Newswise — Clint Eastwood announced today that he will be executive producer of a Bruce Ricker documentary about jazz legend Dave Brubeck. Eastwood also said that he will chair the new honorary board formed to preserve and continue the legacy of Brubeck through the work of the Brubeck Institute at University of the Pacific in Stockton, Calif.
"Dave Brubeck is an American legend," Eastwood said. "He is an American original who continues to make significant contributions to music, introduced a whole new generation to the world of jazz, and continues to explore the international language of music."
The documentary film is tentatively titled "Dave Brubeck " In His Own Sweet Way." The film will trace the journey of the development of Brubeck's latest work, the Cannery Row Suite, from the moment it was first commissioned by the Monterey Jazz Festival to its premiere at the festival in 2006. Eastwood's film crews captured early rehearsals, dress rehearsals, sound checks and the final performance.
While tracing the creation of Brubeck's newest work, the documentary also will track Brubeck's career, from his first musical experiences on a Central California cattle ranch, to his years at Pacific, the success of the Dave Brubeck Quartet, the musical revolution he created by utilizing new time signatures in jazz, the release of "Time Out" and the public stance he took against racial inequality.
The new documentary is being directed and produced by Bruce Ricker. Ricker's other film credits include the classics "Thelonious Monk, Straight No Chaser" and "The Last of the Blue Devils." He and Eastwood are currently making a documentary about Tony Bennett titled "The Music Never Ends."
Besides the film, Eastwood also is chairing the new honorary board that includes members such as trumpeter and composer Wynton Marsalis, film director George Lucas, recording artist Al Jarreau, record producer Quincy Jones, cellist Yo-Yo Ma, television and recording producer Larry Rosen, hotel businessman Gordon Zuckerman, documentary filmmaker Ken Burns, trumpeter and record producer Herb Alpert and many others (please see complete board list attached). The members of the new honorary board will work to raise awareness of the Brubeck Institute and about Brubeck's legacy and his music. The board's first official meeting will be on April 17, prior to the Brubeck Institute Spring Fundraiser at Eastwood's Mission Ranch in Carmel, Calif.
Eastwood, himself a jazz pianist and composer, has served as the honorary chairman of the Brubeck Institute since its inception and is a member of the Board of Directors for the Monterey Jazz Festival. He received an honorary doctorate from University of the Pacific during the same ceremony at which Brubeck was awarded the President's Medal of Achievement.
Brubeck said the formation of the Brubeck Institute in 2000 was the "realization of a dream," one that reflects his own personal and professional commitment "to advancing the acceptance and recognition of jazz as a serious art form that reflected American ideals of freedom and individual expression balanced with group responsibility and interdependence." Brubeck, 86, graduated from Pacific in 1942. His wife and creative partner, Iola Brubeck, also is a Pacific graduate.
The Brubeck Institute was established following the donation of an extensive collection of Brubeck's materials to University of the Pacific's library for research and archival purposes. In addition to the archive " one of the world's largest and most comprehensive collections from a contemporary musician " the Institute also coordinates several national educational programs. Those programs range from the Brubeck Institute Fellowship, a full-scholarship educational opportunity for five exceptional young jazz musicians; the Brubeck Summer Jazz Colony, an intensive jazz performance experience for high school students; the Outreach Program, an initiative to promote better understanding of jazz and the work and influence of Dave Brubeck; and the annual Brubeck Festival, a celebration of the music and ideals of Dave Brubeck and his influence on the world of music.
This year's Brubeck Festival "Words with Music" will take place at Pacific April 11-15. A schedule and a line-up of the 2007 event's performers (which will include the Dave Brubeck Quartet) can be found at http://www.pacific.edu/conservatory
###A link to the Institute: http://www.pacific.edu/brubeck/ (Photos and video are available for the news media).