City leaders are preparing to welcome world class jazz musicians to downtown Wilmington, who will perform during the city's DuPont Clifford Brown Jazz Festival.

Now in its 25th year, the jazz festival will run from Wednesday, June 19 through Saturday, June 22. The artists scheduled to perform include local artist JD3, Benny Golson, The Buster Williams Quartet, To the Maxx, BWB, Pedrito Martinez, Lalah Hathaway and several others who have yet to be announced.

A summer tradition during former Mayor James Baker's time in office, the largest free music festival in the region continues under Mayor Dennis Williams.

"The DuPont Clifford Brown Jazz Festival is a staple of Wilmington performing arts culture," said Mayor Williams. "The city is excited to celebrate the 25th anniversary and hope[s] the community gets involved and enjoys all of the festival activities." 

This year, the city says two free receptions will follow concert performances Friday and Saturday night. Open to the public, both receptions will offer live music and refreshments.

Summer in the Parks

Just days after the jazz festival wraps up, the mayor's 'Summer in the Parks' initiative is slated to get underway. Mayor Williams made the announcement today.

Contracting with the Grand Opera House, the eight-week program will offer free arts and cultural activities in eight parks and public spaces throughout the city.

“The Grand Opera House is extremely pleased to be given the opportunity to partner with the city of Wilmington on this creative project in collaboration with our many colleague arts groups and individuals in the community,” said Executive Director Stephen Bailey. “At a time when all arts organizations, including The Grand, are struggling to remain viable in a down economy, Summer in the Parks gives all of us a wonderful and different way to connect with the community while strengthening our partnerships with one another.”

Running from June 25 through August 17, more than 75 events are expected to be scheduled over the eight-week program, with at least eight to ten arts-oriented activities each week.

“Summer in the Parks accomplishes two vital goals of this administration,” said Williams. “It provides a creative, enriching opportunity for city youth and their families to experience the arts right in their own neighborhood. It also offers the exceptional arts organizations of the city a unique opportunity to work cooperatively to reach new audiences right in the communities where those audiences live.”