City of Wilmington Kicks Off 26th Annual Jazz Festival

Posted on  06/19/2014 3:00 pm

Featuring performances by the Brownie Roach Project and legendary Jazz artist Diane Schuur

Images from Day 1 of the DuPont Clifford Brown Jazz Festival

On Wednesday, June 18, the City of Wilmington proudly opened the first night of the DuPont Clifford Brown Jazz Festival in Rodney Square. In its 26th year, the Festival is a tribute to the late Clifford Brown, Wilmington’s own jazz legend who was tragically killed in his early 20’s after only a few years of making an incredible and indelible mark on jazz of the 1950’s and since.

This year’s Festival kicked off, appropriately, with the classic sounds of the Brownie Roach Project. The group featuring Louis Hayes, Ray Drummond, Jeremy Pelt and Sharp Radway offered the familiar, yet re-imagined sound, first introduced and memorialized by Clifford Brown and drummer Max Roach.

To close out the night, the world-renowned, Diane Schuur took the stage. Schuur, affectionately known as “Deedles,” started her set by thanking the City for welcoming her back to the jazz festival, acknowledging that her last visit to the Festival was nine years ago. “It’s great to be back here with my friends in Wilmington,” Schuur said. From there, the Festival grounds were alive with the scats and ‘deedles’ she is known for.

“This is not just about the music, which I love,” said one Festival attendee, “I’m seeing friends from my neighborhood, co-workers and even ran into someone I haven’t seen in quite a while! This just brings us all out.”

Tonight’s lineup is a flute and saxophone enthusiast’s dream. The Festival will open with saxophone “Superwoman”, Lynn Riley, followed by the Latin Jazz All-Stars’ Tribute to jazz flautist, Dave Valentin. Showtime is 6:00 p.m.

Immediately following the Festival performances, the Wilmington Public Library will be center of a new event to experience jazz in an interesting venue. Sax in the City is a ticketed, jazz lounge-styled event, providing jazz patrons an opportunity to enjoy live music, the unique environment of the library and the company of other jazz enthusiasts, sponsored by Grey Goose Premium Spirits.

There will be two jazz bands: The Latin jazz sounds of Habana Sax - the five-man band directly from Cuba and the urban R&B sounds of Johnny Graham & the Groove. The live bands will be accompanied by a DJ, and guests will be able to enjoy hors d’oeuvres and refreshments. Doors open from 9:00 p.m. until 1:00 a.m. Tickets are $25.00 and will be available at the door.

For more information about the 26th Annual DuPont Clifford Brown Jazz Festival please visit: www.CliffordBrownJazzFest.com