i.s.m. CAT International
DAN BRUBECK————— DRUMS
CHRIS BRUBECK ————— BASS / TROMBONE
DARIUS BRUBECK ————— PIANO
DAVE O’ HIGGINS————- SAXOPHONES
BRUBECKS PLAY BRUBECK
This tour will feature Dave Brubeck’s legendary music
and original compositions by his sons
Dave Brubeck passed away on dec 5th 2012
The Brubeck family is unique in the world of music. Seldom has an entire family been as prolific and talented. Four of Dave Brubeck‘s five children are professional musicians and, like the Dankworths, they all take off in different directions coming together at special times.
Darius, the eldest Brubeck son, is a jazz pianist, composer, educator and band-leader. His sold-out concerts at festivals and clubs around the UK in the last couple of years have received very good reviews. Chris, a multi-instrumentalist and award-winning composer, tours the world performing his exciting trombone concertos and is in great demand as a creator of innovative symphonic pieces. He is also an accomplished electric bassist who excels in jazz, rock and folk genres. Dan is a renowned, Grammy-nominated percussionist, acclaimed for his exciting drum solos and has been featured with musicians as diverse as Gerry Mulligan and The Band. His own recording group, The Dolphins, played to critical success at Ronnie Scott’s.
In the 70’s and 80’s the three brothers recorded and toured worldwide with Dave as “Two Generations of Brubeck” and “The New Brubeck Quartet”. Now, in their father’s 90th. year, they have come together to play the music that made him a revered icon of modern jazz. With special guest British saxophonist Dave O’Higgins “Brubecks Play Brubeck” concerts will include famous Brubeck originals as well as standard tunes associated with Dave and a few of their own popular compositions.
While gaining substantial recognition in their own careers, as detailed in individual biographies, playing their father’s music has always been an important part of their professional lives. For over fifty years, Dave Brubeck has been a giant of American jazz, exciting millions of fans with his inimitable improvisation and rhythms. He changed the landscape of jazz in the 1950’s and 1960’s, broadening its scope and audience and recorded the first jazz instrumental album to go gold. In December 2009, Dave received the Kennedy Center Award for a “lifetime contribution to American culture” and this tour will celebrate that achievement and resonate with new and old Brubeck audiences. The Dave Brubeck Quartet has been one of the most popular and influential groups in the last half century and the “Brubecks Play Brubeck” tour underscores its relevance today.
Daniel Brubeck was born in 1954. Of all the musical Brubecks’, Dan was always the most intense and assertive, so it was quite natural for him to gravitate toward the drums since he had unbounded energy as a child. He learned from two of the best polyrhythmic drummers in the world, Brubeck Quartet members Joe Morello and Alan Dawson.
Dan’s distinctive solos and mastery of poly-rhythms in odd time signatures has earned him the respect of many critics and musicians worldwide. Dan combines melodic phrases with rhythms that often stretch far beyond the bar line with a natural sense of timing that is unparalleled. His solos are compositions unto themselves.
Dan toured the international music circuit for over two decades as leader of his own group, The Dolphins, which released three CDs that received extensive airplay in the U.S. and Japan. He has recorded with Larry Coryell, Livingston Taylor, Michael Franks, and Roy Buchanan and has toured with The Band, Gerry Mulligan, Jon Hendricks, Paul Butterfield, and Warren Bernhardt. In the 80’s Chris Brubeck, Dan and pianist Andy LaVerne formed The Brubeck LaVerne Trio and their Blackhawk release, See How it Feels, made the top 25 list in national jazz airplay.
In total, Dan was featured on 10 Dave Brubeck albums and appeared with many of the world’s leading orchestras as a member of the Dave Brubeck Quartet. Trio Brubeck with Chris and Dave Brubeck was nominated for a Grammy in 1993 and two of its tracks, “Autumn” and “Jazzanians” were also individually nominated, the latter a rare instance of a recorded drum solo gaining such recognition. “Dan steals the show … His solo is masterful – both well-planned and surprising, accurate, and exuberant. (Stereophile Magazine)
The Brubeck Brothers Quartet (Chris and Dan) have produced three highly successful CD’s, Second Nature ( Blue Forest Records), Intuition ,featuring Talor Eigsti, (Koch International) and Classified, (Koch International), which have all received rave reviews. Intuition and Classified were at the top of the Jazz charts in 2006 and 2008. Dan has played at most of the world’s greatest venues and has also taught several clinics over the last few years at high schools and colleges across the U.S.
