Grammy-nominated composer Chris Brubeck continues to distinguish himself as a multi-faceted performer and creative force. An award-winning writer, he is clearly tuned into the pulse of contemporary music. The respected music critic for The Chicago Tribune, John von Rhein, calls Chris: “a composer with a real flair for lyrical melody–a 21st Century Lenny Bernstein.”
Chris has created an impressive body of symphonic work while maintaining a demanding touring and recording schedule with his two groups: the Brubeck Brothers Quartet (with brother Dan on drums), and Triple Play, an acoustic trio featuring Chris on piano, bass, and trombone, along with guitarist Joel Brown and harmonica player extraordinaire Peter Madcat Ruth. After a concert with Triple Play in California, Mark Swed of the Los Angeles Times wrote: Triple Play was rollicking good fun … led by bassist, trombonist and pianist Chris Brubeck, the trio stole the show with its flair and virtuosity.”
The Brubeck Brothers Quartet (Chris, Dan and Chuck Lamb on piano and Mike DeMicco on guitar) continues to tour and has released 5 CDs through the years, which have consistently hit the top of the jazz radio charts. Jazz reviewer Ted Gioia writes about the BBQ: “… a stellar rhythm section — clean, crisp swing with great interaction between the players. Dan Brubeck’s drumming is a revelation. Some serious fraternal camaraderie is going down here.”
Chris is a much sought-after composer, and is excited to have his latest work, a double concerto for Jaime Laredo and Sharon Robinson, premiere in August, 2018 at the Classical Tahoe Festival. His last commission, “No Borders,” written for the famed Canadian Brass, premiered with the Lexington Philharmonic in November, 2017. He has been commissioned to write many innovative orchestral concertos for a variety of artists, including celebrated guitarist Sharon Isbin, Time for Three, Nick Kendall, Muir String Quartet and commissions from The Boston Pops, Baltimore Symphony, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Colorado Music Festival in Boulder, Indianapolis Symphony, Portland Symphony, Oakland East Bay Symphony, and many others.
Chris’s highly acclaimed “Concerto for Bass Trombone and Orchestra”, has been played by many of the top bass trombonists in the world and was recorded with Chris as soloist with the London Symphony Orchestra. It can be heard on the Koch International Classics recording “Bach to Brubeck.” He then wrote a second trombone concerto, “The Prague Concerto” which he premiered and recorded with the Czech National Symphony Orchestra on the Koch cd, “Convergence.” Reviewing that disc, Fanfare Magazine wrote “Brubeck’s skill both as composer and soloist is extraordinary.” April, 2009 saw the premiere of “Ansel Adams: America,” an exciting orchestral piece written by Chris and Dave Brubeck. Commissioned by a consortium of eight orchestras, it was accompanied by 100 of Ansel Adams’ majestic images projected above the orchestra. In 2013, “Ansel Adams: America” was nominated for a Grammy for Best Instrumental Composition.
Chris, a member of the Dave Brubeck Quartet for 16 years, was a frequent guest artist with the Quartet before and after that time period. Featured on dozens of recordings with the DBQ, Chris had the pleasure of playing all the great jazz festivals in the world. In addition, with the DBQ Chris often collaborated with symphony orchestras, and continues that tradition today as a soloist and member of the Brubeck Brothers Quartet and Triple Play.