A two-time Grammy award-winning saxophonist was one of several marquis artists who came to Wilmington for last Friday’s annual Clifford Brown Jazz Festival. Eric Marienthal, who has performed with some of music’ greats including Elton John, Stevie Wonder, Barbra Streisand and Billy Joel, joined the Lao Tizer Band in opening the Rodney Square event’s third night.
It was the festival’s 30thanniversary, and even with on and off showers, jazz fans filled the downtown venue to hear keyboardist and composer Lao Tizer and his eight-member band perform original music from their latest album, “Songs from The Swinghouse.”
Friday’s focus was R&B, and genre favorite Brian McKnight – with 25 records to his credit – headlined the evening.
Singer Sara Lazarus returned to her hometown roots, performing on stage on Saturday night. A Harvard-trained singer who now lives in France, this was Lazarus’ first visit as a performer at the Festival.
The Clifford Brown Jazz Festival pays tribute to the late Wilmington jazz trumpeter who died tragically in his mid-twenties in a car accident. His legacy is memorialized year-round in a park downtown which bears his name.
Photography by Karen Brooks