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30 October 2021

Wilton Library opens Brubeck Collection

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On Saturday October 30, 2021, the Wilton Library Association, Connecticut State dignitaries, and the family of Dave and Iola Brubeck celebrated the grand opening of The Brubeck Collection with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the Library, now the permanent home for the archive.

Image above: Catherine Brubeck Yaghsizian, Dan Brubeck, U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, Chris Brubeck, Tish Brubeck, Executive Director of Wilton Library Elaine Tai-Lauria. (Photo courtesy of the Wilton Library) 

U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal, State Senator Will Haskell, State Representative Stephanie Thomas, Wilton Selectman Joshua Cole, Selectman Ross Tartell, and former Wilton First Selectmen attended the celebration. Special guests included renowned musicologist Stephen Crist, Professor of Music History at Emory University.

The Brubeck Collection is open to the public by appointment, during library hours. There will be an on-site archivist to assist patrons and users.

The Brubeck Collection was established by Dave Brubeck and his wife, Iola, as a “living archive” to Brubeck’s long and illustrious career as a celebrated musician and composer. The Brubeck Collection is one of the preeminent jazz archives in the world and passes on Brubeck’s legacy to future musicians, musicologists, researchers, historians, jazz aficionados, and the public.

About The Brubeck Collection

In January 2020, it was announced that The Brubeck Collection would be relocated to Wilton Library in the Brubeck family’s hometown of Wilton, Connecticut. The Collection was established in 2000 at Dave and Iola Brubeck’s alma mater, the University of the Pacific in California. The Brubeck Collection is one of the largest and most important jazz archives in the world dedicated to an individual musician/composer, with items dating from the early 1900s to the present, and is expected to grow in the coming years.

The Brubeck Collection is housed in a specially designed and constructed archival room at Wilton Library. The distinctive design is reminiscent of the Brubeck family home with its Japanese motif and a unique curved fireplace. “Dave Brubeck’s Wilton home transposed the lyrical forms of music with the rhythms of architectural structure. We wanted the Brubeck archive at Wilton Library to riff on Dave’s jazz spirit, with flowing shapes and Japanese-influenced millwork that soften the library’s modernist design,” said Rob Sanders, President of the Board of Trustees and the architect who designed the archival space.

The Brubeck Collection archive room features a listening station, computer for access to digital images and recordings, and thousands of materials, including:

•  Music Scores
•  Audio and Video Recordings
•  Photographs and Digital Images
•  Business and Personal Correspondence
•  Interviews and Article Clippings
•  Reviews
•  Concert Programs
•  Posters and Promotional Materials
• Memorabilia

"We are incredibly excited to share this unique and notable collection with the public,” said Michael Bellacosa, Curator of The Brubeck Collection. “To use the materials in The Collection, people will need to make an appointment. But in the spirit of Dave and Iola Brubeck's wish that The Brubeck Collection will be a ‘living archive’ open to all, we are also offering special Open House hours on the second Tuesday of every month from noon to 5 p.m., when everyone is welcome to stop by for a personal tour of the archive room with no appointment needed.”

“The Brubeck family’s relationship with Wilton Library is very special,” continued Elaine Tai-Lauria, Executive Director of Wilton Library. “Dave, Chris, Darius, and Dan have selflessly performed in countless concerts to help raise funds for our library. Chris and his wife, Tish, who still live in Wilton, initiated our Hot & Cool Jazz Concert Series and continue to assist us in attracting world-class musicians to Wilton – for which we are forever grateful.”
The Brubeck Collection is open to the public by appointment, during library hours. There will be an on-site archivist to assist patrons and users.

Wilton Library is also home to the Brubeck Room, a 150-seat performance space that was created specifically for concerts, lectures, and author talks, named for Dave Brubeck and his family in 2006 during the library’s major expansion.