Program Details

Enjoying the Music of Dave Brubeck and Paul Desmond Hurricane Nicole Make-up: Thursday, December 1st 12:30-2pm

Mark Gridley

Course Description

In this interactive series participants will be introduced, or reintroduced to The Dave Brubeck Quartet, the most well-known modern jazz combo in the 1950s and 1960s. Pianist Brubeck was among the most original and prolific composers in all of jazz history. This series will highlight Brubeck's composing and his piano styles in addition to his most exciting quartet recordings and the extraordinary saxophone style of Paul Desmond. Films and records, with analysis of song forms and solo improvisations, will make this experience enjoyable for both jazz lovers and those new to jazz. Space is limited.


  1. Lesser-Known Compositions by Brubeck: "Strange Meadow Lark," "Mr. Broadway," "In Your Own Sweet Way," "The Duke."
  2. Piano Styles of Brubeck: Locked hands, block chording, single-note lines of striking originality and integrity; superimposition of swinging solo lines in duple meter atop accompaniment in triple meter.
  3. The Most Exciting Concert Recordings by the Dave Brubeck Quartet: The Oberlin Concert's Perdido, Mexican and European dates.
  4. Outstanding Solo Improvisations by Saxophonist Paul Desmond: "Georgia on My Mind," "My Funny Valentine."

About the Instructor

  • Mark C. Gridley, Ph.D., is a professional jazz saxophonist-flutist-bandleader who taught jazz history and appreciation at Case Western Reserve University, where he developed America's most widely used introductions to jazz: "Jazz Styles: History and Analysis" and its abridged edition, "Concise Guide to Jazz," (Prentice-Hall). His books have been translated into six foreign languages. His articles appear in numerous academic musicology journals as well as Groves Dictionaries of Music and Encyclopaedia Britannica. Gridley has been honored by the Educational Press Association of America’s Distinguished Achievement Award, and he is listed in "Marquis Who’s Who in America."