Lola Brubeck is pianist Dave Brubeck’s widow who was his soul mate and fan number 1. The Jazz icon died in Connecticut due to a heart attack, he was heading to his appointment with a cardiologist. He was 91 and his B-day was tomorrow.
The couple met in Stockton, California, at the beginning of World War.
Lola’s husband was the great mind behind these music masterpieces: “Take Five” and “Blue Rondo à la Turk.”
Lola was married to Dave for 65 years. They got engaged on their first date. Her husband never thought of retiring. Jazz and Lola were his two great loves. When he was asked if he would ever stop working, he answered:
This’ll be a very short interview if we’re gonna talk about spare time.
Mrs. Brubeck was his assistant. She deal with Dave’s business. She recalls when he began his career:
I was a stay-at-home mom until everybody was out of the nest. But I also worked with Dave. When he was traveling with our sons, I did all the booking for traveling and took care of the business. Some people give me credit for getting Dave started [playing on] college campuses. I don’t think it was that I was so smart. I like to eat!
The couple had a daughter and five sons (four of them are professional musicians.) Every winter the whole family spent the holidays in Sanibel Island, Florida.
Dave and Lola lived in Wilton for more than 45 years. Their home is three stories and you can find incredible treasures and personal memories. David Thorne designed this house and their previous one in Oakland, California. The last has a Japanese style.
Lola said about the architect:
He brought with him a lot of that California influence.
The lovely house has 2 streams, a pond, big trees and pasture. There is an island retreat where Dave used to make his music. When their children were young, they snowboarded and played football there.
We just loved the land and the beauty of the streams.
This is a music factory.
The property used to be a dairy farm and one of the walls was made out of the rocks that remained from that period.
Lola says about the stones:
Just what the glaciers left behind.
Lola and Dave were raised in central California. When they were young they were totally broke but Dave had his lucky break in music and the rest is history. He remembered this critical period of their lives:
I’m embarrassed at what I put my wife and my kids through. A cabin with no floor, just dirt, and no toilet facilities. I would wash the kids in a stream. That was a low period. We were broke all the time.
Despite the money and fame that came afterwards, the couple always remained modest and kind people. They were down to earth and you could see a fortune displayed in their house in paintings, sculptures, tapestries, collections and antique furniture. Dave’s awards are also exhibited. Dave and Lola were proud of what they had achieved.
This is a conversation they had over hanging lamps in their living room:
Lola, did I bring these from Iraq or Iran?
From Iraq but they’re falling apart, like Iraq is.
Dave and Lola worked out together a lot. They walked five miles daily.
They were very close and funny. They joked at each other.
There are great restaurants all around here. The Mediterranean [Grill] in Wilton is the one we go to the most.
That’s your favorite because they immediately bring you cushions for your back.
Mr. Brubeck is survived by his wife, four sons, a daughter, grandsons and a great granddaughter.