In celebration of the 100th anniversary of the birth of jazz legend—and Wilton’s own—Dave Brubeck, the Wilton Historical Society is presenting a special exhibit, Remembering Dave: A Brubeck Family Album. Opening Friday, Feb. 21, the exhibition will run through April 18, 2020.

When he bestowed upon the jazz great the prestigious Kennedy Center Honor at the White House in 2009, President Barack Obama stated, “In order to understand America, you have to understand jazz, and in order to understand jazz, you have to understand Dave Brubeck.”  As a pianist, bandleader and composer, Dave Brubeck (1920-2012) is widely acknowledged as one of America’s most significant post-swing era jazz musicians, creating a body of music that was bold and accessible.

The public is invited to the opening reception on Friday, Feb. 21, from 4-6 p.m. (no charge). The exhibition incorporates material from the Dave Brubeck:  Jazz Ambassador show, which detailed his illustrious 70-year career and was presented at Jazz at Lincoln Center soon after Brubeck’s death, and highlights other facets of his life such as his impact as a composer, a performer, a civil rights activist and as family man.

The Remembering Dave: A Brubeck Family Album exhibition presents additional material that speaks to Dave’s life in Wilton with his wife Iola, and six kids, including musicians Darius, Chris and Dan. Growing up on a vast ranch in California, he learned to ride, how to be a cowboy; visitors will be able to see a Western-style saddle that belonged to his father, as well as Dave’s cowboy hat. A highlight of the exhibition is the opportunity to see a new short film produced by the Brubeck family which contains rare footage of “Cowboy Dave.” Another section of the film shows Wilton composer, lyricist, pianist, and educator Eugenie Rocherolle interviewing fellow musician Dave Brubeck.

Entrance to the exhibit is free for Wilton Historical Society members; entry is $10 for non-member adults, and free for children under 18.

Dave Brubeck 100 is the world-wide celebration of the 100th birthday of Dave Brubeck, the jazz composer, pianist, cultural ambassador, and visionary musician, which will take place on Dec. 6, 2020.