StArt Of Cool


StArt of Cool (SOC) is a jazz education program that launched June 23-28, 2014. SOC is a pilot program that provides education for students interested in learning more about the performance and fundamentals of jazz. The mission of SOC is to introduce students to jazz music through:

a. Private Lessons

b. Jazz Theory/Improvisation Classes

c. Small group rehearsals

d. Jam sessions

e. Interactions with professional musicians

f. Introduction to aspects of the business of music

g. Final concert performance

In tandem with Global Scholars Academy, the Durham Community, and local musicians, the Art of Cool (AOC) launched The stArt of Cool Education Program during the summer of 2014. The stArt of Cool introduced twenty-three 3rd-7th grade scholars to the fundamentals of jazz performance. Under the directorship of trumpeter Al Strong, associate professor at Saint Augustine’s University and adjunct professor at the widely acclaimed North Carolina Central University Jazz Studies program, the program strives to inspire music and cultural education experiences which foster a profound appreciation and understanding of jazz specifically, and music in general.

About Art of Cool

The Art of Cool (AOC) is a 501(c)(3) jazz presenting non-profit organization that strives to cross artistic, economic and social boundaries to bring together a diverse mix of people, cultures, experiences and creativity.The mission of AOC is to present, promote and preserve jazz-influenced music in ways that build and uplift community. AOC’s two major programs are Art of Cool Festival and stArt of Cool. AOC was founded in Durham, NC in 2010 and is spearheaded by jazz trumpeter and educator, Albert Strong IV, and Cicely Mitchell, DrPH of Al Strong Music Productions.

The Art of Cool’s Core Values:

1. To Present the Best Jazz in the Triangle

2. To Build a Culture excited about jazz

3. To Expand the Triangle jazz audience

4. To Educate young musicians


The Art of Cool Festival 

May 6-8, 2016

3 days

 5 indoor music venues

Over 20 world-class performances

1 EPIC music festival in Durham, NC

Festival Highlights

Multiple Indoor Venues for the Club Pass Series on Friday and Saturday Nights. These venues are: Motorco Music Hall, Pinhook and PSI Theatre.

Two Night Headliner Series featuring five-time Grammy winner Terence Blanchard featuring E-Collective (Friday @ The Carolina Theatre) and The Internet (Saturday @ The Carolina Theatre)

VIP Experience: Reserved seating this year at every location. Exclusive VIP brunch on Sunday (May 8th).

The Coolest Day Party @ Durham Armory (with Live Music, Shopping, Food, Beer/Wine)

VIP Experience: Through PNC Bank’s support, The Art of Cool Festival provides a unique VIP experience. There will be a limited number of tickets for the three-day VIP experience at AOCFEST. Included in the VIP experience are an exclusive Sunday Jazz Brunch on May 8th, access to VIP lounge at The Carolina Theatre, Balcony access to the Coolest Day Party along with priority access to all shows and a swag bag. Simply put, VIP tickets are a must for the jazz aficionado.