in 1930 in Wilmington , Delaware , Clifford Brown
was the youngest of eight kids. He grew up surrounded
by music in a townhouse in the center of Poplar Street
, now renamed Clifford Brown walk. As a young
high school student, Brown began playing the trumpet
and training with jazz enthusiast Robert Lowery. By
his late teens, he was jamming with jazz legends like
Dizzy Gillespie, Fats Navarro and Miles Davis.
many young aspiring musicians, inspiration came from
the horn of a man they called Brownie. Ace Tessone,
remembers playing with Clifford Brown at Music City
in Philadelphia in the 50's. Brown was killed
the day after a jam session with Tessone in a car
wreck on the Pennsylvania Turnpike. It was 1956;
Clifford Brown was only 25.
was not just Brownie's trumpet playing that was
missed. For many young musicians he was a mentor
and a role model. Brown would have turned 75
later this year and his legacy lives on. Every
June, Wilmington hosts the Clifford Brown Jazz Festival
- the East Coast's largest free jazz festival.