Over the course of the twentieth century the United States of America formed one of the great democracies of the modern world. Education and the arts, including America's folk music, jazz, have been critical components in this evolution.
While education has been a tool for research, learning, self-discovery and innovation, jazz music has embodied the deep values that have enlightened, entertained and transformed us through the generations. Music and the arts continue to draw our diverse communities together across barriers of background, color and creed.
Having been charged with the mission of creating a "living legacy" at The Brubeck Institute, I have come to realize that the rich archival materials representing the careers of iconic American artists only come to life as their stories are told through presentations, concerts, symposia, exhibits and scholarly narrative.
As I travel and speak on behalf of the Institute, I often experience the delight of jazz fans and Brubeck fans that recount their "Dave Brubeck" experiences to me. Many fans mark the moments of their lives by recalling particular Brubeck concerts or events. President Barack Obama recalls attending his first Brubeck concert with his father in Hawaii at twelve years of age. Closer to home, during a recent presentation, a gentleman at a retirement home in Stockton remembered sharing a ride on a military transport plane with the Dave Brubeck Quartet, during one of their International diplomacy tours.
These stories allow us to reflect on and examine our history and culture through the unique lens of the arts, towards a better understanding of our present day selves. Just as we examine the lives of ancient civilizations through the art that they left behind, so our descendants will learn about twentieth century culture by hearing the recordings of Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald and Dave Brubeck or by attending the Brubeck Festival in the year 3054.
As we begin a new academic year at Pacific and we gear up for our 2015 Brubeck Festival, we are grateful to you, our circle of Brubeck Institute friends, who continue to share the memories, experiences and stories that help to create a "living legacy" around the iconic careers of Dave and Iola Brubeck.
University of the Pacific