Dave Brubeck to Receive Honorary Doctorate

By 
Margot Edwards
August 19, 2009
Dave Brubeck
Photo by Cole Thompson

Dave Brubeck, a National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master and Library of Congress Living Legend, will be presented with an honorary doctorate from Berklee College of Music at the 52nd Monterey Jazz Festival, held on September 18–20, 2009.

The presentation will be made on the Jimmy Lyons Stage in the Arena on Sunday, September 20 at approximately 8:00 p.m., just prior to the Dave Brubeck's Quartet's set celebrating the 50th anniversary of the groundbreaking album Time Out.

Brubeck is one of the most active and popular musicians in both the jazz and classical worlds. With a career that spans over six decades, his experiments with odd time signatures, improvised counterpoint, polyrhythm, and polytonality remain hallmarks of innovation. For more information on his life and career, visit the official Dave Brubeck website.

"It feels fitting to make this presentation to Dave for his many contributions to jazz, orchestral and sacred music, and to education, with the Brubeck Institute at the University of the Pacific, and at the Monterey Jazz Festival, where he has so many strong connections and associations," said Roger Brown, president of Berklee. "The 50-year anniversary of the release of Time Out also seems like a perfect moment to thank Dave for all he's done for the world, and the world of music."

The Berklee honorary doctorate of music was first presented in 1971, to Duke Ellington. In subsequent years, other major figures in contemporary music have received the honor for their contributions to music and humanity, among them Toshiko Akiyoshi, David Bowie, Chick Corea, Gloria and Emilio Estefan, Aretha Franklin, Dizzy Gillespie, Elvin and Hank Jones, Quincy Jones, Loretta Lynn, Tito Puente, Bonnie Raitt, Sting, and Nancy Wilson. In 2007, Clint Eastwood became an honorary doctor of music at Monterey for his efforts to popularize jazz through his films and film music. A longtime Brubeck admirer and friend, Eastwood is scheduled to be part of the Brubeck ceremony.

The Monterey Jazz Festival is dedicated to perpetuating the uniquely American form of music known as jazz by producing performances that celebrate the legacy and expand the boundaries of jazz, and by presenting year-round local, regional, national, and international jazz education programs. The Monterey Jazz Festival is a nonprofit organization and has donated its proceeds to musical education since its inception in 1958.