Jazz great Dave Brubeck dead at 91:
The jazz legend died a day before his 92nd birthday.
Dave Brubeck, a jazz musician who gained fame with recordings such as "Take Five" and "Blue Rondo a la Turk," died on Wednesday morning at Norwalk Hospital, in Norwalk, Conn., according to the Chicago Tribune.
Brubeck was one day short of his 92nd birthday. He died of heart failure, en route to "a regular treatment with his cardiologist,” his longtime manager-producer-conductor Russell Gloyd told the newspaper.
"Take Five" relied on the drumming of the late Joe Morello, a Springfield native who learned his skills at the Pizzitola Music Studio, which was located above the old Victory Theater in Holyoke.
Brubeck was the featured act that the reopening of the Calvin Theatre in Northampton on Oct. 7, 1998.
In a 2006 interview with The Republican, Brubeck was asked which of his many artistic achievements gave him most satisfaction, Brubeck mulled over his 170 CDs ("It's hard to pick one . . .") and talked about a new piece he has been commissioned to write for the Monterey Jazz Festival based on John Steinbeck's novel "Cannery Row."
"If I would pick one thing," he finally decided, "it would be the piece I wrote for the pope. The Diocese of San Francisco, knowing that the Pope (John Paul II) was gonna be at Candlestick Park . . . asked me for nine minutes of music for the pope to enter the stadium.
"They wanted it on the theme, 'Upon this rock I will build my church, and the jaws of hell cannot prevail against it.'
"I turned it down. I said, 'I can't do nine minutes.' I went to bed that night, and I said to myself, kind of in a half-dream, 'Bach would've written a chorale and fugue on one sentence, and that's what I'd better do!'
"Then I talked them into giving me one more sentence ("What is bound on earth will be bound in heaven; what is loosed on earth will be loosed in heaven") and I combined the two and it's my favorite fugue that I've ever written."
His last area appearances included a 2006 performance at the Academy of Music in Northampton and Tanglewood in Lenox in 2007.
Brubeck is survived by his wife, Iola; four sons and a daughter; grandsons and a great granddaughter.
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