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The Son Also Rises: Chris Brubeck, the new Gershwin?

By Published: January 28, 2004
AAJ: Wow...where do they go from there?

CB: (Laughs) The coolest thing about it was going back to what I said a minute ago—you got those kids to value that little voice inside you, that's only you, that's uniquely you. You can write something, and it isn't just a valueless thing: this kooky guy that lives in town will read your poem, relate to it somehow, and set it to orchestra and choir! Anything can happen, you know? And you need that.

AAJ: ....that magic...

CB: ...that feeling of optimism...

AAJ: ...the glimpse...

CB: ...yeah, the glimpse that it can happen.

AAJ: That's great. How old are your kids?

CB: My son Ben just turned 22 a couple of days ago, and I have stepdaughters who are 26 and 25.

AAJ: You don't look old enough.

CB: (laughs) When I see contemporaries of mine I went to school with, I must say that they do look older than me. Believe me, it's not Grecian formula. (more laughing) I think what it is, is that I've spent my life doing something that I love and enjoy. I can't imagine what 20 years of corporate servitude would have done to me, but judging by my friends, it will age you a decade earlier.

AAJ: How old are you, anyway?

CB: I'm 50—blalahlah—I think I'm 51...I'm 52 in March—born in 52. Yeah, I'm 52.

AAJ: ...which is the full deck year.

CB: (puzzled) The full deck?

AAJ: The full deck YEAR. All 52 cards.

CB: Oh... I was thinking in nautical terms. We are on a ship, after all. (laughs)

It's clear that Chris Brubeck has a full deck (and all the jokers as well).

Visit Chris Brubeck on the web at .

Update: the Prague Concerto for Bass Trombone and Orchestra debuted successfully in January 2004 with the Czech National Symphony. The Prague Post gave it a rave review, comparing Brubeck to Gershwin in his ability to bridge the gap between classical and jazz. Chris Brubeck Bent Genres and Ears in Prague can be found at .

Photos by Tish Brubeck

  1. Chris and festive onboard sculpture
  2. Chris Brubeck, just off the bandstand, with great bassist Lynn Seaton
  3. Dan Brubeck and legendary drummer Ernie Adams
  4. Chris and Dr. J. at sea, neither wearing any makeup

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