Dave Brubeck Gets an Uplifting Musical Surprise from a Young Violinist in Moscow (1997)

December 2, 1997. Exactly ten years after his first visit to Moscow, jazz legend Dave Brubeck returned to perform before the faculty and students of the Moscow Conservatory. During his concert, an audience member asked him to improvise on the old Russian sea shanty “Ej, Uhnem.” About two minutes into the improvisation, a young violinist rose from his seat and started to play along. You just have to love Dave’s surprised look at 2:09.

This young man turned out to be a student at the conservatory. His name is Denis Kolobov and he is now a violinist of international renown. Denis must have mustered up all of his courage to cut into the performance of one of the great jazz pianists. But the day before, French jazz violinist Stéphane Grappelli had died in Paris and Denis decided to honor Grappelli’s memory in this way. What a great idea!

By profession, Matthias Rascher teaches English and History at a High School in northern Bavaria, Germany. In his free time he scours the web for good links and posts the best finds on Twitter.

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