The Claycord Online Museum – The Concord Jazz Festival + Brubeck’s “Take Five” to be Honored in Concord Tonight

March 11, 2014 14:00 pm · 14 comments


Thanks to Dennis for sending us this old poster advertising the Concord Jazz Festival. Although we’re not sure what year this was from, this is a perfect feature for today, because as we reported last week, the Concord City Council is expected to name Dave Brubeck’s “Take Five” as Concord’s “Most Treasured Song” at tonight’s council meeting.

Here’s an updated story on tonight’s meeting:

Concord civic leaders tonight will honor one of the city’s most renowned native sons, jazz legend Dave Brubeck, by spotlighting his iconic “Take Five.”

The Concord High School Minutemen jazz band will bring the classic piece to life during a 30-minute concert before tonight’s City Council meeting, during which the council is expected to name “Take Five” the city’s “most treasured song.”

The crowd-pleasing piece was composed by Paul Desmond and played for the first time by The Dave Brubeck Quartet in the 1950s. It remains one of the best-selling jazz singles of all time.

Brubeck was born and raised in Concord and returned to his hometown many times over the years to perform “Take Five” as well as other pieces.

In the 1970s, he played alongside a number of other world-class jazz artists including Oscar Peterson, Pearl Bailey and Ella Fitzgerald in the Concord Jazz Festival.

City officials say Brubeck’s participation in the festival led to the construction of the Concord Pavilion, which opened in 1975, and helped put Concord on the map as a West Coast jazz destination.

Brubeck died in Norwalk, Connecticut on Dec. 5, 2012, a day before his 92nd birthday.

His last visit to Concord was in 2006, when the city renamed the Concord Boulevard Neighborhood Park after him.

The designation of his best-known song as the city’s “most treasured” is just another way of honoring his legacy, city officials said.

“It just puts a mark of recognition on Dave Brubeck more than anything,” Concord City Clerk Mary Rae Lehman said. “We’re just very respectful of his talents and the contributions he’s made as a humanitarian.”

In 2000, the Brubeck Institute was established at the musician’s alma mater, Stockton’s University of the Pacific.

The institute is meant to honor the legacy of both Dave and his wife Iola Brubeck and their commitment to music, creativity, education and social justice.

ABOUT THE CLAYCORD ONLINE MUSEUM: The Claycord Online Museum is made up of historical photos, documents & anything else that has to do with the history of our area.

If you have any old photos or items that you’d like to place in the Claycord Online Museum, just scan or take a photo of them, and send them to the following address: It doesn’t matter what it is, even if it’s just an old photo of your house, a scan of an old advertisement or an artifact that you’d like us to see, send it in and we’ll put it online!

Click on the tag below titled “Claycord Online Museum” to view other items!

John Sykes March 11, 2014 at 2:34 PM

Would have liked have seen the show. Chet Atkins and Joe Pass, especially. Joe Pass was straight up gangster in his time, cleaned himself up after prison and became a jazz legend.

ClayDen March 11, 2014 at 3:48 PM

I have been a jazz fan since high school, and Dave Brubeck was a major reason for it, especially Take Five. I took a date to the Monterey Jazz Festival in the 1960s the see him (while I was in high school).

Spanky Fortuna March 11, 2014 at 4:39 PM


Spanky Fortuna March 11, 2014 at 4:41 PM

I would like to have seen the show, as well.

biggin March 11, 2014 at 5:05 PM

That is from my brother Dennis and I was there. The beginning of a life long love for all music. Good thing we didn’t wreck the poster….

Atticus Thraxx March 11, 2014 at 5:54 PM

Somebody please get this up on YouTube!

nytemuvr March 11, 2014 at 6:07 PM

Dave Brubeck came to Concord High in ’71 or ’72 and we(the stage band) got to play Take Five with him. Didn’t know at the time how great that was.

Skippy March 11, 2014 at 9:09 PM

My parents took me to see Ella Fitzgerald and Benny Goodman play in this festival in the park next to CHS in 1972 or 1973 before they opened the Pavilion and the acts moved there. Imagine all those jazz greats coming to play in a little park next to a high school, and it was either free or very cheap,a few bucks to picnic on the lawn. I remember this poster.

Shelly March 11, 2014 at 9:58 PM

It’s not that I don’t believe you posters, but what UNBELIEVEABLE good fortune touched you, and thanks for talking about it!

nytemuvr March 11, 2014 at 10:05 PM

@Skippy #8
I think it was ’72 and think it was free, had a friend that lived directly across Concord Blvd….if memory serves me.

nytemuvr March 11, 2014 at 10:10 PM

@Atticus Thraxx #6
Here’s from ’82….

nytemuvr March 11, 2014 at 10:13 PM

@Atticus Thraxx #6
Sorry, just music, no video…take my post down if you want Mayor…sorry

EdiBirsan March 11, 2014 at 10:30 PM

The kids were GREAT tonight at the City Council. A wonderful display of talent and disciplined play at a young age. They all should be very proud and we should share in that pride as we encourage and support the group.

They will also be playing at Todos Santos at the opening in May.

nytemuvr March 12, 2014 at 12:04 AM

@EdiBirsan #13
Show night was what you practiced for every school day. I played lead trumpet back in early 70s and it was always fun, great they sounded good. I can still remember the fingerings for Take Five on my horn, we played it a lot. Mr. Durfinger (our band teacher back then) and Dave Brubeck were both UOP Stockton alumni.

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