Dave Brubeck: A Monterey Pioneer in Concert

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Dave Brubeck

Dave Brubeck will play this year's Monterey Jazz Festival with the same guitarist he featured in his first appearance: Jim Hall. Mars Breslow hide caption

itoggle caption Mars Breslow

Almost 60 years ago, Bay Area disc jockey Jimmy Lyons and actor Clint Eastwood heard Dave Brubeck at the Burma Lounge in Oakland, Calif. Years later, it was Brubeck's piano playing that got an idea in Lyons' head: to present a festival of jazz in Monterey. Lyons got Brubeck to come down and help make the case by performing for the Monterey City Council. They were persuasive, and in 1958, the Monterey Jazz Festival was born.

In 1962, Lyons commissioned Brubeck to compose The Real Ambassadors for the festival. Forty years later, he came back and played it again. Including this 2007 performance, Brubeck has played Monterey 14 times.

On Apr. 8, 2007, as the city counted down to its 50th festival, the mayor proclaimed the next seven days "Dave Brubeck Week" for his dedication to music, creativity, education and advancement of important social issues.

Newark, N.J.-based NPR station WBGO has been broadcasting some of the best jazz music in the world since 1979.

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