Famous Jazz Pianist Dave Brubeck Dies of Heart Failure At 91

Category: Media & Culture / Dec 05, 2012 5:24PM EDT
Jazz pianist Dave Brubeck, a towering figure in modern jazz, has died at the age of 91, his longtime manager and producer Russell Gloyd said on Wednesday (December 5). Brubeck died of heart failure on Wednesday morning after he fell ill on his way to a regular medical exam in Connecticut, just one day short of his 92nd birthday, Gloyd said. His Dave Brubeck Quartet put out one of the best selling jazz songs of all time: "Take Five.” Brubeck was born in Concord, California, on December 6, 1920. His father was a rancher and as a teenager Brubeck was a skilled cowboy. But his mother, a music teacher, made sure he took up the piano at age 5. In college, he planned to be a veterinarian, but within a year he was majoring in music and playing jazz in nightclubs. In February 1989 Brubeck, who had a history of heart problems, underwent triple-bypass surgery but kept playing. Well into his 80s, he still put on some 80 shows a year. Brubeck and his wife, who also was his agent and lyricist, had two sons, Matthew, a cellist, and Michael, and a daughter, Catherine.