Chris Brubeck's Triple Play performs for BSC ArtsQuest
Posted on 4/8/2011
Chris Brubeck's Triple Play
Consummate musician, composer and arranger Chris Brubeck hits a home run at Bismarck State College with his Triple Play combo in a dynamic concert Saturday, April 16, at Sidney J. Lee Auditorium. Free general admission tickets are required and can be picked up at the BSC Bookstore or Eckroth Music.
Members of Triple Play hold a group master class Saturday, April 16, from 1 to 3 p.m. in the BSC Leach Music Center 177. For information, contact Dr. John Darling, 224-5444 or John.Darling@bismarckstate.edu.
Triple Play combines an eclectic mix of acoustic music that blends elements of jazz, blues, rock, funk and the classics to create a delicious sound that's hard to define. The group stretches musical boundaries, while adding a dash of humor to their extraordinary musicianship. Triple Play also delights audiences with odd tempos such as 7/8 time in "Unsquare Dance" and "Polly," written and performed in two keys.
Chris is one of four sons of legendary jazz artist Dave Brubeck, who inspired them all to make a career of music. Chris not only plays his dad's signature piano instrument, but commands trombone, bass and guitar and sings. As a composer, he has created an impressive body of symphonic work the past decade, while maintaining a demanding touring and recording schedule with his two bands, the Brubeck Brothers Quartet and Triple Play.
Triple Play members, Peter "Madcat" Ruth and Joel Brown, are also virtuoso solo musicians with many national and international credits. Ruth holds title as one of the best harmonica players in the world and handles percussion for Triple Play on jaw harp, tambourine, hi hat cymbal, kalimba and ukulele. Guitarist Joel Brown has a long recital and recording portfolio. He was soloist with the Boston Pops and has performed in the Czech Republic, London and on U.S. and British media.
Brubeck and Ruth began their career recording and touring with Dave Brubeck. Chris was 15 at the time. The two also played together in the progressive rock band, Sky King. Afterwards, Chris paired with folk singer Bill Crofut and Brown on guitar. When Crofut died in 1999, Ruth rejoined Brubeck and Brown to form Triple Play.
The meaning of Triple Play's name is set in the song, "Triple Play Blues," a cut on their "Watching the World" album, Brubeck told The Patriot-News in Harrisburg, Pa. The lyric goes: "When the stars align, it's three of a kind. It's as rare as a triple play." Brubeck also said the group name is a "play" on the fact he performs three instruments during a concert.
Highlights of Brubeck's compositional achievements include "Convergence: Concerto for Orchestra," commissioned and performed by the Boston Pops, and the exciting "Interplay for 3 Violins and Orchestra," a performance of which was broadcast on PBS. For the 2006 Monterey Jazz Festival, Brubeck (who first performed there in 1958) composed the semi-operatic theater work, "Cannery Row Suite," based on John Steinbeck's novel about the drifters and workers of old Monterey. He also has written three musicals and hundreds of songs.
Brubeck said his father was one of the early pioneers of the concept that jazz musicians could be integrated with symphony orchestras, something Dave Brubeck learned from French composer Darius Milhaud. Chris did many performances with orchestras during the 10 consecutive years he played with Dave's group. Chris also has shared the stage with B.B. King, Bob McFerrin, Gerry Mulligan, Dawn Upshaw, Muddy Waters, Willie Nelson and Bob Dylan, to name a few.