Reuben Brown, jazz pianist & composer (1939-2018)
"Reuben Brown of Grasonville, MD, formerly of Washington DC, passed away January 10, 2018, at his home. He was 78. Born on December 1, 1939, in Washington, he was the son of the late Moses and Adelaide Brown. Reuben grew up in Washington and attended McKinley Tech High School.
Reuben was a man of love, kindness, integrity, honor, and humility. He dearly loved his parents, sister, and brother. He was a devoted father to his sons and imparted his values to them in a way that allowed each to incorporate them into his own life. He adored his grandchildren and was most proud of their dedicated and kind spirits. He was a loving father-in-law, brother-in-law, uncle, and cousin. He was a steadfast and loving husband. He was a dedicated friend and mentor to many.
Reuben had an intense curiosity about the world and everything in it. He read widely and often, he loved to learn, and he loved to pass on his knowledge to others. He rarely met a stranger who he didn’t want to converse with and he had a way of making anyone he encountered feel special. He had a smile that put people at ease, a sparkle in his eye, and a charming sense of humor.
Reuben began playing piano as a young child and was gifted with ability far beyond his years. He started playing jazz with other local musicians as a teenager and thus began his musical odyssey of over sixty years. He was a prolific composer and lyricist and continued to compose until his last weeks. He earned the respect of jazz musicians and enthusiasts not only because of his musical abilities but also because he was humble and kind. He played with hundreds of musicians to whom he wished to pay tribute for helping him expand and share his art.
In 1995 Reuben suffered a debilitating stroke that ended his performance career and affected his health for two decades. He and his wife relocated to Grasonville MD, where he found peace in the beauty of nature and open spaces. From the time of his stroke onward Reuben accepted his limitations with dignity, courage, and grace, and continued to do all that he could to live life to its fullest.
Reuben is survived by his wife Jan; his sons Terence (Shelia), Christian (Shana), Gary (Etoil), and David Augustine (Diana); his grandchildren Jordan, Micah, Daniel, Caleb, Austin, and Macy Brown, and Jenelle, Armand, and Rhigelle Augustine; his sister Violet and brother Moses, Jr. (Adriana) and a multitude of family and friends. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Compass Regional Hospice or to a charity of your choice."
▶ A celebration of Mr. Brown 's life will be held Saturday, 20 January 2018, 11 a.m., at the Chesapeake Bay Beach Club
500 Marina Club Road, Stevensville, Maryland.
▶ More, from YFGF.
▶ An appreciation, in 1995, from the Washington Post.
Discography, from Discogs.
▶ Live 1980s performance of "Straight No Chaser," at YouTube.
▶ Image uploaded by Yours For Good Fermentables.com.
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