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Brubeck Institute Jazz Quintet scale the DownBeat rankings
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Brubeck Institute Jazz Quintet scale the DownBeat rankings

Named top undergraduate jazz combo in the country for ninth time

University of the Pacific’s Brubeck Institute Jazz Quintet has been named the top undergraduate small jazz combo by DownBeat Magazine, the ninth time the fellowship program has received the honor since its first win in 2007.

“This is another tremendous honor for the Brubeck Institute, and we’re so very proud of the work done by students, faculty and staff in our jazz program,” said Peter Witte, dean of Pacific’s Conservatory of Music. “It’s a true tribute to the legacy of Dave and Iola Brubeck, and we’d like to think they would be proud of this honor, as well.”

DownBeat’s 42nd annual Student Music Awards will be in the jazz magazine’s June issue. The BIJQ’s selection as Best Small Jazz Combo in the Undergraduate College Outstanding Performance category honors the group’s recording, “Brubeck Institute Jazz Quintet 2016–2017.” Jamael Dean, who played piano with the Brubeck Fellows, also won Best Jazz Soloist for his play on that CD.

The eight-song CD, which includes music from Dean and fellow Brubeck Institute Jazz Quintet member Timothy Angulo, along with jazz greats Brubeck, Herbie Hancock, Miles Davis, Thelonious Monk and Randy Weston, was recorded May 2017 at 25th Street Studio on Oakland.

Other past Brubeck Fellows who played on the CD include Brandon Woody, Isaiah Collier and Zane DeBord.

“We’re really excited about this, and I’m really proud of the Brubeck Fellows on that CD,” said Patrick Langham, interim director of the Brubeck Institute and director of Pacific’s jazz program, who also served as the executive producer on the CD. “I’m also proud of Randy Sandoli, the Brubeck Institute assistant director and the producer of the CD. Lots of great work was done on this project.”

The CD pays tribute to the institute’s namesake.

“This 2016-2017 BIJQ was open to stretching the envelope,” reads a portion of the CD cover. “The result is a daring and adventurous ensemble sound. It’s that same spirit which exists in the music of Dave Brubeck. We hope the music on this recording reflects the joy and musical integrity shared in the studio.”

The Brubeck Institute was founded in 2000 to honor the lives, work and legacy of Dave ’42 and Iola Brubeck ’45 and to continue their lifelong dedication to music, creativity and education, and the advancement of important social issues, including civil rights, environmental concerns, international relations and social justice. The Institute maintains five programs, including the Brubeck Collection, the Brubeck Fellowship, the Brubeck Festival, Summer Jazz Colony, and the Brubeck Outreach Program. The fellowship program provides a high level of instruction, an arduous performance schedule, and mentoring by local and national jazz talents. More information: www.BrubeckInstitute.org.

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