Jon De Lucia Octet

The recording session for the Dave Brubeck Octets, photo by John Lake.

The Jon De Lucia Octet started in 2016 as a five saxophone plus rhythm band, performing the arrangements of De Lucia, Giuffre, Brubeck, Holman, Mulligan and more. In 2018, they released a live album with special guest Ted Brown, nonagenarian tenor saxophonist of Lennie Tristano fame.

Now in 2024, the Jon De Lucia Octet (in standard instrumentation of trpt, alto, tenor, trb, baritone) is tackling the repertoire of the Dave Brubeck Octet, a collective led by Brubeck in the late 1940s. These idiosyncratic charts have been brought back to life by an extensive amount of research of the original parts and lone recording by De Lucia as part of his PhD studies at the CUNY Graduate Center. In partnership with the Brubeck Living Legacy, and the Brubeck Archive, funded by the PSC CUNY Enhanced Faculty Grant, the Octet recorded 11 tunes with an all star band.

The band includes saxophonist Scott Robinson, known for his work with Maria Schneider, as well as Brandon Lee, trumpeter with the Village Vanguard and Birdland Big Bands, along with Jay Rattman, Becca Patterson, Glenn Zaleski, Daniel Duke and Keith Balla.

An excerpt from the original parts written mostly by tenorist Dave Van Kriedt

The music predates much of the Birth of the Cool material and is pushing many of the same boundaries, only on the West Coast. De Lucia has expanded the arrangements to make more room for the amazing soloists on the record.

The group will perform the music at the Brubeck Archive in Wilton, CT on June 15th. More dates to be announced soon.

At Big Orange Sheep Studios in December 2023