By Diane Urbani de la Paz
Peninsula Daily News
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Called “Friends of Brubeck,” it’s to be a celebration Friday night of the late Dave Brubeck and his music at Maier Performance Hall, the intimate venue at Peninsula College.
A quartet of artists from the Olympic and Kitsap peninsulas are assembling for the 7 p.m. concert to cover classics such as “Take Five” and “Three to Get Ready” alongside the lesser-known “It’s a Raggy Waltz” and “Alice in Wonderland.”
Pianist and arranger Linda Dowdell is the bandleader, while Craig Buhler brings the sax, Ted Enderle handles the bass and Terry Smith, whom his bandmates call “the Groove King,” plays drums.
Maier Hall has just 130 seats, and “I would be surprised if it didn’t sell out,” said Getta Rogers, Peninsula College Foundation director.
“It’s not every day that someone tackles Brubeck,” she added, “and this group is certainly up for the challenge.
“To have their collective talent focused on Brubeck’s work is very exciting.”
Advance tickets are $15 on BrownPaperTickets.com — search for “Friends of Brubeck” — and via www.pencol.edu/foundation.
If any tickets are left Friday, those will be
available by phoning 360-417-6264.
Any remaining seats will be sold at the door of Maier Hall, on the main campus at 1502 E. Lauridsen Blvd.
Proceeds will benefit the Peninsula College Foundation’s scholarships and programs.
Brubeck, a native of Concord, Calif., was famous for his exotic way with rhythm.
A classically trained pianist, he experimented with time signatures, pioneering the thing called “cool jazz.”
The Dave Brubeck Quartet’s album “Time Out,” released on the eve of the 1960s, was the first jazz record to sell more than 1 million copies.
Buhler, a lifelong student of Brubeck and his saxophonist, the late Paul Desmond, came up with the idea for a Brubeck tribute.
When he visits Sequim High School to teach jazz classes, the teenagers know of two tunes right off: Glenn Miller’s “In the Mood” and Brubeck’s “Take Five.”
Brubeck transcended his genre, Buhler added; “the general public adored him.”
The saxman doesn’t hold back when talking about his bandmates.
Dowdell “is not a conventional pianist. She looks at a sheet of music and uses it as a springboard to explore,” he said.
“Terry [Smith] has been playing for years with rock bands and country bands — and now a lot of the jazz players are saying, Terry’s the guy I want. He brings that rock energy.
“Also, he listens,” responding to the tune as it reveals itself.
Dowdell, for her part, calls Enderle, who drives over from Bainbridge Island, the ultimate side man.
She also promised that Friday evening won’t be a delivery of the music just as it sounds on the records.
Instead, concert-goers will hear the quartet’s fresh takes, plus her new arrangements of Brubeck tunes such as “Get Happy.”
“You have to move it along,” Dowdell said. And so she will, in a place fit for the sound.
“I am so looking forward to playing in Maier Hall,” she said, “and the gorgeous piano there.”
Features Editor Diane Urbani de la Paz can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5062, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.