On Friday night, shortly after the Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue concert at UNC’s Memorial Hall, the Durham-based jazz-advocacy contingent The Art of Cool Project hosted an afterparty and jam session at East Franklin Street tavern Linda’s Downbar. By 10:45 p.m., there was barely any standing room in the cramped, hopping space.
While TAOC co-founder and trombonist Al Strong led a jazz quartet through everything from upbeat standards to disco covers, his partner—TAOC co-founder Cicely Mitchell—and the rest of the TAOC staff boxed themselves into a dark, front corner of the bar, busily tapping on laptop keys and iPad and smartphone screens in preparation for the night’s big announcement.
After two years of cultivating a rich Triangle jazz scene, Mitchell and Strong stood on the Downbar stage together and unveiled the lineup for TAOC’s first annual jazz fest, Art of Cool Music Festival. The lineup includes headliner Maceo Parker, sets from The Robert Glasper Experiment and The Clayton Brothers, a special N.C. Jazz Legends tribute directed by Miguel Atwood-Ferguson entitled “Carolina Soul,” and much more. The festival will take place at multiple indoor and outdoor venues in downtown Durham, April 25–26, 2014, and will feature “over 20 world-class performances.”
For the full lineup, ticket prices and more information, visit aocfestival.org.