Art of Cool Festival 2018

The Latest from Art of Cool

Art of Cool Festival 2017 Lineup Announcement



Derek Ross | (919) 225.9362 |

Casey Adams-Jones | (336) 906-5246 |


George Clinton set to bring the funk to Durham as 2017 Art of Cool Festival headliner

Announcement of annual festival’s performance lineup and ticket packages


Durham, N.C. (November 14, 2016) – The Art of Cool Project (AOC) announces that legend George Clinton of Parliament Funkadelic will headline the Durham-based nonprofit’s 2017 AOC Festival on April 28-30, 2017.

Known as the Godfather of Funk, Clinton revolutionized R&B during the 1970s by twisting soul music into funk. He will perform alongside his funk-soul collective Parliament Funkadelic.

Joining the lineup with a unique performance with a full backing band will be legendary emcee, Rakim; producer/disc jockey, Just Blaze; Grammy Award winner Anthony Hamilton’s background vocalists, The Hamiltones (Exclusive VIP Brunch); saxophonist/vocalist/producer, Kenneth Whalum; jazz trumpeter and composer, Theo Croker; emcee, Goldlink; singer/songwriter, Nao; singer/songwriter, JMSN (pronounced Jameson); trumpeter/composer, Marquis Hill; jazz drummer, Makaya McCraven; drummer Marcus Baylor (Yellow Jackets) and his wife, vocalist Jean Baylor formerly of Zhane, The Baylor Project; and more to come.

The Art of Cool Festival will also present two marquee showcases as a part of its performance lineup: Revive Big Band: A Journey Through the Legacy of Black Culture with Igmar Thomas and the Revive Big Band featuring special guests; and Ropeadope: The Next Wave featuring saxophonist/rapper/Grammy winning ‘To Pimp A Butterfly’ producer, Terrace Martin and The Polly Seeds; trumpeter/composer/producer, Christian Scott; Snarky Puppy drummer/producer Robert ‘Sput’ Searight’ of Sputnik; guitarist/composer, Matthew Stevens; Snarky Puppy keyboardist/producer/songwriter, Shaun Martin; and Erykah Badu’s band, RC & The Gritz.

“We’re excited about the lineup of talented musicians, including legend George Clinton as a headliner, for our fourth annual Art of Cool Festival,” said Cicely Mitchell, president and co-founder of AOC. “We’re looking forward to promoting the best month of music around Downtown Durham by hosting yet another fun-filled, festival experience and also partnering with Moogfest this year by providing a joint festival ticket.”

Providing a remixed experience of the Black American Music Festival, the three-day AOC Festival features forward thinking jazz, alternative soul and mature hip hop in its mission to expand the audience of jazz as well as innovative thought.

Last year’s festival hosted over 8,200 music lovers, and 60 bands and presenters in 10 venues with an economic impact projection of $1.9 million for the city of Durham.

The AOC Fest offers a variety of ticket packages that offer purchasers the option of general or VIP admission to see over 50 artists and bands ranging from $115-325.

  • For a limited time beginning November 14 at 7:30 p.m. ET, and while supplies last, a DURM Flex Pass is available for purchase. Priced at $249, this first-time promotion, in partnership with Moogfest, offers full festival access to fans interested in attending both 2017 AOC Fest and Moogfest in 2017. The DURM Flex Pass does not include VIP access to either festivals. The DURM Flex Pass promotion ends on December 5 at 11:59 p.m. ET.
  • The 2017 AOC Fest Club Pass offers two-day general admission to venues such as Carolina Theater, The Armory, PSI Theater, Pinhook, Beyu Caffe and Motorco.
  • The 2017 AOC Fest VIP Pass includes two-day access to all Club Pass venues; no waiting in line; reserved seating at the headliner performance on Saturday, April 29; and access to the VIP Sunday Brunch on Sunday, April 30 with a special performance by The Hamiltones.

To purchase passes for the 2017 AOC Fest or for more information about the AOC Project and its programming and events, visit

About Art of Cool (AOC) Project

The Art of Cool (AOC) Project is a 501(c)(3) organization registered in the state of North Carolina and operating in Durham.  AOC has been presenting live jazz and educating the local community about jazz since 2011. Co-founded by Cicely Mitchell and Al Strong IV, the AOC has three flagship programs: Art of Cool Festival (AOCFest), StArt of Cool Jazz Education (Start of Cool), and Innovate Your Cool Conference (IYC).  For more information about the AOC Project and its programming visit,




    1. Ken,

      Thanks for your patience we have the lineup for Friday up now. We have a few surprises yet to come..

      Hope to see you at AOCFEST2017

  1. I love what you do all the way from Senegal (West Africa)! I wish I were there!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *