The concert was held in the gymnasium of the Middlebrook Middle School. The audience, parents and families, were seated in those gymnasium bleachers that telescope out from the wall. There were risers for the choir and an upright piano for the music teacher to accompany the students. The students marched out and took their places. A tall scruffy haired bearded fellow, about my age at that time, also came out carrying an electric bass guitar. He sat next to the piano and plugged into an amp that I had not noticed. I was wondering why there was a bass player but just figured it was another teacher who wanted to contribute to the musical offering.
The teacher made some announcements and introduced the first song. I was enjoying the choir and glad I was able to be there to see my son perform and participate. I believe it was during the second selection that I noticed and was impressed with the bass player. He was not dominating but supporting and enhancing in a most creative and expressive way. When the selection ended, I turned to my wife and said, “you know that bass player is really really talented.” She responded, “He should be, that is Chris Brubeck.”
“You mean as in Dave Brubeck?”“Dave is sitting over there and that tall boy standing next to Aram is Ben Brubeck, Chris’s son and Dave’s grandson.” Dave Brubeck and his wife were sitting just across the aisle. He looked like he was enjoying the concert every bit as much as I was if not more.
“Yes that is his son.”
I responded, “Wow... cool”
I never really got to know Dave but Chris and I became acquaintances as we attended many school events in the ensuing years. I thought it was pretty cool that me, a weekend warrior of a musician, was living in the same town as such great, well known, and personable musicians.
When I heard that Dave had passed away this morning one day before his 92nd birthday, this memory became vivid and I thought I would share it. As we Armenians say, may God illuminate his soul.