Chris and Dan Brubeck have been making music together practically all their lives. Drummer Dan and bassist, trombonist, and composer Chris cut their first record together in 1966—nearly a half-century ago. They’ve subsequently played a variety of styles in a number of different groups, as well as with their father, jazz giant Dave Brubeck, and with their own Brubeck Brothers Quartet. With Dan and Chris as the foundation, guitarist Mike DeMicco and pianist Chuck Lamb, complete this dynamic quartet. They perform at concert series, colleges, and jazz festivals across North America and Europe including the Newport, Detroit, Montreal, Playboy/Hollywood Bowl, and Monterey Jazz Festivals. The Quartet’s last cd, LifeTimes was a hit on the Jazz Week radio chart where it made the Top Ten list as one of the most played jazz recordings of the year.
“The playing that takes place on LifeTimes – the wondrous combination of swing, melodic majesty, masterful arrangements and a truckload of truly inspirational solos – just adds a vibrancy and color to songs I thought I knew and loved on a deep level. It turns out that there was still plenty of depth I could have discovered. I just needed someone to point the way and that is exactly what these four gentlemen have done through LifeTimes.” – Seattle Times
These versatile musicians also collaborate with orchestras all across the U.S. as well as internationally, including performing with the Singapore Chinese Orchestra and the Russian National Orchestra. With Chris Brubeck’s compositions as a vehicle, the BBQ has joined with chamber groups to collaborate with musicians from the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Philadelphia Orchestra and the Russian National Symphony Orchestra.
Although the Quartet’s style is rooted in “straight-ahead” jazz, their concerts reveal an inherent ability to explore and play odd time signatures while naturally integrating the influences of funk, blues and world music. The group’s creativity, technique and improvisation can be heard in their uncompromising music, which reflects their dedication to melody, rhythm, culture and the spontaneous spirit of jazz.
Grammy-nominated composer Chris Brubeck continues to distinguish himself as a creative force and multi-faceted performer on fretless bass, bass trombone and piano. An award-winning writer, he is clearly tuned into the pulse of contemporary music. The respected music critic for The Chicago Tribune, John von Rhein calls Chris: “a composer with a real flair for lyrical melody–a 21st Century Lenny Bernstein.”
Chris has created an impressive body of symphonic work while maintaining a demanding touring and recording schedule with his two groups: the Brubeck Brothers Quartet (with brother Dan on drums), and Triple Play, an acoustic trio featuring Chris on piano, bass and trombone along with guitarist Joel Brown and harmonica player extraordinaire Peter Madcat Ruth. After a concert with Triple Play in California, Mark Swed of the Los Angeles Times wrote: Triple Play was rollicking good fun … led by bassist, trombonist and pianist Chris Brubeck, the trio stole the show with its flair and virtuosity.”
The Brubeck Brothers Quartet (Chris, Dan and Chuck Lamb on piano and Mike DeMicco on guitar) continues to tour and has released 5 cds over the years that have consistently hit the top of the jazz radio charts. Jazz reviewer Ted Gioia writes about the BBQ: “..a stellar rhythm section — clean, crisp swing with great interaction between the players. Dan Brubeck’s drumming is a revelation. Some serious fraternal camaraderie is going down here.”
Chris is a much sought-after composer, and has been commissioned to write many innovative orchestral concertos for a variety of artists, including celebrated guitarist Sharon Isbin, Canadian Brass, Time for Three, Nick Kendall, Muir String Quartet and other commissions from The Boston Pops, Baltimore Symphony, Colorado Music Festival in Boulder, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Indianapolis Symphony, Portland Symphony, Oakland East Bay Symphony, and many others.
Chris’s highly acclaimed Concerto for Bass Trombone and Orchestra has been played by many of the top bass trombonists in the world and was recorded with Chris as soloist with the London Symphony Orchestra. Fanfare Magazine wrote, “Brubeck’s skill both as composer and soloist is extraordinary.” April 2009 saw the premiere of “Ansel Adams: America”, an exciting orchestral piece written by Chris and Dave Brubeck. It was commissioned by a consortium of eight orchestras and is accompanied by 100 of Ansel Adams’ majestic images projected above the orchestra. In 2013, “Ansel Adams: America” was nominated for a Grammy for Best Instrumental Composition, and has gone on to be performed by dozens of orchestras.
Chris was a member of the Dave Brubeck Quartet for 16 years and was a frequent guest artist with the Quartet before and after that time period. He was featured on dozens of recordings with the DBQ and had the pleasure of playing all the great jazz festivals in the world. With the DBQ he often collaborated with symphony orchestras and continues that tradition today as a soloist and with the Brubeck Brothers Quartet and Triple Play. Over the course of his career, Chris has performed with such diverse talents as Paul Desmond, BB King, Gerry Mulligan, Frederica von Stade, Stephane Grappelli, Willie Nelson, and Jamie Cullum.
Born in Oakland on May 4, 1955, Dan Brubeck was a highly energetic child who found his calling at the trap set. Mentored by two consummate polyrhythmic masters, Joe Morello and Alan Dawson (at the Berklee College of Music), he was working professionally before he finished his teens.
