Words matter. These are the best Dave Brubeck Quotes, and they’re great for sharing with your friends.
Concord, California was a great place to grow up.
Do you think Duke Ellington didn’t listen to Debussy? Louis Armstrong loved opera, did you know that? Name me a jazz pianist who wasn’t influenced by European music!
I wanted to be like my father, who was a cattle man and a rodeo roper. And that was – he was my hero, and I wanted to be more like him.
My mother Elizabeth Ivey Brubeck was a pianist who studied with Dame Myra Hess and Tobias Matthey. As a child in California I used to listen to her play Chopin.
I used to take my mother to Yosemite. When I turned 14, I got my driver’s license, and that’s where she’d want to go, so I’d go take her there for two weeks.
Jazz stands for freedom. It’s supposed to be the voice of freedom: Get out there and improvise, and take chances, and don’t be a perfectionist – leave that to the classical musicians.
When I was first aware that I couldn’t read music I didn’t know I couldn’t read because I could play the music that was in front of me.
My own Brubeck Institute in California is turning out fantastic young jazz players, and I know great things will happen.
I was always very aware of drummers. My oldest brother Henry was a drummer, and he drummed on everything in the house from the kitchen sink to stovepipes. He was the first drummer in the Gil Evans Orchestra, so you’ve got to know how great he was.
The first choral music I remember hearing was Handel’s ‘Messiah’ when the Mormon Tabernacle Choir broadcast it over the radio.
I had the first integrated Army band in World War II.
We don’t know the power that’s within our own bodies.
I knew even if I’m a cowboy, I’m going to be involved in jazz in some way.
If there’s a deadline, I work late. If not, I like to have normal hours, and get up early and work. When things are going well, I hate to quit. And then I’ll work ’till exhausted.
I knew I wanted to write on religious themes when I was a GI in World War II. I saw and experienced so much violence that I thought I could express my outrage best with music.
It’s like a whole orchestra, the piano for me.
The worst thing about the life of a jazz musician on the road is getting to the gig. Once you’re there and playing, it’s marvelous.
My dad was the manager at the 45,000-acre ranch, but he owned his own 1,200-acre ranch, and I owned four cattle that he gave to me when I graduated from grammar school, from the eighth grade. And those cows multiplied, and he kept track of them for years for me. And that was my herd.
I played a lot of sports and it’s the plays in basketball that weren’t worked out that are the ones that are just fantastic that you remember. We don’t know the power that’s within our own bodies.
And there is a time where you can be beyond yourself. You can be better than your technique. You can be better than most of your usual ideas. And this is a whole other category that you can get into.
I’m always hoping for the nights that are inspired where you almost have an out of body experience.
Jazz is about freedom within discipline. Usually a dictatorship like in Russia and Germany will prevent jazz from being played because it just seemed to represent freedom, democracy and the United States.
What I want to happen is to be really creative, and to play something new in the improvisations, every time.
There’s a way of playing safe, there’s a way of using tricks and there’s the way I like to play which is dangerously where you’re going to take a chance on making mistakes in order to create something you haven’t created before.
Jazz isn’t dead yet. It’s the underpinning of everything in this country. Whether it’s a Broadway show, or fusion, or right on through classical music, if it’s coming out of the U.S., it’s not going to survive unless it’s got some jazz influence.