The Clifford Brown Jazz Festival Is Back in Action in Wilmington

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For its 34th annual event, the largest free jazz festival on the East Coast returns to Delaware for a summer of soulful sounds.

The Clifford Brown Jazz Festival sings its tune once again in Wilmington.

Following last year’s virtual event due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the city of Wilmington announced the 34th annual event will run from Aug. 4-8 in Rodney Square. This event is the largest free jazz festival on the East Coast and pays tribute to the city’s own Clifford Brown, a jazz trumpeter.

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Performances at the festival’s Rodney Square main stage begin at 5:30 p.m. on weekdays, 12 p.m. on Saturday and 1 p.m. on Sunday. The festival is also holding a sold-out vocal workshop with Grammy winner Dianne Reeves on Friday, Aug. 6.

“After more than three decades, the Clifford Brown Jazz Festival stands as the crown jewel of Wilmington’s expanding music festival scene,” says Mayor Purzycki in a prepared statement. “We adjusted for the pandemic last summer, but [Director Tina Betz] and I can’t wait to welcome residents and visitors back to the beautiful, historic Rodney Square for some of the best jazz music around. While at the festival, I urge attendees to visit the many shops and restaurants in the surrounding downtown district, which are returning to normal as COVID-19 restrictions are lifted and more and more people continue to get vaccinated.”

Photo courtesy of John Rago.

“While we very much regretted having to cancel the Rodney Square staged event last summer, our virtual event still showcased the amazing talents of our own local musicians, which made it an even more special event,” says Tina Betz, cultural affairs director, in a prepared statement. “Still, there’s nothing quite like gathering together to experience live jazz in person, and we are ready to do it again this year.”

Attendees can receive free COVID-19 vaccinations in partnership with the State of Delaware’s Division of Public Health from Wednesday, Aug. 4 through Saturday, Aug. 7. Vaccines will be administered between 5 p.m. and 9 p.m. on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, and on Saturday from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. on a first-come, first-served basis, according to a statement from the city of Wilmington.

A full schedule of the acts provided by the city of Wilmington is below.

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For more information on the Clifford Brown Jazz Festival, visit Facebook.

Wednesday, Aug. 4

Terell Stafford
Jazzmeia Horn
Kirk Whalum

Thursday, Aug. 5

Malina Moye
Lakecia Benjamin
Eric Benet

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Friday, Aug. 6

Grover Washington Jr. Legacy Band
Gerald Veasley
Dianne Reeves with John Beasley, Romero Lubambo, Reuben Rogers and Terreon Gully

Saturday, Aug. 7

Jennifer Hartswick and Nick Cassarino Duo
Chien Chien Lu
Clifford Brown Festival Orchestra featuring Maya Belardo, Nadjah Nicole, Darnell Miller, Jackie Browne, Tony “Big Cat” Smith, Skip Bordley and Stacy Harcum along with the members of the orchestra
Jane Bunnett and Maqueque
Terri Lyne Carrington + Social Science with special guest Ms. Lisa Fischer
Kenny Barron Trio

Sunday, Aug. 8

Boysie Lowery Living Jazz Residency Graduates’ Concert
Raphael Xavier’s: The Musician & The Mover

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