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(22,163 posts)
2. I had the incredible experience to meet Dave Brubeck in 1975
Tue Jul 28, 2020, 12:33 AM
Jul 2020

My best friend, who was also the drummer in our band, was a member of a local youth orchestra. His dad was on the board of directors as was Brubeck. My friend's dad arranged for me to go over to Dave's house one afternoon.

His home was in Weston, Connecticut which is about an hour east of New York City. When I got to his house, his wife, Iola, answered the door and greeted me warmly. She welcomed me into the living room and Dave bounded out of his chair and shook my hand enthusiastically. I thought something might be wrong and they were expecting someone else!

But no, my friend's dad had sung my praises so Dave, (he insisted on being called by his first name), wanted to know everything I thought about music. It blew my mind! I was 17 and Dave Brubeck wanted to now what I thought about Jazz-Rock!

After a bit, he asked me to play something for him. His living room had a beautiful grand piano with windows overlooking their wooded property. I played a light waltz I had been working on. Then he sat down, played the tune I had just shared and improvised for about 5 minutes taking my little melody on a journey I'll never forget but could never recreate.

Afterwards, he gave me a tour of their house and we had coffee and cookies. As I was leaving, I said that I had noticed that he had different pianos all over their house. These included a couple of grands, an upright and a pair of Rhodes electric pianos. Dave laughed and said, "When our kids were young, we didn't want any of them to say they couldn't practice because one of their brothers was playing the piano. So we filled the house with them!"

It was a remarkable hour or so for a teen-aged musician. Of the many things I took away from that afternoon, one thing I've adopted is having keyboards all over my homes. I've got a Baldwin upright, a Rhodes 73 stage electric piano, a Wurlitzer electric piano, a DX-7 IID digital synthesizer along with a Korg PolySix analog synthesizer, a Yamaha Clavinova, a Korg SG-1D Digital Piano and some other stuff acquired during various projects.

All the keyboards drive my wife a little nuts but all I can say is, "Thanks, Dave!"

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