Family, legacy and all that jazz

Brubeck Brothers Quartet will conclude POAC Performing Arts Series with Panida show

By Lyndsie Kiebert-Carey
Reader Staff

Chris and Dan Brubeck, namesake members of the Brubeck Brothers Quartet, originally became jazz musicians because it happened to be the Brubeck family business.

As for that origin story, it’s the definition of humble beginnings, as the Brubecks lived “life on the road” as children of traveling artists.

“My parents traveled with a trunk and would get a cheap hotel room. Inside the trunk was camping gear, including foldable cots, and my brothers would stay in the large hotel closets,” Chris Brubeck told the Reader. “As an infant, I would go into a dresser drawer nestled in with lots of blankets that my parents would bring.”

The Brubeck Brothers Quartet. Photo by Anthony Pidgeon.

After years of hard work, the elder Brubeck’s “talent and perseverance were recognized,” Chris said, and his father, Dave Brubeck, appeared on the cover of Time magazine in 1954. He then embarked on a three-month State Department tour in 1958. The newest Brubeck Brothers Quartet album, titled Timeline, “salutes that monumental tour by playing new arrangements of those compositions written and inspired on that Eurasian journey,” Chris said.

The Brubecks have built a legacy of jazz music that persists to this day — a legacy that will be on full display as the Brubeck Brothers Quartet plays the Panida Theater on Thursday, May 19 at 7:30 p.m. as part of the Pend Oreille Arts Council’s annual Performing Arts Series. This is the final show of the 2021-’22 series.

According to Chris, he and his younger brother Dan — “an amazing drummer,” in Chris’ words — dedicated themselves to their instruments and “became good enough to take the stage” with their father by the 1970s.

“We played and recorded at major jazz festivals and were well received by audiences all over the world,” said Chris, a composer, trombonist and bassist. “The music was very good, and the family energy was wonderful and unique.”

After touring with The Dave Brubeck Quartet for decades and recording about two dozen albums, Chris has now teamed up with Dan, pianist Chuck Lamb and guitarist Mike DeMicco to create the Brubeck Brothers Quartet, which performs at concerts and festivals across North America and Europe.

As part of the quartet’s visit to Sandpoint, they’ll be conducting a workshop with the Sandpoint High School Jazz Band. Students will also receive tickets to the Panida show as part of POAC’s Ovations Educational Program.

“I love meeting young people who care about jazz,” Chris said. “It is wonderful that these students have a passion for this music and bust through the popular culture norms of the day to study and appreciate such a complicated art form.”

Chris said that regardless of how far away students may be from a “big jazz city,” impressive young musicians can be found anywhere. He said he’s been able to see students develop their talent and go on tour many years later, or become teachers who “turn a new generation of their students onto jazz.”

“That means the jazz torch has been passed. That has been what the art form is all about since the beginning,” Chris said. “Jazz is America’s only original art form. We Americans should be proud of that. The rest of the world respects us for it, as jazz is a musical reflection of the ‘melting pot’ democracy and philosophy we have projected to the world since we became a nation.”

Brubeck Brothers Quartet • Thursday, May 19; 7:30 p.m., doors open at 7 p.m.; all tickets $27. Panida Theater, 300 N. First Ave., 208-263-9191. Get tickets at, or at the door. Learn more at This is the final show of the Pend Oreille Arts Council’s 2021-’22 Performing Arts Series.

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