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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