Dave Brubeck on meeting Bill Clinton and receiving the National Medal of the Arts from him


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DB: One of the biggest memories was all of the governors were at the White House, and we were invited. And, this young governor came over to us and said he loved my music, and that he loved to play jazz. He said, "I'm Governor Clinton. I'm so glad to see you here." (laughter) Then he gave me a wonderful award, a presidential award along with, I think, nine or ten people.

But, there was a lineup where everybody goes in this long line and says "Hello" to President Clinton. And, when Iola and I got there, he said, "Dave, you've got to go upstairs with me. I want to show you my music room."

And, I said, "Well, look at all these people." "Oh, come on, let's go." I said, "You can't just leave all these people standing there." He said, "Well, I've got your Blue Rondo a la Turk framed and on the wall. I wanted to show it to you." I said, "Thank you so much." He said, "I can still sing it, [SINGS]."

And he started singing it. All these people are there, and I'm embarrassed thinking we're holding up the line. And, he's talking music to me. (laughter) But it was wonderful. I'll never forget that time.

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