Clifford Benjamin Brown (October 30, 1930 – June 26, 1956) was an American jazz trumpeter and composer. He died at the age of 25 in a car crash, leaving behind four years’ worth of recordings. His compositions “Sandu”, “Joy Spring”, and “Daahoud” have become jazz standards. Brown won the DownBeat magazine Critics’ Poll for New Star of the Year in 1954; he was inducted into the DownBeat Hall of Fame in 1972.
Brown was born into a musical family in Wilmington, Delaware. His father organized his four sons, including Clifford, into a vocal quartet. Around age ten, Brown started playing trumpet at school after becoming fascinated with the shiny trumpet his father owned. At age thirteen, his father bought him a trumpet and provided him with private lessons. In high school, Brown received lessons from Robert Boysie Lowery and played in “a jazz group that Lowery organized”, making trips to Philadelphia.