Jazz Choir Rehearses for Brubeck Family

Jazz Choir Rehearses for Brubeck Family
Posted on 01/17/2019
Catherine Brubeck

Imagine the pressure of learning difficult choral jazz music, performing for an audience, and having a panel of scholarly jazz aficionados judge your set. Now if that is not enough pressure, imagine the composers’ family watching your rehearsal process. Well that is exactly what the Real Ambassadors, a group of Jazz singers from the Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts experienced when David Brubeck’s daughter and granddaughter unexpectedly showed up to watch. The group, which is named after Brubeck’s 1950s jazz musical, has been working away preparing for their upcoming performance at the Berklee Jazz Festival where they will perform a set that will include a piece of the legendary composer’s music. Coincidentally, his granddaughter Mariel Brubeck Yaghsizian, was working at the Academy that afternoon posing as a model for visual arts students. She recognized the group’s director, Dianne Mower, and learned of the rehearsal that night. Yaghsizian’s mother and Dave Brubeck’s daughter Catherine was also on campus. Mower invited both up to watch her group of high school singers perform Brubeck’s music which included “Thad Had” “Goodbye Pork Pie” and “Unsquare Dance” a piece that Mower wrote lyrics for. It was a moment to take in for the two as they watched the group perform the music of their father and grandfather respectively.

On Saturday, January 26, the Real Ambassadors will travel to Boston to compete in the Berklee High School Jazz Festival which they have won awards from in year’s past.