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Brubeck

Dave Brubeck,  an American jazz legend, died today.  He was a respected pianist and composer who helped to define jazz.  Most articles and stories will focus on great pieces like, “Take Five,” “Koto Song,” and “Blue Rondo a la Turk.”  These songs will showcase his talent and skill, but folks should also remember Dave Brubeck the Army veteran.

After he graduated with a music degree in 1942, Brubeck enlisted in the Army.  Brubeck belonged to Patton’s Third Army and served in the European campaign.  One night he volunteered to play the piano at a Red Cross show.  This was a turning point in his military career.  Everyone was so impressed with his musical gift, that he was ordered to form a band.  This resulted in the creation of an Army first, a racially integrated band.

When Dave Brubeck spoke about his military service, he often mentioned how it evoked a spiritual awakening in him.  While many WWII era veterans would not share stories about the conflict they saw, Brubeck shared how it moved him to faith in God.  This was not a quick conclusion.  Brubeck became a Christian nearly 40 years after he witnessed combat.

I hope that Dave Brubeck is remembered for his God-given talent, his ability to see people for their skill instead of their skin color, his long quest as a spiritual seeker, and ultimately his faith in Jesus Christ.

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