Jazz legend Dave Brubeck (NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)
(USA TODAY) -- Jazz musician Dave Brubeck died Wednesday morning at Norwalk Hospital, in Norwalk, Conn., his longtime manager-producer-conductor Russell Gloyd tells the Chicago Tribune.
Brubeck, who would have turned 92 on Thursday, died of heart failure, en route to "a regular treatment with his cardiologist," said Gloyd.
A birthday party was planned in the town of Wilton, Conn., featuring his son, Darius Brubeck; Richie Cannata, sax player for Billy Joel; and Bernie Williams, former New York Yankees star.
The pianist reached pop star status with recordings including Take Five and Blue Rondo a la Turk. As a pianist, notes the Tribune, Brubeck applied the classical influences of his teacher, the French master Darius Milhaud, to jazz, playing with an elegance of tone and phrase that thought to be the antithesis of the American sound.
As a humanist, he was at the forefront of integration, playing black jazz clubs throughout the deep South in the '50s, a point of pride for him.
"For as long as I've been playing jazz, people have been trying to pigeonhole me," he once told the Tribune. "Frankly, labels bore me."
Brubeck is survived by his wife, Iola; four sons and a daughter; grandsons and a great granddaughter.