26th Annual DuPont Clifford Brown Jazz Festival Hits All Notes

Posted on  06/23/2014 3:20 pm

See the photo gallery at the end of this press release.

Saturday, June 21, 2014, marked the closing day of music for the 26th Annual DuPont Clifford Brown Jazz Festival. The Festival, named for influential jazz artist and Wilmingtonian, Clifford Brown, continued the more than quarter-century tradition of making the gamut of jazz music available to crowds in what has become the largest free jazz festival on the East coast.

The week built in intensity and momentum, starting on Monday, when the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs hosted free lunchtime jazz concerts in H.B. DuPont Park. The 90-minute sets occurred every day and included JD3, E. Shawn Qaissaunee & the Q Factor, Rob Swanson and the Terra Soul Project, Soul Feugo and Aniya Jazz, who also took the main stage later in the week. The Lunchtime Concert series was one of the various side events which complimented the main stage evening performances.

The Festival officially kicked off on the main stage Wednesday evening, when the spirit of Clifford Brown was aptly resurrected through the classic jazz sounds of The Brownie-Roach Project, which pays tribute to the legendary music of Clifford Brown and Max Roach. Dianne Shuur and her well-known scats followed.

Thursday night’s sets included the Jazz “Superworman,” Lynn Riley and the ever-popular Latin Jazz-All Stars who featured a tribute to jazz floutist Dave Valentin. Thursday’s performances were followed by a new event - Sax in the City. The Sax in the City Lounge was designed to provide extended opportunities for jazz lovers to enjoy jazz and the fellowship of music lovers in a unique party environment. The event, which took place at the Wilmington Public Library, across the street from the Festival main stage, was sponsored by Grey Goose, and featured tastings of their latest flavors and cocktail recipes. Two live jazz bands and a DJ keep the music pumping until the morning hours.

Friday ‘s lineup of jazz continued with smooth sounds by the multi-ethnic jazz style of Amel Larrieux and the world renowned Mindy Abair’s contemporary jazz saxaphoning, influenced by rock and blues. Following the main stage performances, the party continued on Market Street with The Silver Trumpet Block Party. The Silver Trumpet Block Party, which was free and open to the public, was anchored by the live music of Blind Date Band and accompanied by extended hours at restaurants and lounges along Market Street. This year’s crowd was doubled from last year, so this stands to become an annual tradition that will continue for Festivals to come.

Saturday’s all-day lineup was a build up to the Festival headliner, Brain Culberson. Local band, Aniya Jazz, featuring Phillip Joseph, started the day with mellow contemporary favorites. Next, Jawanza Kobe and his dynamically talented, regional band intensified the energy on the Square. But it was Cuba’s own Habana Sax’s world sounds, a cappella singing, intricate choreography and crowd participation that got the crowd to its feet and ready for Brian Culberson. Culberson’s performance was high energy, engaging and spanned the gamut of his 12-disc recording career.

Sunday’s final celebration was held at Chelsea Tavern Restaurant on Market Street, where a live band serenaded patrons while they enjoyed a special Festival Jazz Menu.

Mayor Dennis P. Williams and the Office of Cultural Affairs wishes to thank every attendee, volunteer and employee of the City who had any part in making this year’s Festival the success it was.