Dan has appeared on The Today Show, The Tonight Show, The Grammy Awards Show with an all-star jazz group including Dave Brubeck and Christian McBride, BBC specials and the nationally syndicated PBS series Jazz in America and with The Brubeck Brothers Quartet on the Sierra Center Stage Concert Series broadcast on PBS.
Playing with his brother, Darius goes back to the 70’s when he was a member of Darius’ ‘Gathering Forces’ band. He and Chris joined Darius in South Africa recently for a national tour and last year, Dan and Darius played a program of Brubeck music at Ronnie Scott’s. All four Brubeck sons (Darius, Chris, Dan and Matthew) performed Blue Rondo a la Turk in honour of their father at the 2009 Kennedy Center Awards Gala, attended by President and Mrs Obama.
Chris Brubeck continues to distinguish himself as an innovative performer and composer. During the 70’s he began touring and recording with his father, Dave Brubeck. Chris plays bass, trombone, piano, guitar and sings and, in the past few decades, has earned international acclaim as composer, performer and leader of his own groups. On stage, his irrepressible enthusiasm is matched by his fluid command of jazz, blues, folk, funk, pop and classical musical styles. An award-winning composer, he is clearly tuned into the pulse of contemporary music. The respected music critic for The Chicago Tribune, John von Rhein calls Chris: “a composer with a real flair for lyrical melody–a 21st Century Lenny Bernstein.”
In the last decade, Chris has created an impressive body of symphonic work while maintaining a demanding touring and recording schedule with the Brubeck Brothers Quartet (with brother Dan on drums). Last year the BBQ released its second Koch recording, Classified which features Chris’s composition for woodwind quintet and the BBQ, “Vignettes for Nonet.” This innovative fusion of classical and jazz genres is performed with the Grammy-nominated Imani Winds. (Classified and the BBQ’s first Koch release, Intuition, were each in the top ten on jazz radio in 2007 and 2008.) Chris also continues to perform and record with Triple Play, an acoustic blues/jazz/folk trio with vocals that includes guitarist Joel Brown and harmonica virtuoso Peter Madcat Ruth.
Chris is a much sought-after composer, and in the last few years has been commissioned to write many innovative works. April, 2009 marked the premiere of “Ansel Adams: America”, an exciting orchestral piece Chris and Dave Brubeck wrote accompanying 100 of Ansel Adams’ majestic images being projected above the orchestra. Among some of Chris’s other recent commissions are: “Quiet Heroes: A Symphonic Salute to the Flagraisers at Iwo Jima”, a moving piece for full orchestra and narrator; “Spontaneous Combustion”, a fiery violin concerto Chris wrote for the talented violin soloist Nicolas Kendall. “Mark Twain’s World: A Symphonic Journey with Genuine Thespians” was a genre-breaking piece for orchestra and actors based on the life of Mark Twain. Chris’s second Boston Pops commission, the exciting “Interplay for 3 Violins and Orchestra,” with performances by violinists Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg (classical), Eileen Ivers (Irish) and Regina Carter (jazz) was broadcast on PBS “Evening at Pops” and won Chris an ASCAP Deems Taylor Award for best composition for television broadcast.
On special occasions, Chris continues to guest on bass and trombone with The Dave Brubeck Quartet. Chris has worked with many diverse artists, including Frederica von Stade, Ben Luxon, Dawn Upshaw, Bill Crofut, Meryl Streep, Willie Nelson, B.B. King, Gerry Mulligan, Bela Fleck, Bobby McFerrin, Stephane Grappelli, Bobby Womack, Tower of Power, and Patti Labelle. His compositions have been performed by orchestras all around the world, including the prominent U.S. orchestras of Boston, Houston, Pittsburgh, Baltimore and Washington as well as the London Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the Czech National Symphony Orchestra, the Russian National Orchestra, and the Singapore Chinese Orchestra. Chris’s most recent thrill was performing with his brothers, Darius, Dan and Matthew, in an all-star tribute to their father, Dave Brubeck, as part of Washington’s Kennedy Center Awards, to be televised internationally in December, 2009.
