Brubeck will celebrate 66 years at the piano

August 13, 1992|By New York Times News Service

NEW YORK -- The party to be given Saturday night at the Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts in Katonah, for Dave Brubeck by Barbaralee Diamonstein-Spielvogel and her husband, Carl Spielvogel, started out as a celebration of the jazz maestro's 60th anniversary in music.

But when it turned out that Mr. Brubeck had actually been playing the piano for 66 years, starting at age 5, and professionally for 57 years, no one was particularly perturbed by the discrepancy.

"We're honoring him because he is the icon of jazz," Ms. Diamonstein-Spielvogel said. "His music transcends any compartmentalization; it's worldly and it's religious."

After a dinner for 50, the guests, who will include Elie and Marion Wiesel; Andre Previn; William H. Donaldson, chairman of the New York Stock Exchange; Dr. Paul A. Marks, president of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center; James Lapine, director and librettist; and Laurie Beckelman, chairwoman of the Landmarks Preservation Commission, will join the audience of 1,600 to listen to Mr. Brubeck and his quartet.

Mr. Brubeck seemed in a celebratory mood himself the other day during a phone interview from his home in Wilton, Conn.

"I celebrate the fact that we're still going strong and still have tours," he said, noting that he was spending the summer hopscotching from San Francisco to Disney World in Florida, from the Northwood Festival in Michigan to Caramoor, and to Washington and Tanglewood. "I am trying to cut down," he said. "I have done as many as 250 one-nighters a year, but last year I cut back to 80 and this year hope to keep it to 70."

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