Legendary jazz pianist and composer Dave Brubeck died Wednesday just a day short of his 92nd birthday, the New York Times reported, quoting his long-time manager.
Brubeck, whose intricate but catchy tunes such as Take Five helped popularize jazz in the 1950s and 1960s, was best known for a string of instrumental hits such as Time Out, Blue Rondo a la Turk and It's a Raggy Waltz. He was also a pioneer in introducing Asian time signatures into western music and in crossing the black-white musical divide in 1950's America.
A native of northern California, Brubeck was born on December 6, 1920. An accomplished musician at an early age, he served in an army band in Europe during World War Two, where he met his long time colleague sax player Paul Desmond in 1943.
The pair became one of "jazz's greatest combinations," the Times said, and by the late 1950s Brubeck "had broken through with mainstream audiences in a bigger way than almost any jazz musician since World War Two."
Brubeck was named a Jazz Master by the National Endowment for the Arts in 1999 and received a Kennedy Centre Honour in 2009 for his contribution to American culture. Brubeck kept working until last year.
He is survived by his wife, Iola; four sons and a daughter; grandsons and a great granddaughter.
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