Jun. 16—Pro Musica will host the Brubeck Brother Quartet on Thursday. The award-winning group will perform twin sets at 6:30 p.m. during Third Thursday festivities at the corner of Sixth and Main streets.
This is the second time in as many months that a Joplin-based organization has sponsored a live performance during the monthly downtown celebration. In mid-May, Heartland Opera singers entertained audiences with an outdoor concert at Carmine's Wood Fired Pizza.
"We know the Brubeck fans are excited and eager to reconnect with the band, but we're also excited to introduce the Brubeck Brothers to new fans — to as much of the Joplin community as possible," said Emlyn Johnson, Pro Musica's executive director. "That's why we chose to collaborate with the Downtown Joplin Alliance for this event; we wanted to share these beloved musicians in a fun and accessible event that celebrates our Joplin community, and Third Thursday is the perfect partner."
The quartet is a jazz group featuring two members of one of America's most accomplished musical families — Dan Brubeck (drums) and Chris Brubeck (bass and trombone.) The two sons carry forward the band's namesake, Dave Brubeck. Guitarist Mike DeMicco and pianist Chuck Lamb round out the roster.
"When we talked with our patrons at prior Brubeck concerts, they loved the connection of seeing an iconic name like Brubeck in Joplin," said Wally Bloss, Pro Musica board member. "Hearing live some of the signature Brubeck pieces like 'Take 5' or 'Uncommon Time' played by the sons of the author of those pieces was unbelievable."
The band last performed in Joplin in April 2018 inside Corley Auditorium on the Missouri Southern State University campus. Two years before that, Chris Brubeck played with his band, Triple Play, at Ozark Christian College.
"Anytime we've had the Brubeck Brothers in Joplin, they have been a huge hit," Johnson said. "Their mix of music, storytelling and audience engagement is just spot-on. They're consummate performers, and they love to connect with our Joplin community just as much as our audience loves to connect with them."
Johnson said audiences also appear to be hungry for live performances again after a year without them due to the pandemic.
"It's so exciting that we're not only returning to those magical moments, but also to those moments of real connection and community that we have all been missing over the past year," Johnson said.
Kevin McClintock is features editor for The Joplin Globe.