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Clifford Brown Birthday Bash

October 30 @ 11:00 pm October 31 @ 12:30 am

Cityfest kicks off a monthly jazz series by celebrating Wilmington’s own, Clifford Brown, with a Birthday Bash! Join us from the comfort of your home for a live concert featuring acclaimed trumpeters influenced by “Brownie.”

Featuring on Trumpet:

Gerald Chavis   |  Winston Byrd  |  Tony ” Big Cat” Smith   

John Swana    |    Leon Jordan, Jr.   |   Arnetta Johnson

With house band featuring:

Jeffrey Knoettner, piano

Douglas Mapp, bass 

Jonathan Whitney, drums

$10 – $25 $10 for Livestream access, $25 for in-person tickets (limited availability)

In-person show will be held at the Delaware Contemporary. Cash bar available. 

A limited number of in-person tickets are available for this event. Ticket sales online only, no tickets available at the door.



One of the latest of these young disciples of today’s current fusion period in jazz can be found in the powerhouse trumpet wizardry of Winston Byrd. Inspired by former jazz trumpet greats as Dizzy Gillespie, Maynard Ferguson and others as early as in the seventh grade. Attracted to and fascinated by the art of playing high notes on the trumpet, Winston diligently practiced until he became capable of easily playing and articulating extreme ranges of high notes into the stratosphere on trumpet. Winston also had evolved into a multi-talented and well-rounded trumpeter, able to skillfully read and play in all musical styles from classical, popular to jazz and its improvisation. Finally, Winston left home at age 17 and went on the road to perform, record and tour with a wide-variety of highly acclaimed recording hit musical groups and artists, such as The Stylistics, Patti Austin, The Dells, The Grateful Dead, Blood, Sweat and Tears, Michael Bolton, Natalie Cole, Chaka Khan, Lionel Hampton, Mary Wilson (of the Supremes), Usher, Pieces Of A Dream, Claudio Roditi, Larry Coryell, Carmen Lundy, James Moody, Paquito D’ Rivera, Clark Terry, Lucky Peterson, Molly Ringwald, Bernard Purdie, Diane Schurr, Shirley Horn, Chucho Valdes, Aretha Franklin, The Temptations, Annie Lennox, David “Fathead” Newman, Earth, Wind & Fire, Will.I.Am and The Black-Eyed Peas, Abbey Lincoln, Goapelé, T.S. Monk, Meghan Trainor, Don Rickles, Craig Robinson and The Nasty Delicious, Illinois Jacquet, Mary J. Bilge, The O’Jays, The BlackByrds, Teena Marie, and Kevin Mahogany.



Trumpeter Gerald Chavis has appeared as both a sideman and bandleader for over 40 years. He currently performs regularly with his own ensemble, with Philadelphia-based society dance orchestras, and many church organizations in the Wilmington-Philadelphia area. His credits include performing and/or recording with such national acts as Mick Jagger, Phyllis Hyman, Dr. Donald Byrd, The Temptations, The Dells, The Spinners, and more, as well as Delaware organizations including Opera Delaware, Christina Cultural Arts Center, and others. In addition, he spends much time in recording studios as a session musician, artist and producer for other musicians.

Chavis studied with renowned jazz teacher Robert “Boysie” Lowery, who is best known as the teacher of Clifford Brown and Ernie Watts, among others. In addition to the hard-hitting, ever-expressive Gerald Chavis Quintet (GCQ), Gerald is an active member of smooth jazz ensemble Point Blank whose debut album made it inside the top 20 on national charts. He also serves as a staff musician at St. Paul’s Baptist Church in West Chester, Pennsylvania.

Chavis’ recent accomplishments include leading the Clifford Brown Tribute Big Band for the Clifford Brown Jazz Festivals in 2017 and 2018, and he currently directs The Fast Lane, a Christina Cultural Arts Center collective of accomplished musicians



Trumpeter Tony Smith was born and raised in Wilmington, Delaware. Currently residing in New Castle, Delaware. Began playing the trumpet in elementary school in the Wilmington Public School System. Graduated from Howard High School and earned a scholarship to attend Delaware State College and graduated with a B.S. Degree in Music Education. Earned a Master’s Degree in Education Administration from Wilmington University. Studied music with world renowned jazz master Robert “Boysie” Lowery. Worked as a teacher at Christina Cultural Arts Center and an administrator in Brandywine School District. Retired from education in 2006. Performs regularly churches, jazz clubs, and music festivals in Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and beyond. Performs a variety of music genres with an emphasis on jazz and gospel in small ensemble settings i.e. solo, duet, trio, quartet, quintet, and more. Contact information: Tony Smith www.tonybcat.com tonemeister99@comcast.net 302-983-1476



Born in the suburbs of Philadelphia, Swana took up Trumpet at the age of 11. He was drawn to jazz at the age of 17 after hearing Dizzy Gillespie, and the interest developed into a passion while he was in college. There he began transcribing the solos of Freddie Hubbard, Clifford Brown, Miles Davis, and Tom Harrell.

