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Dave Brubeck

Dave Brubeck reflects on his Moscow visits and a New Film

My first concerts in Moscow were in 1987. The Dave Brubeck Quartet was perceived as a symbol of Gorbachev's new policy of glasnost; and jazz fans, who knew my music from the Voice of America broadcasts and smuggled LPs, rejoiced in their newly discovered freedom. Repeatedly I heard the remark: "I never dreamed this could happen in my lifetime."

Because of the success of that tour of the Soviet Union, President and Mrs. Reagan invited me and the Quartet to come to the Moscow Summit in 1988 to perform at Spaso House, the residence of the American ambassador. That memorable night I looked out from the stage to a room full of American and Soviet diplomats, statesmen, bureaucrats, generals, dissidents, and cultural icons from both nations and was amazed at how similar they were to any toe-tapping, head nodding audience anywhere in the world. For that moment, at least, all were united in the music.

Ten years elapsed before my return to Moscow. This time I saw the new Russia. The reactions from the people we met, whether curious students or interested musicians in the orchestra and chorus, were fascinating to hear and see. Not only was the performance of a liturgical mass (so recently forbidden by the State) an inconceivable event in Russia, but also a mass with jazz improvisation! That was something almost beyond their comprehension. And yet, all the performers threw themselves into the rehearsals and performance with great emotion and ardor.

When I viewed this brilliantly produced documentary film I found my interest in these performers and the reaction of the Russian audience to be as compelling as the thrill of hearing my music performed so beautifully. I, too, never dreamed that this could happen in my lifetime. How wonderful it is to have those memorable events so faithfully recounted in this documentary of my return to Moscow. I hope this film can have as wide an audience as possible.

Our friends and partners:
  • Metromedia International Telecommunications, Inc.
  • Daniel Wilson Productions, Inc.
  • Dave Brubeck Quartet
  • Russian National Orchestra
  • Yurloff State Choir
  • Lance Entertainment

    To purchase Brubeck Returns to Moscow in VHS video and DVD formats visit
    Approximate running time is 2 hours. DVD features an additional interview with Dave Brubeck by Vladimir Posner. English language.

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