“Chris Brubeck is probably one of the finest performing jazz trombonists around today.” DownBeat
Chris has become one of the most capable electric bassists, delivering imaginative solos.” Los Angeles Times
During the 1970s, Brubeck led his own groups, played with Don McLean, Larry Coryell and toured the world with Two Generations of Brubeck and The New Brubeck Quartet (Dave, Darius, Chris and Dan Brubeck) as an additional pianist and keyboardist. Several albums were recorded along the way. His focus changed to South Africa in 1983, when he initiated the first degree course in Jazz Studies offered by an African university. He taught at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN), Durban and was later appointed Director of the Centre for Jazz and Popular Music, where he remained until 2006. He currently teaches and plays in Europe.
For 15 years, “Darius Brubeck and Afro Cool Concept”, with South Africa’s premier alto saxophonist, Barney Rachabane, performed all over southern Africa and beyond. This band’s last CD, “Still On My Mind” was released in 2003 on Sheer Sound. Other Darius Brubeck recordings released by Sheer include “Before It’s Too Late” (2004) and “Tugela Rail and Other Tracks” (2007).
International tours in 2004 included a series of concerts celebrating 10 years of democracy in South Africa and, with his brothers (Chris and Dan), he headlined at the National Arts Festival in South Africa. The Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra commissioned a piece by Darius and Zim Ngqawana that set music to extracts from speeches by Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu. These were read by Morgan Freeman at the New York premiere.
Apart from writing for his own bands, Darius’ arrangements for orchestra and a composition for Dave Brubeck’s 80th birthday can be heard on “Dave Brubeck – Live with the LSO”. The Rockefeller Foundation awarded Darius a residency as a composer at the Bellagio Study and Conference Center in Italy. As a Fulbright Senior Specialist in Jazz Studies, he taught jazz history and composition at universities in Turkey and Romania. He has also toured and given workshops in the UK, Europe, Peru, Australia, Thailand and the USA. His ‘rolling reunion band’ of former students and colleagues, has appeared regularly at the Cape Town International Jazz Festival.
In 2009, Darius and Dan Brubeck appeared together in Ronnie Scott’s 50th Anniversary series playing a Brubeck programme. Darius’ recent releases “For Lydia and the Lion” and “Earthrise” are on his Gathering Forces label. ‘Gathering Forces’ was the name of Darius’ fusion band that featured his brother, Dan in the ’70s and early ’80s. A 90’s version of GF included Deepak Ram, Airto Moreira and Matthew Brubeck.
His current group, The Darius Brubeck Quartet, recorded the well-reviewed “For Lydia and the Lion” and plays to consistently sold-out houses at London clubs and summer festivals.
Jazz saxophonist, composer, arranger, educator
Dave played various musical instruments from the age of 7, finally settling on the saxophone. He moved from Derbyshire to London in 1983 to study music at the City University. Whilst still studying he started his own jazz quartet and began gigging with NYJO, John Dankworth & Cleo Laine, & Icelandic jazz-funk band, Mezzoforte.
Over the years Dave has won various accolades from the British Jazz Awards including Best Tenor Sax. Sketch Book (Jazzizit) is his 10th solo cd, featuring Dave alongside one of New York’s finest tenor saxophonists, Eric Alexander. Dave regularly features as a part of the Ronnie Scotts Allstars & the BBC Big Band.
Fast Foot Shuffle (Candid) & Push (Short Fuse) were conceived for the jazz dance market and have become favourites in clubs like London’s Jazz Café. The track North Station is also on compilations Brasilia Slim & Messin’ Around. Dave can be seen on many festival stages internationally performing with the breathtaking Jazzcotech Dancers.
Dave has played over the years with “everyone and their auntie” from Martin Taylor, Ray Charles, Frank Sinatra & Matthew Herbert to Salif Keita. He has also done a fair amount of studio work (jingles, pop stuff, films, library), composes & arranges for jazz ensembles of all sizes, and teaches saxophone & harmony at the London Centre for Contemporary Music and Goldsmiths College.
“A stunning player in the neo-bop vein, with an apparently effortless flow of coherent ideas, beautiful time and a highly developed harmonic sense.”
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