Oct. 16, 2001
Take Five with Dave Brubeck
Legendary Jazz Innovator, Composer, Pianist to Perform
at GW and Receive a Presidents Medal
Jazz legend Dave Brubeck will perform at the 13th annual Presidents
Night Thursday, Oct. 18, in Lisner Auditorium. A celebrated composer
and pianist, Brubeck will join a distinguished list of performers who
have lent their talents to the event, including The Preservation Hall
Jazz Band, Arlo Guthrie, Judy Collins, and Victor Borge among others.
The Presidents Night series was established to honor the members
of GWs donor societies as well as the Universitys friends
throughout the Washington, DC, metropolitan community. This year, three
students from the Department of Music will have the opportunity to perform
on stage with Brubeck during his final number, the jazz standard Take
Just to be able to say One time I played with Dave Brubeck,
is a great experience, says Roy Guenther, chair of the music department.
The students selected to perform are Steve Rogers, on tenor saxophone;
Steve Kaplan, on trumpet; and Adam Kleiner, on alto saxophone.
Theyre all strong jazz musicians, says Guenther. We
felt they would get a lot out of the experience as well as have the
ability necessary to add something to the event and be able to stand
up with that kind of talent.
The level of talent to which Guenther refers is that of composer/pianist
Brubeck, who along with drummer Joe Morello, double bassist Eugene Wright,
and alto saxophonist Paul Desmond, quickly achieved an overwhelming
popular success. For nearly five decades Brubeck has been a leader in
the jazz world, with ground-breaking works such as Blue Rondo
a la Turk and Take Five, in which the artist toyed
with unusual time signatures. Among his most significant recordings
are Jazz At Oberlin (1953, Fantasy), Jazz Goes To
College (1954, Columbia), Time Out (1959, Columbia),
Time Further Out (1961, Columbia), and Just You, Just
Me (1994, Telarc).
As part of the event Brubeck will be presented with The George Washington
University Presidents Medal in appreciation of his contribution
to music. The medal represents the highest honor awarded by President
Trachtenberg. With the presentation, Brubeck becomes the 40th member
of a uniquely elite group including of recipients including president
of the Czech Republic Vaclav Havel, former Israeli Ambassador to the
UN and former Israeli Foreign Minister Abba Eban, former President of
the Soviet Union Mikhail Gorbachev, broadcaster Walter Cronkite, and
Ambassador of Japan Nobuo Matsunaga among many other noted figures.
Its very exciting, it always is, Guenther adds about
the annual celebration. For the guests of this event, who have
demonstrated their generosity to GW, this enables the University to
showcase how their support has benefited our students.
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