Dave Brubeck — Timeline

Also see: 1920-1939 1940-1949 1950-1959 1960-1969 1970-1979 1980-1989 1990-1999 2000-2014

December 6, 1920: David Warren Brubeck is born to Peter Howard Brubeck and Elizabeth (Ivey) Brubeck in Concord, CA.

1938: Brubeck enrolls in the College of the Pacific as a veterinary sciences student; on the advice of the head of zoology, Dr. Arnold, Brubeck soon switches his major to the Conservatory of Music.

1941: While walking into Faye Spanos Concert Hall, Brubeck meets Iola Whitlock, with whom he will spend the rest of his life in musical and marital partnership.

September 1942: Dave and Iola marry; shortly thereafter, Brubeck enlists in the Army, where he served under General George S. Patton and led one of the first racially-integrated Army bands, called "The Wolfpack."

1946: Dave is discharged from the Army and returns to California, where he studies with legendary composer Darius Milhaud, who encourages Dave to pursue his passion for jazz music.

1947: Dave's first performance ensemble, The Dave Brubeck Octet, is formed.

1949: Dave and two other octet members (Cal Tjader and Ron Crotty) create "The Dave Brubeck Trio" recordings.

1951: While surfing diving in Hawaii, Dave is seriously injured and damages his spinal cord and several vertebrae in his neck, leaving him with lingering nerve damage in his hands that adjusts his style toward chunky, block-style chords. Upon recovery, Dave unites with Paul Desmond (whom he met in 1944 and was another member of the Octet), to form The Dave Brubeck Quartet, along with Bob Bates and Joe Dodge.

1954: After an extensive tour of college campuses that introduced jazz to thousands of listeners across America, Dave Brubeck becomes the second jazz musician to appear on the cover of "Time" magazine.

1957: During the Quartet's college tours, Brubeck faces pressure to replace bass player Eugene Wright, who is black, when performing at universities in the South. Brubeck refuses, even in the face of lost ticket sales and canceled performances.

1958: After performing with a variety of musicians, the "classic" Dave Brubeck Quartet is comprised of Brubeck, Paul Desmond, Eugene "Senator" Wright, and Joe Morello. They would go on to make music - and history - together for the next ten years.

1958: The Dave Brubeck Quartet travels to Poland, Turkey, India, Ceylon, East and West Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, and Iraq on the first tour organized by the U.S. State Department to advance the interests of the U.S. through cultural diplomacy.

1959: The Brubeck Quartet records Time Out, which includes the best-selling jazz single "Take Five." In 2005, the recording is entered into the Library of Congress and is inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame as one of the most significant albums of our time.

1962: Dave and Iola's groundbreaking musical, The Real Ambassadors, a celebration of human understanding, premieres at the Monterrey Jazz Festival starring Louis Armstrong and Carmen McCrae.

1976: In the 1970s, Brubeck forms a group with his sons Darius, Dan and Chris. The group tours and records as Two Generations of Brubeck, including a trip to South Africa in 1976. Brubeck cancels the end of the South Africa tour, however, due to segregated audiences.

1988: The Brubeck Quartet tours the Soviet Union and accompanies President Reagan to perform at his summit with Mikhail Gorbachev.

1999: In 199, the Brubecks establish the Brubeck Collection at Pacific, a unique accumulation of materials representing more than 70 years in the lives of Dave and Iola Brubeck; the University also establishes the Brubeck Institute to build on their legacy.

2000: The National Endowment for the Arts awards Brubeck the title of "Jazz Master."

2003: Dave Brubeck is named a living legend by the Library of Congress. He performs with the Dave Brubeck Quartet and the Brubeck Institute Jazz Quintet at the awards ceremony. In that same year, Brubeck is also inducted into the American Classical Music Hall of Fame,

2006: University of the Pacific honors Dave Brubeck with the President's Medal of Achievement; Dave and Iola were previously recognized with honorary doctorates from the University.

2007: The London Symphony Orchestra presents Brubeck with its prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award.

2008: Brubeck is inducted into the California Hall of Fame.

2009: Brubeck is awarded the Kennedy Center Honors on his 89th birthday. His sons appear at the end of his tribute to play "Happy Birthday" for their father.

2009: The U.S. House of Representatives passes H.R. 1283, which honors Brubeck for his work. Internationally, he received Austria's highest award for the arts, a citation from the French government, and the Bocconi Medal from Italy. Academy-award winning director Clint Eastwood releases the documentary film In His Own Sweet Way on Brubeck's 90th Birthday.

December 5, 2012: Dave Brubeck passes away at his home in Connecticut, one day shy of his 92nd birthday.

March 12, 2014: Iola Whitlock Brubeck passes away at home at the age of 90.