Dec 6, 2012 / 01:09 pm
Fans worldwide are paying tribute to Jazz pianist and composer, Dave Brubeck, who died of heart failure on Dec. 5 in Norwalk, Conn., just one day before his 92nd birthday.
His legendary career as a jazz musician spanned over six decades, beginning during his time as a member of a military band in World War II while under the command of General George S. Patton.
Rising to popularity in the 1950s and early 1960s by touring college campuses, Dave Brubeck was well known for his unique timing signatures and unorthodox rhythm.
His music is often recognized as the defining sound of “cool” or “West Coast” jazz, a term referring to the relaxed tempos found in the new style of music as showcased in his quartet’s 1959 album “Time Out,” which featured the hits “Blue Rondo à la Turk” and “Take 5.”
Although he’s received numerous awards for his jazz music, often overlooked is Brubeck’s masterful career in sacred music.
Highlights included playing for Pope John Paul II during his 1987 visit to San Francisco and being awarded an honorary Doctorate of Sacred Theology for his work from the University of Fribourg, Switzerland in 2004.
Along with creating the first platinum-selling jazz album and being the second jazz recording artist to be featured on the cover of Time magazine, Brubeck was also a husband to his wife, Iola, since 1942 and father to six children, four of whom went on to become professional musicians.
In the 2001 PBS documentary, “Rediscovering Dave Brubeck,” the musician explained his entrance into the Catholic faith.
He said he did not “convert” to Catholicism, but rather “joined the Catholic Church.”
After presenting his sacred music composition, “To Hope! A Celebration,” to several different religious authorities, a Catholic priest pointed out that it was missing the “Our Father.”
Brubeck insisted that the prayer was not needed in his piece, saying that he was leaving soon for a family vacation.
However, while in the Bahamas with his family shortly after, Brubeck said he awoke in the middle of the night and added the prayer.
After that, “I joined the Catholic Church, because I felt, somebody’s trying to tell me something,” he said.
“Now, people say I converted. I didn’t convert to Catholicism, because I wasn’t anything to convert from. I just joined the Catholic Church.”
In a June 13, 2005 article for the NPR piece, “This I Believe,” Brubeck explained his faith in “the ultimate victory of faith, hope and love in a world full of conflict and destruction.” …
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