Dave and Iola Brubeck on performing with their sons in Poland in 1958


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KH: Did you attend the concerts, Iola, or...

IB: Yes. I attended all of them actually, yeah.

KH: And did you see a difference, or similarities between the audience and their reaction to Dave's music, or...?

IB: Well, all the audiences were very positive and eager, and I mean they realized that this was the first and sort of history breaking. And they were musical enthusiasts whether it was jazz or classical backgrounds, that they were interested in music. They knew that this was sort of part of history. And, the very first night, we had the experience of having our sons pushed out on the stage to play. And, you have to tell them that story because I think it's pretty funny.

DB: Oh, well they had never been onstage to play, and yet, here they come. And, my eldest, Darius, was a pianist. So, he sat next to me, and Michael could play drums. So, he took Joe Morello's place, and I said, "What are you doing here?"

IB: This was in the middle of the concert.

DB: And, they said the Polish prince -- what was his name?

IB: Roman Waschko.

DB: Roman Waschko told us that the Polish people loved children, and that we should go play. I said, "Get out of here." And so, they left the stage because I'd never played in public with them. And, I didn't know what was going on.

Pretty quick, they come back. And, they said, "Roman said we must play." The public wanted it. So I said, "OK, what do you want to play." And, my son Darius was on this side of me on the treble clef side of the piano. And, he said he didn't know. I said, "Take the A Train." And he said, "OK."

So, he started playing, and he's always been rather advanced. So, he thought it was a jazz concert -- he should improvise. And, he starts playing some things, and I said, "Play the melody, stupid." (laughter) And, so he went into the melody of Take the A Train.

Now, there were critics from all over Poland, and some from other parts of Europe at that concert. So, when we finished and came off stage, they said, "What did your father say to you?" And he said, "Play the melody, stupid." We saw in the paper the next day, "Spiel die melodie, dummkopf!". (laughter) And, it was the headlines in the German paper.

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