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Legendary jazz pianist Dave Brubeck has died at the age of 91, just one day shy of his 92nd birthday.
His longtime manager Russell Gloyd confirmed the news to The Chicago Tribune. Brubeck died at Norwalk Hospital in Connecticut Wednesday morning. The cause was heart failure while on his way to “a regular treatment with his cardiologist,” Gloyd said.
According to USA Today, a birthday celebration was in the works with Brubeck’s son Darius Brubeck, Billy Joel saxophone player Richie Cannata and New York Yankees great Bernie Williams set to attend.
Brubeck was known to push the boundaries of jazz throughout his career, applying the classical influences of his teacher, French master Darius Milhaud, to the American sound. His most popular recordings include Take Five and Blue Rondo a la Turk.
During the 1950s, he toured college campuses, bringing jazz to academia. In the 1960s, he wrote several key long-form works, including ballets, cantatas and solo piano pieces.
He considered himself “a composer who plays the piano” and once told the Tribune, “For as long as I’ve been playing jazz, people have been trying to pigeonhole me...Frankly, labels bore me.”