In January of 1985, my west coast jazz sextet, Night Music, somehow finagled its way into opening a concert for Dave Brubeck and his quartet. The gig was at the Masonic Auditorium in San Francisco.
The day before the concert, KJAZ radio hosted a 3-way radio interview with their DJ, Dick Conte, me and Mr. Brubeck. About half way through it, Dick asked me how it felt to be playing keyboards on the same stage as Brubeck – playing his piano, no less.
I said, “It’s like presenting a paper about religion to GOD.”
The next day, after our sound check, Dick Conte called me backstage and introduced the two of us.
“Ed Manning, meet Dave Brubeck.”
I was standing there with a massive grin on my face holding his Jazz Goes to College LP that I had brought along for him to sign.
I held out my hand to him. When I did, he slowly reached out, and with a huge grin of his own, he gently laid his hand on my head and said, “Bless you, my son.”
L to R: Nate Pruitt, Dave Silliman, Rick Vandivier, Bob Johnson, Ed Manning, Skylark