The First Dave Brubeck Forum at UN Headquarters

The First Dave Brubeck Forum at UN Headquarters, 24 April 2013

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The UN Department of Public Information and the Brubeck Institute will jointly host Jazz, A Language for Peace: The First Dave Brubeck Forum in honor of the General Assembly Committee on Information, on Wednesday, 24 April at UN Headquarters. It will feature the Brubeck Institute Quintet, with special guest appearance by Darius Brubeck. This will coincide with the observance of the International Jazz Day, a UN observance, on 30 April. #JazzApril


Message from Brubeck Institute Executive Director, Simon Rowe

Dear Friends,

The extended Brubeck community would like to thank you for your expressions of sympathy and support over the last few days. The massive global outpouring of love and affection for Dave reflects his impact. We would invite you to visit our blog to partake of the many remembrances and tributes penned by students, peers, and fans worldwide.

On a personal level, I recall my first meeting with Dave as I became the new executive director of the Brubeck Institute over a year ago. Upon hearing my recorded version of Irving Berlin’s “How deep is the ocean” Dave wrote me a note. He suggested that in my new role at the Brubeck Institute the title should be “How deep is the notion”.

As we grieve and begin to celebrate Dave’s life, we are reminded of the elevated resolve, purpose and joy with which he lived. We now embrace this same resolve as we strive to perpetuate his unique legacy.


Yours Truly,

Simon Rowe

Executive Director

Melanie O’Reilly’s radio tribute to Dave Brubeck

A powerful radio tribute to Dave Brubeck featuring the Brubeck Institute, from Melanie O’Reilly’s Irish National Radio award winning series, “Jazz on the Bay ” will air on RTE Radio at 3pm Pacific Standard Time on Sunday December 9th.
dave Melanie
*Made in collaboration with, and courtesy of Mistloe Music LLC ©.
Originally broadcast by RTE, Ireland’ public service broadcaster.

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 

Joe Gilman’s new release getting great reviews



In his previous albums, Joe Gilman has re-interpreted the music of Dave Brubeck and Stevie Wonder, and created musical impressions of 20th century visual art. For his latest recording, “Relativity”, Gilman takes on the brilliant and bizarre artworks of M.C. Escher.  The cover of the album reproduces Escher’s lithograph of the same name, and the mixture of detailed realism and gravity-defying structures aptly describes the music on the CD. The compositions work within the established framework of the bebop jazz quintet (trumpet, sax, piano, bass and drums) but add shrinking phrase lengths, tone rows, odd meters and unusual colors to evoke the bizarre happenings in Escher’s imaginary world. Pieces inspired by Escher’s nature-inspired works “Three Worlds” and “Snow” offer momentary respites from the exploratory nature of the album. Gilman wrote six of the album’s eleven pieces, with the remainder composed by pianist Scott Collard, associate producer Noah Kellman and tenor saxophonist Chad Lefkowitz-Brown. Gilman plays piano throughout, and is the main soloist on the album. The rest of the quintet members are Gilman’s former students at the Brubeck Institute (Nick Frenay trumpet, Chad Lefkowitz-Brown tenor sax, Zach Brown bass, and Corey Fonville drums). The former Brubeck Fellows do a superb job of realizing these sometimes complex compositions. Gilman’s liner notes give descriptions of the original art works and detailed information on the musical structures. “Relativity” is an album that will challenge and enlighten all who hear it.

Below is a recent review of “Relativity” from

Joe Gilman: Relativity (2012)


Published: November 19, 2012

M.C. Escher captured the imagination of the world with his perspective-altering artwork. Escher’s mind’s eye and eye’s mind challenged people to see things differently, and pianist Joe Gilman has found inspiration in his brilliant work. Gilman, who previously delved into the music-inspired-by-art realm on Americanvas (Capri, 2010), uses Escher’s creations as inspirational seeds and guiding forces for this music. He takes a good, hard look at eleven of Escher’s pieces, with music written to capture what he saw.

Gilman’s constructs reflect Escher’s unique outlook on life, but they’re not all about fun house mirrors, oddities and upside down observances. Gilman is just as likely to throw in a burner (“Smaller And Smaller”) or a calm wintery suggestion (“Snow”) as he is to include a number built on different forms of evolutionary alteration or sleight of hand (“Three Worlds”). Interweaving lines that are oppositional, yet complementary come into play on occasion (“Covered Alley”), but these musicians also know how to band together and move in lockstep fashion (“Three Spheres”).

The quintet featured on this date acts a single, well-oiled unit, willing to do what’s necessary for the music: capable of touching down in Brazil without fully committing to its climate (“Day And Night”), letting things get fun, funky and fusion-eque (“Encounter”), and driving with the pedal to the metal and quickly shifting gears to open up some space (“Ascending And Descending”). Trumpeter Nick Frenay blends and balances well with saxophonist Chad Lefkowitz-Brown when his flugelhorn is in hand, but shines even brighter with his muted trumpet (“Encounter”). Drummer Corey Fonville controls the growth and development of “Waterfall,” building new scaffolding behind each performer, while bassist Zach Brown acts as stabilizing force or counterweight when required by the music.

Gilman’s music, like Escher’s art, is all about the eye of the beholder. The pianist does a fine job here, bringing Escher’s work into the realm of the audible while also creating music that can stand on its own.

Track Listing: Three Spheres; Waterfall; Three Worlds; Smaller And Smaller; Covered Alley; Encounter; Snow; Day And Night; Sky And Water; Dewdrop; Ascending And Descending.

Personnel: Joe Gilman: piano, Fender Rhodes; Nick Frenay: trumpet, flugelhorn; Chad-Lefkowitz-Brown: tenor saxophone, bass clarinet; Zach Brown: bass; Corey Fonville: drums.

For more reviews and info on “Relativity” click here……….

To Purchase “Relativity” click here………

Also available on iTunes

Read more about Joe Gilman here……….