Jazz legend Dave Brubeck has died a day before his 92nd birthday.

The revered musician and bandleader passed away on Wednesday (05Dec12) at a Norwalk hospital in Connecticut.

Multiple reports suggest he died of heart failure.

The pianist became a crossover jazz great thanks to his work with the Dave Brubeck Quartet and hits like Blue Rondo a la Turk and Take Five, which is the bestselling jazz song of all time.

But he was also a civil rights hero, becoming one of the first leading white acts to perform at black jazz clubs throughout the American South in the 1950s.

Last month (Nov12), the Dave Brubeck Quartet picked up revered music magazine Downbeat's Best Jazz Group honour for a second successive year, and the combo released an album of Christmas music just last week (26Nov12).

Flowers will be placed on Brubeck's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame to mark his passing.

California-born Brubeck was the son of a cattle rancher. His mother was a classically trained pianist.

He studied zoology before joining the U.S. Army, where he formed a band called the Wolfpack. He founded the Dave Brubeck Quartet in 1951 and initially enjoyed cult success on the U.S. West Coast, before finding national and then international fame when he released the album Time Out in 1959.

Brubeck spent six decades recording and performing all over the world.