Described by Terence Blanchard as the “Coachella Of Jazz”, and now one of the blue ribbon events of the festival season, the perfectly balanced Art Of Cool Festival is set to return for another 3 day celebration of all the relevant elements of the soul, jazz and hip-hop, musical diaspora. Set in the upwardly mobile and picturesque town of Durham (North Carolina) USA – with all the venues within easy walk of each other – I can honestly say that any visitors to AOCFest 2017 will be genuinely lit by the experience.
The festival founded by Dr Cicely Mitchell and jazz trumpeter / educator, Albert Strong IV, is now in its fourth year and returns with an incredible line-up which includes Common, George Clinton, Terrace Martin and the Pollyseeds, Rakim, Christian Scott, Theo Croker, Shaun Martin, the Revive-Music big band, Masego, Goldlink, Marquis Hill, Joshua Gunn, Nao, Kenneth Whalum, Kindred and The Family Soul, Frank McComb, Makaya McCraven and many more.
Daytime events will include the empowering Innovate Your Cool (IYC) session who’s remit is to ‘advance innovative thinking by creating maximum collisions of intelligent people, cool ideas & improvised music’. This engaging session aims to heighten awareness of black innovation in music, technology and business through keynote speakers and impromptu performance. I attended last years IYC session and came away seriously inspired.
To find out more information on tickets and accommodation see links below.