Brubeck, Conrad Herwig, John Fedchock, Wayne Wallace, Steven Erquiaga, Anthony Wilson, Paul Bollenback, Cleo Laine, Dena DeRose, Bill Smith, Christian Tamburr, Madeline Eastman, Michael Weiss, and the best talent in the San Francisco Bay area.

And not only did these fine mentors influence the colonists and fellows. Through the legacy of Dave Brubeck and the cross fertilization of ideas of creative people coming together, these world class artists themselves have become energized with a feeling of renewal and hope for a brighter future in our music and in our world by knowing that there are talented, passionate, loving, and caring youth ready to carry the torch and help to find new journeys, stories; new fusions of sounds of the worlds cultures. How many times have I heard from these great artists; “what’s happening at Brubeck?” “what  are the Brubeck fellows up to this year?” “Can you give me the number of that kid from two years ago?” 

Only through Dave Brubeck’s legacy would some of the greatest educational organizers in the world; JB Dyas, Michael O’Daniel, Steve Anderson, Andrew Schniederman, Simon Rowe, Nick Fryer, and great friends such as Bart Marantz, come together with Dave’s guidance and inspiration to build a hub of creative connectivity at the University of the Pacific.

My wife, who is from a rural community in Southern Thailand called Nakhorn si Tammarat, had never heard of Mozart, Beethoven, Wagner, Gershwin, or Ellington, but she knew Dave Brubeck. Dave’s legacy transcends cultural borders and brings happiness, joy, and love to our neighbors around the world.

Although Dave has passed from this life and into eternal life, his works and messages are clear for the rest of us to follow. Bring people together, build communities, challenge the accepted, and affect social change through music and creativity.

Thank you again Dave.

Joe Gilman 

“More Than Just the Music” Vol.1

Dave Brubeck’s career went well beyond just being about music. Whether it was the U.S. State Department Tours of 1958 as a cultural ambassador of peace or his jazz musical “The Real Ambassadors”, that addressed civil rights, the Cold War, God, and the music industry, Dave’s music was always more than just the notes on the page. “More Than Just the Music” is a new series on the BI Blog that will feature a wide variety of musicians that are making their mark on the scene today and that are making their careers “More Than Just the Music”.

This month the BI Blog will feature New York bassist and composer Ben Allison.

Over the past two decades, Ben Allison has solidified his reputation as a strong voice for artist empowerment and musician’s rights. In 2001 he served as an advisor to the Doris Duke Foundation, helping to establish Chamber Music America’s New Works – Creation and Presentation program. He has served as a panelist and featured speaker at conferences led by the International Association of Jazz Educators, Chamber Music America, the Association of Performing Arts Presenters, JazzTimes, the Doris Duke Foundation, the NY State Arts Presenters and the Jazz Composers Collective. At the age of twenty-five, Ben formed the Jazz Composers Collective — a musician-run, non-profit organization based in New York City that was dedicated to constructing an environment where artists could exercise their ideals of creating and risking through the development and exploration of new music. As the Artistic Director and a Composer-in-Residence of the Collective, Ben produced or co-produced over 100 concerts and special events, including the Collective’s annual concert series (which ran for eleven seasons), national and international tours by Collective artists, an on-going Collective residency at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA, NYC), and, in partnership with the United States Embassy, a series of concerts and educational activities in Sao Paulo and Campinas, Brazil. From 2001-2005 Ben organized an annual “Jazz Composers Collective Festival” at the Jazz Standard — which drew international attention as “..a mainstay of New York City’s cultural life”.

The Brubeck Institute is interested in creating a dialogue about music, creativity, arts presenting, and the future of art in our society. When we approached Ben to write something for the BI Blog he immediately jumped on board and was excited to share what he has been up to lately. Ben’s post comes in the form of an open letter to musicians. Feel free to comment, share, and create.


Dear Musicians:

I recently participated as a guest speaker in a web chat hosted by Chamber Music America called “Audio Streams, Downloads and Digital Files” that was moderated by JazzTimes editor Lee Mergner. The discussion focused on the benefits and downsides of streaming music online, what is involved in streaming music via your own website or a site like Spotify, whether to offer free samples of your music for download, and the difference between mechanical royalties and performance royalties. The key question that emerged was how to strike the right balance between getting our music out there and maintaining enough control over our recordings to be able to derive income from them.

