Age Is Just A Number: 90-Year-Old Dave Brubeck Jams At Tarrytown Music Hall

Posted by Maria Miaoulis in Jazz Events, News, Recaps & Reviews

December 6th, 2010   2 Comments »


Legendary jazz pianist Dave Brubeck continues to tour and compose music for devoted fans. PHOTO CREDIT:

He was declared a Jazz Master by the National Endowment for the Arts in 2000. The Kennedy Center presented him with the Living Legacy Jazz Award in 2007. But if you ask me what comes to mind when I think of Dave Brubeck, I’d say he’s an adorable and charming man who you simply can’t look away from.

There was a buzz of excitement in the air of Tarrytown Music Hall this past Friday night as the crowd waited impatiently for the then 89-year-old legend to take the stage. When he and the band did walk out, everyone went absolutely wild. I’ve never heard such a reception before, and it made me all the more eager to get started.

And that’s precisely when he had my heart. Taking the microphone to introduce his quartet, Brubeck tapped it a few times before whispering, “Is this thing on?” to which the audience erupted into giggles. Even drummer Randy Jones, bassist Michael Moore and saxophonist Bobby Militello had to chuckle at his serious expression.

Their set was an interesting blend of lively tunes and poignant ballads, all showcasing the unique style Brubeck’s developed over the past six decades – unusual time signatures and contrasting rhythms, meters and tones. One of the highlights of the night was the “Pange Lingua March.” The drum solo was absolutely AMAZING! Even the rest of the band stopped to watch Jones bring the house down with his heart-pounding moves.

Of course, Brubeck couldn’t get away with not playing his greatest hit, “Take Five.” The crowd clamored for it, and he was quick to oblige. He held everyone spellbound throughout the performance, like he had right from the start of the show. Afterwards a cake was brought on stage to celebrate his 90th birthday. Probably embarrassed by all the attention, Brubeck looked down and started licking off the icing that had gotten all over his suit while blowing out the candles.

And just like that it was over. Even though we wanted more, Brubeck signaled it was time to go by playing a lullaby. It had the opposite effect though since we sent him off with a standing ovation that’s still echoing in those historic walls.

So today Jazzville NJ sends its warmest wishes for a Happy 90th Birthday to a jazz great who doesn’t look to be slowing down anytime soon!

Watch a 1961 performance of the Dave Brubeck Quartet performing “Take Five”: