Clifford Brown Jazz Festival

Clifford Brown Jazz Fest releases lineup

Betsy Price Culture, Headlines

Clifford Brown Jazz Festival

The 36th annual Clifford Brown Jazze Festival, the largest free jazz festival on the East Coast, will be Clifford Brown Jazz Festival. which is being held June 21-24.

The Clifford Brown Jazz Festival. set for June 21-24 in Rodney Square, will feature headliners Kamasi Washington, Kem, Cory Wong and Angelique Kidjo.

The show includes a diverse set of musicians ethnically and musically, as well as a nod to history.

“The 2023 Clifford Brown Jazz Festival has been curated to be similar to a life that is fully lived,” said Tina Betz, director of cultural affairs and fund developer for the city of Wilmington. “At times celebratory and mellow; triumphant and sorrowful; complicated and straight ahead.

“It’s my hope that the 2023 CBJF lineup exhibits what is the most important element of the jazz genre: It’s an art form that is continuously evolving, which is why it’s one of the world’s greatest creative treasures.”

The largest free jazz outdoor festival on the East Coast, the event sponsored by the city of Wilmington, honors Wilmington native and trumpeter Clifford Brown, known as “Brownie.”

He died in 1956 at the age of 25 returning from a show. Even though he only had a few years of recordings, many jazz trumpeters still praise his work and his “Joy Spring” and “Daahoud,” have become jazz standards.

All ages are welcome for the concert, and guests are advised to bring lawn chairs or blankets for seating.

The square will be lined with food trucks and vendors throughout the festival week.

This year, the city rolled out the names of the performers slowly over a week.

The festival will announced starting times later. Performers will go on stage in a certain order but will not have specific starting times, allowing the festival to flow more freely.

Leading the jazz

Saturday, June 24

Kamasi Washington Clifford Brown Jazz Festival

Kamasi Washington

Kamasi Washington, an American saxophonist whose improvisational progressive playing picks up elements of Hip Hop, classical and R&B, will headline the last night of the festival. His stop in Wilmington is one of three on a summer tour.

He will be joined by drummer Mark Guiliana and his quartet; Hiromi’s Sonicwonder, with music by Japanese pianist Hiromi; Jason Moran, a pianist, composer and educator, and his James Reece Europe: the Harlem Hellfighters and Absence of Rain, which honors Europe, the bandleader of the Hellfighters, who brought jazz across the ocean during World War I.

The opening performance will be by the Clifford Brown Festival Orchestra, under the director of Gerald Chavis.

Friday, June 23

Kem Cllifford Brown Jazz Festival


Singer-songwriter Kem takes top billing as the Jazz Fest heads into the weekend.

He will be joined by Canadian singer Melanie Fiona and American jazz trumpeter, vocalist, songwriter and producer Keyon Harrold.

The opening performance will be by the Boysie Lowery Living Jazz Residency Ensemble.




Thursday, June 22

Cory Wong Clifford Brown Jazz Festival

Cory Wong

Cory Wong, a Grammy-nominated American guitarist, bassist, songwriter, podcast-host and producer, will wind things up the second night of the festival. His music spans jazz, rock and funk.

Joining him will be pianist Dayramir Gonzalez and keyboardist and band leader Lao Tizer.

The opening performance will be by the Boysie Lowery Living Jazz Residency Ensemble.




Wednesday, June 21

Clifford Brown Jazz Festival

Angelique Kidjo

Four-time Grammy winner Kidjo will be joined by Joining her will be Marquis Hill and Monty Alexander and the Harlem Kingston Express.

Opening the show will be the Boysie Lowery Living Jazz Residency Ensemble, a Wilmington tradition.

Track updates on the festival website and on the Facebook page.

While the festival is free, donations to Cityfest Inc., a 501c3 non-profit, are encouraged. Make them at or via a check payable to Cityfest, Inc., 800 North French St. Wilmington, DE 19801. Please put them to the attention of Tina Betz, president.




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