166-Dave Brubeck & The Ambassadors of Jazz

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“A blue note in a minor key—America has its secret sonic weapon—Jazz.”

That was the headline in 1955 when the United States sent its top musicians overseas to promote democracy. They called them the Jazz Ambassadors—Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Dizzy Gillespie, and Dave Brubeck.

Today, in honor of Dave Brubeck month (May 4 is Dave Brubeck day — that’s 5/4 named for the 5/4 time signature of take 5) the story of Dave Brubeck and the Jazz Ambassadors. In 1958, the Dave Brubeck Quartet embarked on a tour of Europe and Asia sponsored by the U.S. State Department.

And a special interview with Dave Brubeck’s sons, Dan and Chris Brubeck and what it was like growing up with their very unusual and genius father. Excellent musicians in their own right, the two share intimate memories of their father and his legendary contributions to modern jazz.

Featuring interviews with Keith Hatschek, Program Director for Music Management and Music Industry Studies at the University of Pacific; and Mike Wurtz, Assistant Professor and Head of Special Collections and Archives at the Holt-Atherton Special Collections at the University of Pacific Library. The archival recording of Dave Brubeck is from his interview with Monk Rowe from the Fillius Jazz Archive at Hamilton College.

Produced by Brandi Howell for The Echo Chamber Podcast.

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