The terrain for recording artists, composers, and performers is rapidly changing. Aside from new technologies, we also face issues related to intellectual property and how we should view the recording industry. Many artists feel disenfranchised and disconnected  from the very institutions that were set up to protect their rights and represent their interests. I often hear musicians, especially younger ones, questioning why they should bother with ASCAP or BMI if their checks are small, and why they should care about SoundExchange. Musicians are increasingly asking, “Isn’t it better to give our recordings away for the sake of promotion since we mostly make our living from live performances?”

Businesses are happy to broadcast/stream music without paying a decent royalty. Moreover, a growing number of music listeners believe music is and shouldbe free. Taken together, these attitudes are slowly eroding the very idea of intellectual property. In fact, there is a strong movement that wants to do away with the concept of copyright entirely (think “copyleft”).

Thankfully, the very idea of intellectual property is written into the United States Constitution, in Article 1, Section 8 (alongside basics like levying taxes, printing money, etc.):

Congress shall have the power: To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;

The important point is that, like physical objects, ideas have value too. When we buy a CD, it’s not the plastic disk that matters. It’s the music on it that we care about.


Earlier this year, as part of a group of NARAS governors and delegates, I had the opportunity to meet with members of Congress to discuss issues related to the future of the music industry. Congressman Steny Hoyer from Maryland offered the following comments:

“Stephen Foster died a pauper. Why? Because there were no publishing rights. No one thought they were stealing his property when they played his music and he didn’t get paid for its usage. IP rights in many respects are about raising the consciousness of good people. You’re not going to convince the bad people, the robbers and the thieves. They don’t care. But the good people understand that you are taking something of value, something that gives you pleasure, lifts you up and gives you vision. And that’s worth something. And if you don’t compensate people for creating art, they’re not going to do it. And if they don’t do it, our lives will be less rich and the quality of our communities and civil society will be less rich. The arts help to inspire us and give us vision. The fact of the matter is that art is a universal way to communicate. And we need to make sure that those of you who create art are protected.”

I believe many people would still create art even if they were not compensated. I think this is a primal drive — people will always be making and listening to music. The real issue is how the general public views music and whether or not they believe it has intrinsic value. In this sense, Congressman Hoyer was right on the money. Intellectual property laws are partly about raising consciousness.


Technology, art and finance have been converging and feeding off each other for the past 80 years or so, creating the “music industry.” I put the term in quotes because I do not believe we should think of the music industry as a monolithic entity. Instead, it is a system made up of many moving parts, some are large corporations, but many are small companies or single individuals, all pursuing their own combination of art and business.

The fact that the “business of music” exists is a good thing. When I was a kid, my friends and I would often accuse musicians of “selling out” when their music seemed to be driven by financial interests more than artistic ones. As an adult, my view is more nuanced. I have come to realize that not only do music and commerce co-exist, they are mutually dependent on one another, at least for people who make their living by composing, recording and/or performing music.


Will choosing to become a professional musician continue to be a viable career choice in the future? Many people involved in creative fields are very concerned — and for good reason. Ask journalists or writers whose works are reduced to a few kilobytes of easily transferrable digital information how their industry is doing. My guess is they would say not so well.

The music industry is comprised of many industries that are interconnected — recording engineers, producers, promoters/publicists, venue owners, music critics, and so forth. Without professional musicians, all of these related industries would likely collapse. Music is at the center of it. Musicians are important, not just to our cultural health but also to the health of our economy.

But we undermine ourselves when we appear in promotional videos for piracy websites like Megaupload. I’m talking to you Kanye West and

And when we say things like, “Piracy is the new radio.” Neil Young, you’re my hero, but that’s bullshit.

In this fast-changing world we musicians can and should have a lot to say. Becoming as informed as possible about issues that impact our livelihoods and refining our views are important first steps. We have to be comfortable with the idea that our music has value. And we should work to strengthen those laws and institutions that help to protect and enable us to sell our music in a fair way.

– Ben Allison

For more on Ben Allison’s music and his Blog visit

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