Brubeck brothers provide new take on dad’s work - East Valley Tribune: Performance

Brubeck brothers provide new take on dad’s work

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Posted: Friday, July 18, 2014 2:39 am | Updated: 1:05 am, Fri Jul 25, 2014.

The Brubeck Brothers Quartet is returning to the Valley, and this time they are bringing the spirit of jazz to the Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, July 19.

Formed by Chis and Dan Brubeck, the band pays homage to their father and famous jazz pianist, Dave Brubeck. Dan Brubeck (drums) spoke with GetOut about the band’s music and life with a legend.

Q: The Brubeck Brothers have been performing for quite some time. How did the idea to specifically focus on a tribute band come about?

DB: Years before my dad passed, Chris and I worked with him on our “LifeTimes” record. We ended up rearranging a lot of his music, and it was great because he could see what we were doing with it. He really enjoyed it. I guess you could say it started as a living tribute. After he passed, people became interested in hearing us play his stuff. It was an easy transition.

Q: What lessons did your father pass down to you?

DB: He instilled the concept of taking risks musically and being creative. My dad would play a tune one night and it would be so fast that we could barely keep up. The next night, he was playing the same song but slowed down to be a ballad. It was about how he felt at the time. We do the same thing with our music. The flexibility makes it interesting.

Chris and I also like to collaborate with other groups and try different styles. He is currently doing the orchestration for a symphony that mixes classical music and jazz.

Q: Your polyrhythmic drumming style has earned you worldwide praise. How would you describe your technique?

DB: I tend to think more like a sax player than a drummer. What I mean by that is my soloing, for example, is much more melodic. I try to think as if I were in a group of percussionists. I set patterns and go back to them so it feels like there are three or four different elements of percussion in the ensemble.

Q: What can audiences at the Musical Instrument Museum expect from your show?

DB: Audiences can expect a new take on my dad’s material. Most tribute bands try to sound just like the actual band, but that’s not us. We try to bring something to the material.

We also never play a song the same way twice. We bring in new instruments or experiment with our solos by reacting to something in the moment. The beautiful thing about jazz is that it’s supposed to be open and free.

If you go

What: The Brubeck Brothers Quartet: Tribute to Dave Brubeck

When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday, July 19

Where: MIM Music Theatre, 4725 E. Mayo Blvd., Phoenix

Cost: $40.50-$47.50

Information: (480) 478-6000 or

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