WILTON, Conn. – The world could use more great musicians like Dave Brubeck, if you ask Wilton First Selectman Bill Brennan. “The world needs more musicians and less warriors,” Brennan said.
The renowned jazz pianist and Wilton resident of more than 50 years died Wednesday, one day shy of his 92nd birthday.
“We are all terribly saddened at the loss of one of our great citizens,” Brennan added.
The first selectman said he was introduced to Brubeck’s music in the 1950s when he was in college and saw Brubeck play at Carnegie Hall. “It was my first real exposure to jazz,” he said. “He was always a tremendously talented musician who constantly reinvented himself.”
Brubeck was a kind contributor to the Wilton Library, Brennan said, and Brubeck and his sons raised money to support the library. The library’s Brubeck Room is named in his honor.
Library executive director Elaine Tai-Lauria said someone left a carnation at the bust of Brubeck inside the library as a tribute to the musician.
“The music world has lost a giant, and we on a personal note have lost a wonderful friend of the community,” Tai-Lauria said, noting the Brubeck family’s friendship with the library and attendance at library musical events. “We are all very, very saddened and will miss him dearly.”
New Canaan Fire Marshal Fred Baker, a Wilton native, recalled pumping gas for Brubeck when he worked at the old Milestone Garage on Route 7 as a teenager, “He was a very nice guy. Very unassuming,” said Baker. “He was a down-to-earth guy.”