Salt Lake City jazz promoters remember Dave Brubeck
Utah jazz • Utahns laud the pianist for his generosity, talent.
Published: December 6, 2012 09:00AM
Updated: December 5, 2012 05:29PM

Utah jazz promoters remember jazz legend Dave Brubeck:

“I was very close to Dave. My wife and I spent a lot of dinner time whenever he played Salt Lake City for my [jazz concert] series, which was six times in the last 18 years. He was an incredibly talented and generous man. He told us once of how, after being drafted into WWII as a rifleman, his commanding officer asked his troop if anyone knew how to play music, because everyone wanted a jazz show before invading the coast of France. Dave raised his hand, and later performed so well he ended up not going to the front. This was just three or four weeks before the D-Day invasion of Normandy. You hate to think about what might have happened had he not raised his hand. The world might have missed out on his immense talent.”

Gordon Hanks, founder of Jazz SLC

“At 17 years old in 1963, I was a huge Brubeck fan, even more than my parents. If you were a hip high school kid back then, you listened to Brubeck, Duke Ellington and Mose Allison. I credit Brubeck with making jazz music popular among college students because he toured so many colleges and universities. He loved playing Salt Lake City. I remember how during a conference hosted by Jazz Times magazine in New York City he invited me to have dinner with him and his family. He was just a beautiful individual — a loving, caring and honest gentleman. When my wife woke me up this morning to tell me he died, I had to stay in bed for a little while to let it sink in. It was as if I lost an uncle.”

Steve Williams, KUER jazz host