The One About Stumbling Onto a Jazz Concert in Ohio

It must have been my lucky day, and I didn’t even know it.  I was on day 11 of a 12-day college touring trip – I was tired, had already smashed my iPad and procured a replacement (still had bruises on both knees from the fall that precipitated the aforementioned smash), and in the middle of Ohio.  Showing up for 6:30 am breakfast and 7:15 am bus boarding for four days straight is not as fun as it sounds.

So I couldn’t have been happier to arrive at Marietta College, in Marietta, Ohio, famous for its petroleum engineering program, to be handed an agenda that detailed our afternoon at Marietta, which included a welcome from the college President, student panel, college tour, dinner and optional evening concert by Chris Brubeck and his jazz trio, Triple Play.

Brubeck Triple Play

A student took this photo for me. L-R: Chris Brubeck, Joel Brown, Peter Madcat Ruth.

Only four of us stayed for the concert, from our group of 28 counselors.  It had been a long three days, with a lot of criss-crossing across Ohio to visit six colleges.  But for those of us who stayed, what a treat.  Chris Brubeck plays the piano, trombone and bass guitar (fretless bass, he informed us).  Joel Brown, who chairs the Music Department at Skidmore College, played the acoustic guitar, and Peter Madcat Ruth, well, he plays everything else.  Every key of harmonica you have ever seen (and let me tell you how amazing it was to watch him switch from one to the next effortlessly, without skipping a beat), various percussion instruments, and something called the jaw harp, which I’ve just learned has various other names.  (Click here for a description, which really doesn’t tell you much unless you scroll down to the “See Also” section and click the play button to hear a sample of what this freaky instrument sounds like.)

Triple Play wowed the Marietta College crowd, which included students and community members, with jazz, funk, bluegrass and of course a few Dave Brubeck tunes.  It was a wild ride, two full hour-long sets, and afterward I bought a few CDs and had the guys sign them.  These guys are INCREDIBLY TALENTED!!!!

If you are in the LA area, Chris Brubeck will be playing at the Hollywood Bowl on Father’s Day, as part of the Playboy Jazz Festival.  GO!  You will not be disappointed!!




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3 responses to “The One About Stumbling Onto a Jazz Concert in Ohio

  1. Sounds like a great show. I hope you weren’t in Cleveland on your Ohio tour, because if you were and you didn’t call me…

    • ….please don’t kill me! I had very little control of my schedule – spent one night in Cleveland but late night with the tour and early morning the next day……Sorry!!!

  2. So he is the son of Dave! And you have never heard the mouth harp? I never figured out how to play it myself and somehow managed to catch my tongue in the key. That second one is the way I remember my dad’s mouth harp looking.

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