October 30th in African American History – Clifford Brown

Clifford Brown

Clifford Brown

October 30, 1930 Clifford Brown, jazz trumpeter, was born in Wilmington, Delaware. Brown started playing professionally after briefly attending college.

He performed with Lionel Hampton and Art Blakey, among others, before forming his own group with Max Roach. Brown won the Down Beat critic’s poll for the New Star of the Year in 1954. Albums by Brown include “Clifford Brown: Jazz Immortal” (1954), “Study in Brown” (1955), and “Clifford Brown and Max Roach at Basin Street” (1956).

Brown was killed in an automobile accident on June 26, 1956. Despite leaving behind only four years of recordings, Brown had considerable influence on later jazz trumpeters, including Donald Byrd, Lee Morgan, Freddie Hubbard, and Wynton Marsalis. In 1972, Brown was posthumously inducted into the Down Beat Hall of Fame and each year Wilmington, Delaware hosts the Clifford Brown Jazz Festival. Brown’s biography, “Clifford Brown: The Life and Art of the Legendary Jazz Trumpeter,” was published in 2001.

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