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Iola Brubeck, 90, Of Wilton, Wife Of Jazz Great Dave Brubeck

Iola Brubeck with her husband, Dave Brubeck, the famed jazz musician.
Iola Brubeck with her husband, Dave Brubeck, the famed jazz musician. Photo Credit: The Daily Voice/Contributed

WILTON, Conn. - Iola Brubeck of Wilton died March 12. She was 90.

Brubeck was born Aug. 14, 1923, in Corning, Calif., and grew up throughout Northern California, where her father was a forest ranger. She was valedictorian of her high school class in Shasta, Calif., before enrolling at what is now the University of the Pacific in Stockton, Calif. She completed her bachelor’s degree in 1945.

In 1950, Brubeck helped her husband teach one of the country’s first courses in jazz appreciation at the University of California at Berkeley and began to write lyrics for some of her husband’s tunes, including “In Your Own Sweet Way,” “Strange Meadow Lark,” “Summer Song” and his large-scale religious and choral works.

In 1958, Brubeck accompanied her husband on a State Department-sponsored tour of Eastern Europe, marking the first time that jazz musicians had been used as semiofficial emissaries of the United States behind the Iron Curtain. She contributed to the success of her husband, noted jazz musician, Dave Brubeck and was his first manager.

Brubeck is survived by her children, Catherine Yaghsizian of Wallingford, Darius Brubeck of London, Chris Brubeck of Wilton, Dan Brubeck of Vancouver, and Matthew Brubeck of Toronto; 10 grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren. She was predeceased by her husband, Dave; and son, Michael Brubeck.

Service were private. 

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