Darius Brubeck

American jazz keyboardist Darius Brubeck is also an educator. He is the son jazz legend Dave Brubeck. As the head of the Centre for Jazz and Popular Music, University of Natal, Brubeck spent many years in Durban. Brubeck graduated cum laude from Wesleyan University with a major in ethnomusicology, and the history religion. Brubeck has a MPhil from Nottingham University. He holds an MPhil from Nottingham University. “Darius performed with all three of his brothers at the Kennedy Center Honors Gala 2009, where his father was awarded a medal for his lifetime contributions to American culture. The audience included Mrs Michelle Obama and President Barack Obama. Brubeck is currently not living in London, as was suggested, but in East Sussex. Brubeck, a pianist, led his own bands, performed with Don McLean and Larry Coryell, and toured the globe with The New Brubeck Quartet (Dave Darius, Chris, and Dan Brubeck) during the 1970s and 1980s. Many albums were made along the way. In 1983, Brubeck switched his focus to South Africa when he created the first African university-level Jazz Studies degree. He was a professor at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in Durban, South Africa. Later, he was appointed Director of Centre for Jazz and Popular Music. He was appointed a Senior Research Associate at the School of Music after he quit full-time teaching. He was based in London and taught at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and Brunel Universities. He holds a M.Phil degree from Nottingham University. For a year, he also taught jazz history. Darius Brubeck was a member of Afro Cool Concept, a group that included South Africa’s top alto saxophonist Barney Rachabane. They toured extensively throughout southern Africa and beyond for 15 years. Still On My Mind was the band’s final CD. It was released by Sheer Sound in 2003. Other recordings by Sheer include Before It’s Too Late (2004) and Tugela Rail and Other Tracks (2006). A series of concerts to celebrate 10 years of South African democracy was part of Sheer’s international tours. Together with his brothers Chris and Dan, Darius headlined the National Arts “Joy of Jazz Festival” in South Africa. He also directed the South African National Youth Jazz Band at North Sea Jazz Festival in The Netherlands. Brubeck started his career in 1988 as the leader of “The Jazzanians”, a mixed-race student group from South Africa’s first university. He later formed many bands that represented both his university and South Africa. He was invited to give workshops and play in the UK, Turkey, Peru and Thailand, as well as at five International Association of Jazz Educators conferences (IAJE), in the USA. He was the Director of the Centre for Jazz and Popular Music, University of KwaZulu Natal in Durban from 1989 to 2005. Darius Brubeck also wrote arrangements for his bands and a composition to celebrate Dave Brubeck’s 80th Birthday can be heard on Dave Brubeck – Live with the LSO (2000). The Rockefeller Foundation granted Darius a residency at the Bellagio Study and Conference Center, Italy in 2005. The Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra requested a piece by Zim Ngqawana and Darius, which was set to music to excerpts from Desmond Tutu speeches. Morgan Freeman read them at the New York City premiere. Gathering Forces (GF), was Darius Brubeck’s former fusion group in the 1970s and 1980s that recorded Earthrise. Gathering Forces 2 was a later version of GF that featured Deepak Ram as a bansuri player. Gathering Forces is Brubeck’s CD label. It also includes For Lydia and the Lion and Earthrise, Two and Four, and Cathy’s Summer. All of these were released by the Darius Brubeck Quartet. Brubecks’ Play Brubeck was released in the following year after it went on tour. Since leaving South Africa, Brubecks Play Brubeck has performed at the Cape Town International Jazz Festival (2007 and 2008), the Kennedy Center Honors Gala Concert (2009), Jazz at Lincoln Center (2014) and the Edinburgh Festival (2015). This was broadcast by BBC Radio 3 with his current band, The Darius Brubeck Quartet. The Darius Brubeck quartet is regularly seen at UK festivals such as the Marlboro and Henley-on-Thames, Scarborough, and also appears at top London jazz clubs like Ronnie Scott’s. He is also the leader of “Brubecks play Brubeck”, which features three Brubeck brothers (Darius Chris and Dan) as well as British saxophonist Dave O’Higgins. This tour has been going since 2010 in the UK and the US. Although it was intended to be a single event, “Brubecks play Brubeck” toured the UK in 2011 and 2013. It also played at Jazz at Lincoln Center in 2014 and the Cape Town International Jazz Festival 2012 respectively. Fulbright Senior Specialist in Jazz Studies, Darius Brubeck. In 2007, he taught at Yildiz Technical University, Istanbul. He also spent the first term 2010 at the Gheorghe Dima Music Academy, Cluj (Romania). Darius Brubeck has written music for many types of ensembles, large and small. One of his most recent pieces is included in the Royal School’s international Grade V piano syllabus. He co-authored Odd Times: Uncommon Etudes for Uncommon Time Signs with Michael Rossi, which was published by Advance Music in 2014.

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