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NC-146: Originally Installed in 2005.
Born on October 30, 1930, in Wilmington, Delaware, Clifford Brown was one of the most influential jazz musicians of the mid-20th century. He began to play the trumpet as a teenager while attending Howard High School. By 1948 he was playing in Philadelphia with pioneering jazz performers such as Fats Navarro, Dizzy Gillespie, and Charlie Parker. It was Navarro’s influence that played a major role in the development of “Brownie” as one of the stars of the emerging “bop” style of jazz. Following a lengthy recovery from an automobile accident in June 1950, he resumed his career, making his recording debut in 1952 with Chris Powell ’ s Blue Flames. In 1953 he toured Europe with Lionel Hampton. The following year he was selected as ‘New Star of the Year’ in a poll of industry critics. His considerable talent and virtuosity resulted in recordings with Art Blakey, Art Farmer, J. J. Johnson, Sarah Vaughan, Dinah Washington, and others. In 1954 he joined with Max Roach to form the Clifford Brown-Max Roach Quintet, considered by many to be the greatest “hard bop” ensemble of all time. His life ended tragically on June 26, 1956, when he was killed in an accident while traveling to perform. Clifford Brown was laid to rest in Wilmington’ s Mt. Zion Cemetery.
Location: 1500 Clifford Brown Walk Wilmington, DE 19801