Over the years Dan was featured on nearly a dozen albums with his father and toured widely with the Dave Brubeck Quartet, including many appearances with the world’s leading orchestras. He’s been an integral part of the various Brubeck bands, including the Darius Brubeck Ensemble, Two Generations of Brubeck, and the New Brubeck Quartet. He’s toured internationally and recorded three widely played albums with his electric jazz group, The Dolphins, and co-led the Brubeck LaVerne Trio with his brother Chris and pianist Andy LaVerne. A stylistically versatile musician, he’s toured with acts ranging from The Band and David Benoit to Gerry Mulligan and Paul Desmond. He’s recorded with jazz guitar legend Larry Coryell, singer~songwriter Livingston Taylor, jazz~pop singer Michael Franks, and pioneering blues guitarist Roy Buchanan.
Dan’s drumming style is both mesmerizing and unparalleled, and his distinctive, and astonishingly textured drum solos have received standing ovations all over the world! His uncanny sense of timing and use of odd time signatures, combining melodic phrases with polyrhythms that often stretch far beyond the bar line, has earned the respect of many jazz critics worldwide. His mastery of complex rhythms has led to his reputation as one of the most talented and creative drummers in jazz!
Dan continues to perform and record with his siblings — Chris Brubeck, a bassist, trombonist, and noted composer, in the Brubeck Brothers Quartet, and pianist/composer Darius Brubeck in Brubecks Play Brubeck. Dan also plays with the Vancouver-based Dan Brubeck Quartet (DBQ), featuring vocal powerhouse Adam Thomas. The DBQ recently released Celebrating the Music and Lyrics of Dave and Iola Brubeck, which showcases his father’s music and little-known lyrics of his mother. This recording was nominated for a coveted Juno Award in 2016.Mike DeMicco, guitarist and composer for the Brubeck Brothers Quartet (BBQ), has toured extensively worldwide since 1980. He grew up in the arts colony of Woodstock, New York, immersed in blues, jazz and rock music. His musical diversity has since led him to work with celebrated artists in many genres. For ten years, he performed and recorded with the acclaimed electric jazz quartet, The Dolphins, featuring Dan Brubeck; he has also recorded with Warren Bernhardt, Peter Erskine, Michael Franks, and James & Livingston Taylor, among many others. Mike has performed on the internationally syndicated PBS series, “Jazz In America”; at the major European jazz festivals; and with Dave Brubeck, Jack DeJohnette, Larry Coryell and Nick Brignola, to name a few. He was also featured guitarist on W.C. Handy Blues Award-winner Rory Block’s “Tornado” tour of the US and Europe, and is currently touring and recording with rising vocal star Lindsey Webster. Mike’s CD, “As The Sun Sets” (Blue Forest Records), showcases eight original compositions and features Warren Bernhardt (piano), Jay Anderson (acoustic bass), Rob Leon (electric bass) and Peter O’Brien (drums). “DeMicco’s guitar is the perfect blend of soul, polish and technique.” JazzTimes
Chuck Lamb has been a member of the Brubeck Brothers Quartet since 2002 and is not only an exciting and emotive pianist in his own right but also a prolific composer of jazz, fusion, classical and world music. As part of the Brubeck Brothers Quartet and with his own groups, Chuck has performed at numerous renowned venues around the world, including most of the major Jazz Festivals and in such international venues as Tchaikovsky Hall in Moscow with the Russian National Orchestra and with the Singapore Chinese Orchestra in Singapore.
Chuck began his professional music career at the age of 10, playing drums and percussion in upstate New York. At 15, Chuck switched to piano and began composing his own music. Several years later, Chuck co-founded the exciting jazz fusion group, “Dry Jack,” which Rolling Stone History of Music cited as one of the premiere, cutting-edge fusion bands of the electric jazz movement.
Chuck has also written, arranged and performed a number of commissioned musical works for film, television, dance, fashion and theater, including works for Crestone Films; Electric City Couture (featuring Petia Kassarova, cellist with Grammy-winning Albany Symphony Orchestra); Nacre (Modern) Dance Company (“Seasons” with acclaimed songwriter/vocalist Ria Curley); Saratoga City Ballet (“The Nutcracker: Sweet & Swingin’” with Ria Curley) and more.
Most recently, Chuck and his band have released a CD of his original “acoustic fusion” music, titled “North By Northeast.” The CD has been receiving airplay on major jazz stations and garnering new fans and rave reviews worldwide. Chuck has released a number of highly acclaimed CDs and has played with many internationally renowned artists, including Dave Brubeck, Bela Fleck, Larry Coryell, the Woody Herman Orchestra, Peter Frampton, David Benoit, Ernestine Anderson, Eddie Daniels, Dave Holland, “Cream” drummer Ginger Baker, Bennie Maupin (Herbie Hancock) and many others.
In addition to being a professional touring musician and prolific composer, Chuck is also an accomplished and creative music educator. He has taught workshops and clinics across the United States, as well as in Japan, Singapore and Russia, where he taught a class in composition and improvisation to students from ages 6-70 and enjoyed the novel experience of teaching the entire class via a Russian translator. In the Fall of 2017, Chuck was honored to become an adjunct professor at Skidmore College, teaching jazz piano, ensembles and improvisation.