Dave Brubeck died Dec. 5, the day before his 92nd birthday. Now the Oakland East Bay Symphony has announced a special tribute concert to the East Bay native and jazz legend, whose work bridged the jazz and classical worlds, reaching a worldwide audience for better than half a century.
Led by music director Michael Morgan, the June 1 event at the Paramount Theatre will feature a crop of guests: Chris Brubeck, the trombonist and bassist who constantly collaborated with his father; Taylor Eigsti, the pianist from Menlo Park who was mentored by Dave Brubeck and is now a top player in New York, as well as a budding symphonic composer; renowned mezzo-soprano Frederica von Stade, who lives in Alameda and once recorded an album of Brubeck tunes ("Across Your Dreams"); and Dayna Stephens, the Oakland-bred tenor saxophonist, also now a major jazz voice in New York.
"We are honored to pay tribute to a great artist who was involved with many of our lives and careers at the Oakland East Bay Symphony," conductor Morgan said, "and had such a far-reaching impact on the world of music but especially on the Bay Area music scene."
The concert will link Brubeck (born in Concord in 1920, the son of an East Bay cattle rancher) to another iconic figure from the Bay Area, photographer Ansel Adams. (He was born in 1902 in San Francisco's Western Addition.) The June 1 program will feature the Grammy-nominated "Ansel Adams: America," a symphonic tribute composed by Chris and Dave Brubeck and featuring 102 images by Adams, including his famous shots of Half Dome and Horsetail Fall.
Morgan said the program -- a benefit for the orchestra's education programs -- also will include some of the tunes made famous by Brubeck and his quartet, including "Blue Rondo a la Turk" and "Take Five." Chris Brubeck will give a pre-concert talk.
Tickets ($35-$250) go on sale April 6 at www.oebs.org and 800-745-3000.