Dave Brubeck to Receive Honorary Doctorate From Berklee During MJF

On Sunday, Sept. 20, the legendary pianist Dave Brubeck will receive an honorary doctorate from Berklee College of Music. The presentation takes place on the last day of this year’s Monterey Jazz Festival at 8 p.m., shortly before Brubeck goes onstage with his quartet. And there’s more than some parchment for Brubeck to celebrate. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the release of Time Out, one of the most popular jazz albums of the 20th century.

Back in 2007, Clint Eastwood, a longtime friend of Brubeck’s, was presented with the same honor at the festival, with which he has had a long close association. And Eastwood will be present this year when Brubeck receives the honor from Berklee president Roger Brown. In a press release issued by the noted music school, Brown recognized the pianist’s range of contributions to American music. “It feels fitting to make this presentation to Dave for his many contributions to jazz, orchestral and sacred music, and to education, with the Brubeck Institute at the University of the Pacific and at the Monterey Jazz Festival, where he has so many strong connections and associations,” said Brown. “The 50-year anniversary of the release of Time Out also seems like a perfect moment to thank Dave for all he’s done for the world, and the world of music.”

The Berklee Honorary Doctorate of Music was first presented in 1971, to Duke Ellington. In the years that have followed, many other major figures in jazz have received the honor, including Dizzy Gillespie, Nancy Wilson, Tito Puente, Toshiko Akiyoshi, Chick Corea and Elvin and Hank Jones.