Tamil Nadu

Jazz maestro Frank Dubier no more

Frank Dubier, the legendary jazz trumpeter, who also mastered the clarinet, flute, violin and saxophone and worked with music directors including Ilayaraja and M.S. Viswanathan as solo trumpet player, died in Bengaluru on Tuesday. He was 87.

Stephen Lazarus, his friend and a gospel trumpeter recollected, “He was always fun to to be with and an extremely talented jazz trumpeter. If my memory is right, we played for Enna di Meenatchi song in the film Ilamai Oonjal Aadukirathu, among many others. He was one of those few jovial and down-to-earth musicians I have known.”

Born in Madras in 1929, Dubier developed love for music as he watched his mother Beatrice play the piano. In an interview to The Hindu in 2002, Dubier said, “As a seven-year-old, I began playing with my three-member family band, with my father on the violin, mother at the piano and me with the trumpet, saxophones and all types of horn.”

Much later, he also told why he took to the trumpet over the other instruments. “It was a choice between the clarinet and the trumpet. I settled for the latter, because clarinet was going out of vogue and was more expensive. I was to play with a trumpet made in Meerut,” he told The Hindu.

Harry MacLure, his nephew and editor of the magazine Anglos in the Wind said, Dubier played during his teens for the Madras Governor’s Band and then at the Navy for four years before beginning to play for M. S. Viswanthan and then Ilayaraja. He had a great respect for Ilayaraja, he said.

“He considered him a genius. When he was playing for Ilayaraja, they had a great association but eventually with time, they lost touch,” Mr. MacLure said.

Dubier is survived by four children.

Three years back, in an interview to The Hindu, speaking of how jazz has been neglected in the city, on a sad note, he said, “Jazz is dead.”

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Printable version | Mar 6, 2021 11:54:05 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/jazz-maestro-frank-dubier-no-more/article18284022.ece

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