Chris Brubeck first distinguished himself as an innovative jazz/rock performer and composer. During the 70’s he began touring and recording with his father, Dave Brubeck. Chris plays bass, trombone, piano, guitar and sings and, in the past few decades, has earned international acclaim as composer, performer and leader of his own groups. On stage, his irrepressible enthusiasm is matched by his fluid command of jazz, blues, folk, funk, pop and classical musical styles. An award-winning composer, 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.”
In the last decade, Chris has created an impressive body of symphonic work while maintaining a demanding touring and recording schedule with his two bands, Triple Play and The Brubeck Brothers Quartet. Chris is on the road quite a bit, performing and recording with Triple Play, an acoustic blues/jazz/folk trio with vocals that includes guitarist Joel Brown and harmonica virtuoso Peter Madcat Ruth. Chris and Madcat met in high school and now have been performing together for nearly 40 years! In addition, Chris tours with his jazz quartet, the Brubeck Brothers Quartet, with his brother Dan on drums, Mike DeMicco on guitar and Chuck Lamb on piano. The BBQ recently released its second Koch recording, Classified featuring Chris’s composition for woodwind quintet and the BBQ “Vignettes for Nonet”.
Chris is much in demand as an orchestral composer. In 2007, four of his major orchestral pieces premiered: “Quiet Heroes: A Symphonic Salute to the Flagraisers at Iwo Jima”, a moving piece for full orchestra and narrator which was commissioned by the Fox Valley Symphony Orchestra in Wisconsin, and was narrated by Wilford Brimley; “Music is the Power” with the Stockton Symphony, wherein Chris set Stockton high school students’ poetry about music for full orchestra, jazz quartet, soloist and chorus; in October, 2007, the Anchorage Symphony Orchestra premiered “Spontaneous Combustion”, a fiery violin concerto Chris wrote for the talented violin soloist Nick Kendall; and the following month Chris and the Czech National Symphony Orchestra premiered his piece “From the Blues to Beyond”, a concerto for trumpet and trombone with full orchestra.
In 2006 Chris’s second symphonic CD, Convergence, on Koch International Classics featuring the Czech National Symphony Orchestra was released. The disc is entirely comprised of Chris’s original compositions including Frederica von Stade singing “River of Song”, the title composition, “Convergence” and also includes Chris performing his second major trombone work, “Prague Concerto for Trombone and Orchestra”. Reviewing Convergence, Fanfare Magazine wrote: “Brubeck’s skill both as composer and soloist is extraordinary.”
On special occasions, Chris continues to guest on bass and trombone with The Dave Brubeck Quartet. Chris has worked with many diverse artists, including Frederica von Stade, Ben Luxon, Dawn Upshaw, Bill Crofut, Meryl Streep, Willie Nelson, B.B. King, Gerry Mulligan, Bela Fleck, Bobby McFerrin, Stephane Grappelli, Bobby Womack, Tower of Power, and Patti Labelle. His compositions have been performed by orchestras all around the world, including the prominent U.S. orchestras of Boston, Houston, Pittsburgh, Baltimore and Washington as well as the London Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the Czech National Symphony Orchestra, the Russian National Orchestra, and the Singapore Chinese Orchestra.