News Column

Art of Cool announces full artist lineup

November 18, 2013


Nov. 18--DURHAM -- The Robert Glasper Experiment, saxophonist Maceo Parker and viola player Miguel Atwood Ferguson will headline a slate of 24 local and national artists at the first Art of Cool Festival next April.

Festival organizers announced the lineup this weekend. Parker, known for his work with James Brown and George Clinton as well as his solo albums, was announced as headliner in the summer, along with Ferguson. Ferguson will perform a tribute to several artists with North Carolina roots -- John Coltrane, Thelonious Monk, Nina Simone and Roberta Flack.

Pianist Glasper is considered one of the most adventurous of young improvisers. He has reached out to hip-hop listeners and sought to blur the lines between jazz and other styles on his Blue Note recordings "Black Radio" and "Black Radio 2."

Other national artists who will perform include guitarists Thundercat and Cody ChesnuTT, vocalists Alice Smith and Amel Larrieux, The Clayton Brothers (saxophonist Jeff Clayton and bass player John Clayton), composer and trumpeter Russell Gunn, The Foreign Exchange and the Revive Big Band.

Local musicians also will be well represented at the festival. Vocalists Lois Deloatch-Gomes and Nnenna Freelon will perform. Freelon and her daughter, visual artist Maya Freelon Asante, will perform a music and visual art event at the Nasher Museum of Art. Also on the bill are chamber-soul cellist Shana Tucker, The Beast, vocalist Kate McGarry and guitarist Keith Ganz, The Hot at Nights, the North Carolina Central University Big Band and the NCCU Vocal Jazz Ensemble.

The festival will be held April 25 and 26. Two-day passes and VIP passes are now on sale at A full schedule will be released soon.

Festival venues are Diamond View Park, Durham Central Park, Nasher Museum of Art, the Carolina Theatre, Motorco Music Hall, The Pinhook, Beyu Caffe, Hayti Heritage Center and the Durham Arts Council's PSI Theatre.

In August, the Art of Cool Festival successfully made $25,000 through a Kickstarter funding campaign. Art of Cool is a non-profit organization led by trumpeter Al Strong and Cicely Mitchell. The organization began presenting monthly concerts in 2011. In 2012, Art of Cool announced plans to bring a new music festival featuring jazz and related styles to Durham.


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