There is everything hip about a pair of horn-rimmed glasses.
University of the Pacific alumnus and jazz great Dave Brubeck '42, namesake to the Brubeck Institute, made that clear throughout his storied career.
Brubeck's long and rich musical association with the hugely influential Monterey Jazz Festival continues this weekend with a discussion of that very hipness. It will be the core topic when a panel considers "Dave Brubeck: Hip as a Pair of Horn-Rimmed Glasses" at 2-3:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 21, at the Dizzy's Den venue of the 56th Monterey Jazz Festival.
His "enduring music and celebrated career" will be discussed by a panel that includes his sons, Chris and Dan, bassist Eugene Wright, and longtime manager Russell Gloyd, and will be moderated by jazz author Ashley Kahn.
The Brubeck legacy continues a short time later when the Brubeck Institute Jazz Quintet performs 4-5 p.m. Saturday at the festival's Night Club venue. The Brubeck Brothers Quartet takes the same stage 10:30-11:30 p.m. Saturday. The group is made up of Dave and Iola Brubeck's sons, Chris and Dan, and Mike DeMicco and Chuck Lamb.
"There is absolutely no doubt that Dave Brubeck enjoyed performing at the Monterey Jazz Festival and that there is a very real connection between Dave and the festival that continues to this day," said Simon Rowe, executive director of the Brubeck Institute at University of the Pacific. "The panel discussion should be fantastic, and following that with Brubeck Fellows performing and the Brubeck Brothers Quartet performing later in the evening should be wonderful, as well."
The jazz great's connection to the festival dates back to the very beginning.
"Brubeck's long and fruitful career was intertwined from the very beginnings of the Monterey Jazz Festival - he helped convince Monterey city elders to grant permission for its debut, regularly performed as a headliner, and premiered a number of important works at the festival, including 'The Real Ambassadors' and the 'Cannery Row Suite,'" reads a section of the festival's website. Pacific history students and archivists last year documented the presentation of "The Real Ambassadors" at the 1962 Monterey Jazz Festival. "Cannery Row Suite," based on John Steinbeck's novel, premiered at the 2006 Monterey Jazz Festival. "Dave Brubeck: Live at Monterey Jazz Festival 1958-2007" was released in 2008.
Other tributes to Brubeck, his music, and his passionate support of social justice and use of music for international diplomacy are going on throughout the weekend festival, the first since the jazz great's death on Dec. 5. A tribute is planned by the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra at 9:20-10:20 p.m. Friday, Sept. 20, in the Jimmy Lyons venue at the festival, said Rowe. Jazz festivals throughout the country have been paying tribute to Brubeck and his music since his death, with the most recent accolades coming at the 34th annual Detroit Jazz Festival that took place Aug. 30-Sept. 2.
Brubeck led the first integrated military jazz band while serving in the Third Army under Gen. George Patton. In 1958, the same year he helped convince Monterey city officials to allow the first Monterey Jazz Festival, he canceled 20 concerts scheduled in southern states rather than accept demands that he have only white musicians play with him on stage.
"That was always very important to Dave - social justice and using music to break down barriers and obstacles that normal means of diplomacy could not knock down," said Rowe.