Dave Brubeck started coming to Utah in the early 1950s. He played at least five times on the acclaimed JazzSLC series and, in the process, became a dear friend of series founder Gordon Hanks.
Hanks grieved with the rest of the musical world in December, when the jazz pianist and composer died on the way to a cardiology appointment one day before his 92nd birthday.
So it's fitting that The Brubeck Brothers Quartet featuring Dave's sons Chris and Dan will perform the opening concert of the 2012-13 JazzSLC season. The show will commemorate the music and standards that the quiet, unassuming and brilliant Dave Brubeck brought into the world.
"We're really thrilled to have them," Hanks said. "It's nice we're able to do this tribute."
Chris, 51, who alternates between the electric bass and bass trombone, also has been a longtime friend of Hanks, a retired pharmacist. "God bless that man," he said in a recent telephone interview. "We need to ensure that every city has a pharmacist who loves jazz so much."
The quartet recently played in front of 200,000 people at one of the world's best jazz festivals, the Detroit Jazz Festival, held every Labor Day weekend. "We got revved up from that to come to Utah," Chris said.
The quartet, often dubbed "BBQ," also includes guitarist Mike DeMicco and pianist Chuck Lamb. It is touring behind its most recent album, "LifeTimes," which honors the music composed and made famous by Dave Brubeck, although the recording was arranged and recorded before his unexpected death.
"We did not do this as a tribute because he passed away, but because we loved his music," Chris said. One of the joys of his life was visiting his father every night after the sessions to let him hear what they had been doing in the studio. "He loved it," the younger Brubeck said.
The Capitol Theatre, where the JazzSLC series is usually held, is closed for renovations. So the first three concerts of the season will be inside the JeannÃ© Wagner Theatre at the Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center.
The temporary home seats 500 people, half of the 1,000 first-floor seats usually available at the Capitol Theatre. (JazzSLC doesn't use the second-floor seating). That means the shows are likely to sell out.
Take a time out
When • Monday, Sept. 16, at 8:30 p.m.
Where • JeannÃ© Wagner Theatre, Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center, 138 W. 300 South, Salt Lake City
Tickets • $24.50 at ArtTix.org