Joe Morello, the adventuresome drummer in Dave Brubeck’s most famous quartet, has died at 82. Tucked away at the bottom of his obituary in the New York Times is this gem:

Joseph A. Morello was born in Springfield, Mass., on July 17, 1928. Sight-impaired from an early age, he took up the violin at 6 and performed Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto in E minor with the Boston Symphony Orchestra three years later. According to a biography on his Web site, Mr. Morello gave up the violin for drums at 15, after meeting his idol, the violinist Jascha Heifetz.

Reminds me of an art historian friend of mine who started out as a painter. One day, his teacher, Charles Burchfield, stopped at his easel, stared at the painting for several seconds and said “Howard, you can read.  Become an art historian.”

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