Trumpeter Clifford Brown was 25 when he died in a car crash in 1956. His last performance was at Philadelphia’s famed Music City.
Although his life was cut short, Brown left an indelible impact. There are 334 versions of Philly native and NEA Jazz Master Benny Golson’s composition, “I Remember Clifford.”
Since 1988, his hometown of Wilmington, Delaware, has held the Clifford Brown Jazz Festival. It’s the largest free jazz festival on the East Coast. This year’s lineup includes Marcus Miller, Brian McKnight and Arturo Sandoval.
From 1953 to 1956, comedian and television pioneer Soupy Sales hosted a late-night television show in Detroit, “Soupy’s On.”
A jazz head, Soupy’s guests included jazz giants like Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Billie Holiday, Lester Young, Gerry Mulligan, Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Thelonious Monk and Miles Davis. The only extant footage of Clifford Brown is from his 1956 appearance on the show.
For info about the DuPont Clifford Brown Jazz Festival, click here.