Dave Brubeck, Legendary Jazz Musician, Dies at 91

Dave Brubeck  Peter Pakvis/Redferns

Jazz musician Dave Brubeck died of heart failure Wednesday, Dec. 5, at age 91 in Norwalk, Connecticut, according to the Associated Press. He would have been 92 on Thursday.

The pianist and composer, who lived in nearby Wilton, formed The Dave Brubeck Quartet in 1951. In 1954 Mr. Brubeck was the first jazz musician to be featured on the cover of Time magazine. The band helped reinvigorate jazz music during that era, thanks to their 1959 recording of "Take Five" — the first jazz single to sell one million copies.

In addition to releasing original hits like "Time Out" and "It's a Raggy Waltz," the Dave Brubeck Quartet also overhauled famous stands like "You Go to My Head" and "Pennies From Heaven."

In 1986, Brubeck was inducted into the Big Band and Jazz Hall of Fame. Even in his later years, he continued to make music and perform.

"One of the reasons I believe in jazz is that the oneness of man can come through the rhythm of your heart," he told The New York Times in 2010. "It's the same anyplace in the world, that heartbeat. It's the first thing you hear when you're born — or before you're born — and it's the last thing you hear."

The musician is survived by his wife, Iola Whitlock, whom he met as a student at College of the Pacific in Stockton, Calif. They married in 1942 and had six children: Darius, Dan, Chris, Matthew, Michael and Cathy. (Michael died several years ago.) Brubeck leaves behind 10 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

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