Jazzing Up the Square

34th Clifford Brown Festival keeps a proud Wilmington tradition alive

A Wilmington summer tradition resumes after a one-year haitus due to COVID-19 as the 34th Annual Clifford Brown Jazz Festival returns to Rodney Square Aug. 4-8.

The event is the largest free jazz festival on the East Coast and is a tribute to Wilmington ‘s own Clifford Brown, who established himself as one of America’s greatest trumpet players despite being killed in a car accident at age 25.

“After more than three decades, the Clifford Brown Jazz Festival stands as the crown jewel of Wilmington’s expanding music festival scene,” said Wilmington major Mike Purzycki.

“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,” said City of Wilmington Cultural Affairs Director Tina Betz. “Still, there’s nothing quite like gathering together to experience live jazz in person, and we are ready to do it again this year.”

Performances will kick off at 5:30pm on Wednesday through Friday, at noon on Saturday and 1pm on Sunday.

Following is a list of performances in order of appearance:

Wed., Aug. 4

Terell Stafford

Jazzmeia Horn

Kirk Whalum

Thur., Aug. 5

Malina Moye

Lakecia Benjamin

Eric Benet

Fri., Aug. 6

Grover Washington, Jr. Legacy Band

Gerald Veasley

Dianne Reeves with John Beasley, Romero Lubambo, Reuben Rogers and Terreon Gully

Sat., Aug. 7

Jennifer Hartswick and Nick Cassarino Duo

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

Sun., Aug. 8

Boysie Lowery Living Jazz Residency Graduates’ Concert

Raphael Xavier’s: The Musician & The Mover

For more on the artists and the festival, visit CliffordBrownJazzFest.org.