There is a major international music festival coming to Durham in the spring of 2014. Ok, maybe you didn’t hear me. I said that there is a major international music festival coming to Durham in the spring of 2014. Thanks to a burgeoning relationship between The Art of Cool Project and American Tobacco there are plans for one of the most dynamic events to hit the Triangle and it’s all happening in Bull City.
The Art of Cool Project is a jazz presenting 501(c)(3) organization based in Durham, NC. Their goal is to bring live jazz (and related music) to various venues across the Triangle. They are currently preparing for their third season of events. They have been a part of presenting some of the best shows in the area. Their sights are now set on a festival that Durham can call it’s own. They have done focus groups to gain community feedback and now have kicked off a Kickstarter campaign to garner community help to raise funds for the festival.
There is a rich music tradition in Durham. There are Grammy nominated and award winning vocalists and musicians here. There are critically acclaimed and international touring artists here. There are some of the most highly regarded music producers in the industry that reside in Durham. Why not mix that talent with some of the trailblazers and legends in music and host it all in Bull City?
One of the unique things about The Art of Cool Project presents is that they recognize the value of the Spoken Word community in Durham. Well known Spoken Word artist Dasan Ahanu has partnered with the The Art of Cool Project as their resident poet laureate to coordinate hosting for their monthly concert series. Some of the best Spoken Word artists in the area have been able to share their work as hosts. What is even more exciting is that the hosts for the festival will also be area Spoken Word artists. Each host will present original music themed pieces at each venue. It’ll be a wonderful blend of word and music that will show the strength of artist collaboration and showcase the breadth of talent this area has.
July 4th marked the start of The Art of Cool Project’s Kickstarter tour. Their goal is raise $25,000. The first event of the tour featured The Beast + Big Band with DJ Apple Juice Kid. This was an installment of the Center Stage at American Tobacco Concert Series. The event was hosted by Spoken Word artist Dasan Ahanu. It was an amazing success. The lawn was packed with people excited to hear good music and ready to have a good time. It wasn’t long before adults and kids alike were up dancing in front of the stage. Apple Juice Kid provided music during the breaks and then closed out the show with his eclectic blend of songs, sounds, and grooves. The Beast, a well known Durham based quartet that blends Hip Hop and Jazz, joined with Big Band to bring a sound to the stage that was boisterous, moving, beautiful, and funky.
This was intended as a festival preview. There were sponsor tents all round. The YMCA provided a kid zone with activities and games for kids. There was a strip of food trucks providing a delicious variety of eats. There was beer and wine. Blankets were out and shoes were tossed to the side. This was truly a big party. It was sign that Durham is ready for a festival like the one The Art of Cool Project wants to bring.
You can find out more about the festival and the fundraising campaign at http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/741999395/art-of-cool-festival-a-celebration-of-music-food-a
You can find out more about The Art of Cool Project at www.theartofcoolproject.com