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Monterey Jazz Festival Honors Dave Brubeck

The Monterey Jazz Festival (MJF) will honor legendary pianist and composer Dave Brubeck at its Golden Gala Celebration. As it turns 50, MJF celebrates Brubeck as one of its greatest supporters. Brubeck will be the special guest at MJF’s Golden Gala Celebration at the Tehama Golf Club on April 7 in Carmel, Calif., marking the launch of the festival.

Proceeds from the Gala will go to benefit the Festival’s Youth Education Programs, which Brubeck has also helped promote in the past.

“Dave Brubeck is one of the reasons that the Monterey Jazz Festival exists,” said MJF General Manager Tim Jackson in a press release. “In 1958, Dave’s participation in getting us established and his performance at the first Festival is well documented. Here we are, 50 years later, and his music still epitomizes the sound of jazz to the world. He is literally one of the icons of the art form. I think [MJF Founder] Jimmy Lyons would be extremely happy and proud to see that Dave is still composing and recording at age 86-and performing to packed houses.”

Jackson added, “This award acknowledges the gratitude that the Festival and jazz fans from around the world feel for a man who has transcended the boundaries of what we expect a musician to be.”

In addition to his MJF honors, Brubeck will receive further distinction courtesy of Monterey Mayor Chuck Della Salla. The mayor has proclaimed the week of April 8, 2007 “Dave Brubeck Week.”

“Dave Brubeck’s contributions to California and Monterey are numerous,” said Della Salla. “He helped launch the first Monterey Jazz Festival in 1958, and has enriched the musical community for over half a century.”

Brubeck, 86, will make his 14th Monterey Jazz Festival appearance this year. As a standout from the “West Coast Cool” scene, Brubeck has made countless contributions to jazz, perhaps most notably his classic 1959 album Time Out.

“I was there before the beginning,” said Brubeck in the press release. “I was there at the beginning, and I played the first time that they played. Long may it live.”

Details on the Gala and the 50th Monterey Jazz Festival are available at the festival Web site.

Originally Published