Dave Brubeck Park - Updated for 2020
ABOUT THE PARK
Dave Brubeck Park is 8 acres on the north side of Concord Boulevard between Mendocino Drive and Denkinger Road, next to Concord High School.
A relaxed neighborhood park with a playground for the kids, picnic tables for the parents, and plenty of green grass and restrooms for everybody. Being next to Concord High, this park gets a decent amount of traffic, but it still very well-maintained and family-friendly. Without kids, though, this park is not worth the drive. There's not much to do besides chill out, as there are no sports fields, hills, facilities, or specified dog park.
A major gripe of most people in the area is that they run the sprinklers on this park every night while the state struggles through a crippling drought. The majority of the time, these sprinklers are watering pavement.
Nice destination for a neighborhood jog, wherein you can relax, meet new people and helps your body to be physically fit.
In 1911, Mrs. Brubeck inherited from her father, Henry Ivey, who owned and ran one of Concord's livery stables, her family home. In the house were born all three of her daughters. Mr. & Mrs. Brubeck actually met in the house when she was brought home for dinner by her father, who was fascinated by the young "Pete" Brubeck. Pete Brubeck had come to Concord with his father from Lassen County, along with horses and cattle he used to store his new ranch he had purchased in Ignacio Valley together with pasture leased in what is now the Concord Pavilion's site. Dave Brubeck, as you may remember, later played several concerts at the Pavilion, an opportunity he considered very rewarding to come home.
Mrs. Brubeck planned and refurbished a spectacular second-story studio and a balcony music studio that could be opened into a large room through sliding doors. It was possible to hold several hundred people in the room for recitals. She gave music lessons in this studio to many children and adults, as well as providing for her family's home life.
Dave Brubeck's first exposure to live jazz music was in the building. His eldest brother, Henry, was a guitarist and vocalist with the Del Courtney Group made up of mostly Concord and Martinez musicians. Henry persuaded his mom to allow the band in her studio to rehearse. Like many classical musicians of that period, she really did not approve of jazz, so her permission was granted with great reluctance. Dave says he was thrilled with this turn of events as a 7-year-old and gave his first public piano recital in the studio of his mother.
When his parents decided that the family was moving away from Concord, Dave was 12 and his mother organized a farewell concert with all her piano students performing.
In Dave’s messages: “ I have many happy memories of life in Concord. It was an ideal place for a boy to grow up. I recall playing in Todos Santos Park on summer evenings and racing home when curfew sounded. You didn’t want to get caught by Constable Slattery. I roamed the hills surrounding Concord on my Cleveland bike and door to door peddled apples from our backyard tree. If my mother approved of the film, I could go to Saturday matinees at Uncle Phil’s theater. My mother, who had lived all her life in the shadow of Mt. Diablo, as she used to say, hoped for many years to return to what she called her ‘dream house’. I am so pleased and grateful that the Concord Historical Society has honored her fond memories and mine”.