Friday, April 07, 2006

Brubeck: Take Five, Receive Medal

According to the recent Jazz Week (4/3/06) Dave Brubeck will be the recipient of the Notre Dame’s Laetrare Medal. According to Jazz Week:

The medal is the oldest and most prestigious honor given to American Catholics.

“The composed energy of Mr. Brubeck’s art helps us apprehend the fullness of creation," said Notre Dame’s president, Rev. John I. Jenkins.

It’s appropriate that Brubeck should be honored on an American campus. After all, he built his reputation through college tours, and with recordings like Jazz Goes to College. Perhaps Ellington’s Sacred Concerts are the best recognized, but the extent of sacred compositions in jazz is not widely acknowledged. Brubeck has contributed a number of them, including albums like The Gates of Justice and The Light in the Wilderness.

Catholicism has been fairly receptive to jazz. At least two Catholic priests have recorded jazz albums as instrumentalists, Father Tom Vaughan, and Father Jack Herrera. Now one of the highest American Catholic honor will be bestowed on Brubeck on May 21.