Dave Brubeck groupings were requested to perform at the White House on several occasions. In 1988 they travelled to Russia to perform at the Reagan Gorbachev summit.
Dave had further reasons to visit the White House when President Clinton presented him with the National Medal of Arts in 1994, and also the Kennedy Awards celebrations in 2009.
President Clinton was a big fan of Dave’s music. During the National Medal Of The Arts Ceremony in 1994, Dave recalled in an interview with “Holt Atherton Collections”, that President Clinton brought Dave & Iola to his music room in the White House and showed Dave a framed “Blue Rondo a la Turk” and thanked Dave so much for his music.
President Obama recalled at the Kennedy awards that “In the few weeks that I spent with my father as a child, he came to visit me for about a month when I was young.One of the things he did was to take me to my first jazz concert, in Honolulu, Hawaii, in 1971, and it was a Dave Brubeck concert. And I’ve been a jazz fan ever since. The world that he opened up for a 10-year-old boy was spectacular”.
Spaso House, Moscow ,1988. Dave, Bill Smith, President Ragan, Chris Brubeck, Eugene Wright and Randy Jones.
Russia, 1988 with President Reagan and Nancy Reagan, Bill Smith, Chris Brubeck, Randy Jones, Russell Gloyd and Iola Brubeck
Dave with other Jazz legends and President Nixon during Duke Ellington's birthday celebrations at White House, April 29 1969.
Dave Brubeck Quartet performing at The White House, on 14th April 1964, for a dinner in honour of King Hussein I.
Performing at a state dinner for President Sanguinetti, Uruguay in 1986. Image released by US National Archives, in Dec 2012, after Dave's death.
Dave and George Wein at the White House for Duke Ellington's 70th birthday celebration, hosted by President Nixon, in 1969. (US National Archives)
Dave performing for Presidents Reagan and Gorbachev during 1988 summit. Image released by US National Archives in Dec 2012, after Dave's death.
President Clinton presenting Dave with the National Medal of Arts on the White House Lawn, October 14 1994.
With President Clinton, 5th December 2009 at dinner during The Kennedy Awards weekend.
President Clinton and Hilary Clinton, Secretary of State, greeting Dave and Iola, during Kennedy Awards weekend, 5th December 2009.
President Clinton and Dave at the Kennedy Awards, December 2009