Brubeck Brothers Quartet
(November 30, 2023 7:00pm)
It’s not their father’s jazz quartet.
When your father is jazz legend Dave Brubeck, music is always a part of your life. Brothers Chris and Dan Brubeck have been making music for most of their lives, with their dad, together, and on their own, in a variety of styles that pay homage to their dad and set their own course, as well. With the Brubeck Brother Quartet, the brothers, along with guitarist Mike DeMicco and pianist Chuck Lamb, have performed in concert and at jazz festivals across North America and Europe, including the Newport, Detroit, Monterey, Playboy/Hollywood Bowl and Montreal Jazz Festivals.
The Quartet’s most recent CD, TimeLine, celebrated Dave Brubeck’s famous 1957 State Department tour. It received extensive airplay in major jazz markets and was a hit on the Jazz Week radio charts for five months. Dr. Judith Schlesinger of AllAboutJazz called the album “an exciting ride. These are magnificent players whose years together have forged a seasoned and well-oiled musical unit. Their joy in this playing, and each other, is audible.”
These versatile musicians also collaborate with orchestras across the United States and internationally. With Chris Brubeck’s compositions as a vehicle, the BBQ has performed with chamber and orchestra groups including the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Russian National Symphony and the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra.
Each of the quartet members is an accomplished musician in his own right. The Grammy-nominated composer Chris Brubeck has created an impressive body of symphonic work while maintaining a demanding touring and recording schedule with the Brubeck Brothers Quartet and with Triple Play, an acrostic trio with Chris on piano, bass and trombone, guitarist Joel Brown, and harmonica player Peter Madcat Ruth. Sought after as both a composer and musician, music critic John von Rhein calls him “a composer with a real flair for lyrical melody-a 21st century Lenny Bernstein.”
Drummer Dan Brubeck was a working musical professional before he finished his teens. He was featured on nearly a dozen of his father’s albums and toured widely with the Dave Brubeck Quartet. He’s toured internationally and recorded three widely-played albums with his electric jazz group, The Dolphins. A stylistically versatile musician, he’s toured with acts ranging from The Band and David Benoit to Gerry Mulligan and Paul Desmond. He’s recorded with jazz guitar legend Larry Coryell, singer/songwriter Livingstone Taylor and pioneering blues guitarist Roy Buchanan. Dan Brubeck also plays with the Dan Brubeck Quartet, which released Celebrating the Music and Lyrics of Dave and Lola Brubeck, a tribute to his father’s music and the little-known lyrics of his mother. The recording was nominated for a Juno Award in 2016.
Mike DeMicco’s guitar playing has been called “the perfect blend of soul, polish, and technique” by JazzTimes. He grew up in Woodstock, New York, immersed in blues, jazz, and rock music. For ten years, he performed with Dan Brubeck’s quartet, The Dolphins, and has performed on the internationally syndicated PBS series Jazz in America. His CD, As the Sun Sets, showcases eight original compositions.
Pianist Chuck Lamb has been a member of the Brubeck Brothers Quartet since 2002 and is also a prolific composer. He began his musical career at 10, playing the drums, but at 15, he switched to the piano and began composing his own music. He is co-founder of the jazz fusion group, Dry Jack, considered on the cutting edge of fusion bands of the electric jazz movement.
In addition to performing with artists including Bela Fleck, Larry Coryell, Peter Frampton, David Benoit and Ginger Baker and composing commissioned works for film and television, Chuck is a music educator who has taught workshops throughout the United States and in Japan, Singapore, and Russia. In 2017, he became an adjunct professor of jazz piano, ensembles and improvisation at Skidmore College.
These four talented musicians have a style rooted in “straight-ahead” jazz, but their concerts showcase their ability to explore and play odd time signatures while naturally integrating the influences of funk, blues, and world music. Their creativity, technique and improvisation can be heard in their uncompromising music, which reflects their dedication to melody, rhythm, culture, and the spontaneous spirit of jazz.
This is not their father’s jazz, but it honors those who came before while forging a new path ahead.