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Singer Karla Harris Pays Tribute to Dave and Iola Brubeck

Concert one of the highlights of Sarasota Jazz Festival

Dave and Iola Brubeck at the Tanglewood Jazz Festival, Lenox Massachusetts, September 2004
Pianist-arranger Ted Howe in concert with Karla Harris, 35th Sarasota Jazz Festival
Singer Karla Harris honors the Dave & Iola Brubeck Songbook on March 6, 2015, in Sarasota Florida
Pianist Ted Howe and singer Karla Harris at the 35th annual Sarasota Jazz Festival.
Singer Karla Harris and the Ted Howe quartet, Sarasota Jazz Festival

Singer Karla Harris celebrated the teamwork of Dave and Iola Brubeck on Friday, March 6, at the 35th annual Sarasota Jazz Festival. Few going into the concert may have been aware of the extent of Iola Brubeck’s impact on her pianist husband’s career, but they left with a much deeper understanding, thanks to Atlanta-based Harris’ brief but insightful song introductions.

Iola was Dave’s early manager and came up with the “jazz goes to college” concept in the 1950s that helped catapult his visibility and popularity. She raised their six children while he was on the road, as much as nine months a year. And she wrote lyrics for a variety of his compositions, as well as the Brubeck recording staple “Take Five,” which was composed by saxophonist Paul Desmond. In a few cases, Dave and Iola wrote the lyrics together.

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