City News | Wilmington, DE

Cityfest, Inc., Announces Festival Headliners and Full Festival Event Slate

The Clifford Brown Jazz Festival returns to Rodney Square in downtown Wilmington, Delaware to celebrate its 35and June 15-18, 2022. This year’s headliners include Stanley Clarke, Chucho Valdés & Paquito of Rivera, Stokley, Regina Carter and the Rebirth Brass Band. Main stage performances at the 2022 Jazz Festival will take place Wednesday through Friday beginning at 5 p.m. and Saturday beginning at noon with Regina Carter at 1 p.m. The festival will be co-hosted by special guest Clifford Brown Jr. To mark this momentous anniversary, the entire week will be devoted to live music and art. Pre-festival events will take place June 12, 13, and 14, and late-night Jam Sessions will take place June 15-18 from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. at various locations. For a full festival lineup and more information, please visit

Pre-festival events begin Sunday, June 12 at 4 p.m. with Duke Ellington’s Best Sacred Concerts featuring Choir Director Derrick Thompson and Big Band Director Gerald Chavis. The ‘pay as you wish’ concert will be presented at the Episcopal Church of Saints Andrew and Matthew, 819 Shipley Street. On Monday, June 13, there will be a screening of Don Glanden’s film Brownie speaks: A Video Documentary: The Life, Music and Legacy of Clifford Brown at Theater N, 1007 North Orange Street, beginning at 6 p.m. and ending with a panel discussion featuring Clifford Brown Jr. and members of the Brown family. Register for the concert and the film at Seats for the Ellington concert and the Clifford Brown documentary will be offered first to those who have pre-registered.

Activities will continue on Tuesday, June 14 with a jazz art exhibit and live music reception hosted by the Wilmington Library, 10 East 10th Street, from 6-9 p.m.

All pre-festival activities and main stage performances are FREE and open to the public, making this the largest free jazz festival on the East Coast. All ages are welcome, and guests should be sure to bring lawn chairs or blankets to sit on. Rodney Square will be lined with food trucks and vendors throughout the week of the festival, and guests should be sure to pick up this year’s festival t-shirt with the “35and ‘Clifford Brown Jazz Festival’ logo, designed by local artist Jarret Harris (aka PosixArt). All festival announcements and updates are available on the festival website and @Cliffordbrownjazzfest Facebook page.

The Clifford Brown Jazz Festival is an annual tribute to the late jazz trumpeter and Wilmingtonian Clifford Brown, born in 1930 in the east end of the city. Also known as “Brownie”, he died in 1956 at the age of 25 in a car accident on the Pennsylvania Turnpike, leaving only a few years of recordings behind. However, Brown’s short life and limited work had a considerable influence on later jazz trumpeters such as Arturo Sandoval, Donald Byrd, Lee Morgan, Booker Little and Freddie Hubbard. Two of Brown’s compositions, “Joy Spring” and “Daahoud”, have become jazz standards.

The festival is FREE, but donations to Cityfest, Inc., a 501c3 nonprofit organization, are encouraged. Donations can be made on the Cityfest, Inc. website, or by check payable to Cityfest, Inc., 800 North French Street, Wilmington, DE 19801 Attention: Tina Betz , president.

The Clifford Brown Jazz Festival is presented by Cityfest, Inc. and the City of Wilmington with the generous support of WRTI 90.1 FM, The Kenny Family Foundation, Delmarva Power, An Exelon Company, Gerald Chavis Music, The Christina Cultural Arts Center, Greater Wilmington Convention and Visitors Bureau, The Westin, Hyatt Place, Sheraton Suites, The Doubletree, Hotel duPont, Le Cavalier, Nomad Bar, Wilmington Public Library, The Episcopal Church of Sts. Andrew and Matthew, Downtown Visions and Theater N.

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Clifford Brown Jazz Festival in Rodney Square


John Rago
Deputy chief of staff
City of Wilmington, Mayor’s Office
Mobile: (302) 420-7928

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