Tonight we are watching the Kennedy Center Honors offering tribute to several titans of the entertainment industry. The one that touches me most personally is Dave Brubeck. Growing up with music from a musician father who brought to his daughters all kinds of fine influences, we listened to opera and classical music, of course. My love for music, though, grew particularly from listening to George Shearing, Oscar Peterson, Wes Montgomery, and so many more masters of music.
Dave Brubeck’s group, which included himself, piano, Paul Desmond, alto sax, Eugene Wright, bass, and Joe Morello, drums. This group was intact for Brubeck’s experiments with rhythms, giving us various pieces written in time signatures unheard of then and still rare today, 5/4, 7/4 and 9/8.
The lessons from someone like Brubeck are many, but I think one that is most personally important is that we should always reach beyond the popular, the norm, the accepted. It’s the only way to affect our own future and our own destiny. His risk taking extended beyond his music. He is certainly a role model from any perspective. If you haven’t ever heard his music, you are in for a treat.
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