Swana has recorded and/or performed with: Freddie Hubbard, Phil Woods, Chris McBride, John Patitucci, Benny Golson, Kenny Barron, Tito Puente, Lockjaw Davis, Clark Terry, Tom Harrell, Slide Hampton, J.J. Johnson, Stanley

Turrentine, Chris Potter, Brad Mehldau, Uri Caine, Peter Bernstein, and Ralph Bowen.



Philadelphia native Leon Jordan Jr has been featured on tour along side world class Jazz trumpeters such as Nicholas Payton, Randy Brecker, Dr. Eddie Henderson, Jeremy Pelt, and Dave Douglas on Clifford Brown tributes. Leon has used his trumpet chops in every genre of music and has performed with legends such as EWF,Aretha Franklin and many others. He has 6 studio solo records of his own and has recorded and performed on projects with countless music industries elites consistently thus far at 32. Endorsed by P-Trumpet.



Jeff is a graduate of Berklee College of Music in Boston, with a degree in Piano Performance. Jeff plays piano, Rhodes, synthesizers and Hammond B3 instruments. He is also a private piano teacher. His teaching experience spans over twenty years, starting with the NJ School of Music. He has performed in numerous festivals including the New York State Blues Festival, Cape May and Rehoboth Jazz Festivals, the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, True Blue Jazz Festival and the Clifford Brown Jazz Festival, opening up for BWB (Rick Brawn, Kirk Whalum and Norman Brown) in 2010, in 2013 with his Jazz Vespers group and pianist for the 2018 Duke Ellington Sacred Concert. He has also performed and recorded with numerous groups, including the jeffjazz trio, Arpeggio Jazz Ensemble, The Tymes, Tino Gonzales Band, (opening up for blues legends Buddy Guy, Charlie Musselwhite, and B.B. King), Doc Gibbs (percussionist for Anita Baker, Whitney Houston, Bob James, Grover Washington, Emeril Lagasse), Vocalist Giada Valenti (PBS TV special, performed with Andrea Bocelli and at Carnegie Hall). Jeff is currently the keyboardist in City Rhythm Orchestra that recently played Birdland in NYC. Jeff’s celebrated his 24th year anniversary with the Cartoon Christmas Trio. Performing all the songs from “A Charlie Brown Christmas”, this trio was named “Top seven things to do the week before Christmas” and sells out shows featuring a full children’s choir. Karen is an experienced vocalist and classical pianist. They perform many styles including jazz standards, popular songs, Broadway and classical favorites.



Bassist Douglas Mapp is at home in many styles of music ranging from classical to jazz and Broadway to contemporary classical. The list of artists that he has performed, recorded and toured with includes Philip Glass, Michael Nyman, Donnie McClurkin, Richard Smallwood, Natalie Cole, Randy Brecker, Sean Jones, Ernie Watts, Lana Del Rey, Earth Wind and Fire, R Kelly, and Jeff Majors.

He is the principal bassist of the Reading Symphony and Assistant Principal of the Delaware Symphony. He performs regularly with some of the regions premiere ensembles including the Pennsylvania Ballet, the Philly Pops, Harrisburg Symphony, and performed for over twenty-five years as a core member the Philadelphia based new music ensemble Relâche. He has performed as substitute bassist with the Philadelphia Orchestra both at home and on tour. He has performed as a soloist with many of the groups with which he performs, including his spring 2015 performance of the Bottesini Grand Duo Concertante with the Reading Symphony.



Jonathan Whitney, the drummer, the composer, the father, and the artivist is a native Delawarean. Jonathan can be seen performing with Lili Añel, his band the Whitney Project, and Jea Street Jr, as well as a freelance musician on many projects. He has received commissions from the Wilmington Children’s Chorus, Melomanie, and Pieces of a Dream Dance Theatre. In 2020 he received the Delaware Division of the Arts Established Artist Fellowship for Jazz Composition.