This evening, as part of Northgate Mall’s “Music on the Plaza” series, The Art of Cool Project is celebrating its five-year anniversary as the Triangle’s pivotal jazz and soul scene pillar. While the celebration undoubtedly hits its stride when AOCP cofounder and trumpeter Al Strong puts his horn to work alongside friends of an equally musical bent, it got an extra bump earlier today when the dates for next year’s Art of Cool Festival were announced: April 28-30, 2017.

And yes, the festival will remain in its birthplace of downtown Durham.

In the past, AOCF organizers announced the dates for the next year’s festival much earlier, which is why this year’s delay may have created the rumor that this year’s AOCF was the festival’s last full-scale stand in Durham. Would the festival relocate to Raleigh, or even Charlotte? Did Moogfest’s over-performing Durham debut in May extinguish AOCF’s flame?

The answer to both of those questions may lie in AOCP’s future “expansion plans,” in which its jazz education program, StArt of Cool, will launch in Raleigh next year. For now, AOCF isn’t being uprooted. It’s simply reasserting its initial jazz advocacy platform by recruiting more devotees, or Cooligans, as they’re called, and identifying future tender spots in which to plant its flag.

For a limited time, you may purchase all-access-VIP and two-day club passes to next year’s festival for a discounted “throwback promotion price.” Visit the festival’s website for more information.