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Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The Art of Cool is all that 

and then some...

Photos by BWPW Photography.

The Clarion Content team attended the Art of Cool's One Year Anniversary celebration this past Thursday. We came into the room feeling pretty darn good about Durham culture, who doesn't these days in the midst of our cultural renaissance, we literally left floating, beaming and bursting with Durham pride over the fabulous work Cicely Mitchell, Al Strong and the Art of Cool team have done.

Photos by BWPW Photography.

Best news, you ain't seen nuthin' yet! This coming year is going to be bigger and better.

Ms. Mitchell freely admitted to the press that some people told her she was crazy when she initially proposed the Art of Cool project. Sure Durham has a vibrant jazz culture, she heard, but it is underground, the public's not gonna come out and support that---wrong, wrong, wrong. Durham loves its music scene and the Art of Cool has put a series of fantastic, top-notch concerts over the last year.

The proof is in the pudding. After producing over twenty events last year, most at LabourLove Gallery in Durham on our 3rd Friday Art Walk, and Flanders Gallery in Raleigh, on their 1st Friday Art Walk, the Art of Cool is expanding the program. The response has been phenomenal. A call for artists generated over 1,200 hundred applications from musicians all over the country.

Next year's line-up is going to blow you away. And the Art of Cool is opening up the venues too, with shows at The Casbah and The Broad Street Cafe, in addition to the galleries.

Featured artists include The Honorable South, a soulful indie jazz outfit from New Orleans, the Alpha Clef Project from Chicago, Jon Irabagon, a renown saxophonist and winner of the prestigious Thelonius Monk Award in 2008. Of course, the Art of Cool hasn't forgotten Durham. They will be bringing you from the local scene, friends of the Clarion Content, Toon and The Real Laww in a special setting with a full backing band(!) and North Carolina Central University vocals professor, the graceful and talented, Lenora Zenzalai Helm.

Stay tuned for more soon in these pages on the Art of Cool's amazing visual output from the first year. Or check it out yourself! See the exhibit at the Durham Arts Council on Morris Street, Franco and Frank Myers a collaborative effort.

And keep your eye out for news about the Durham Jazz Festival that the Art of Cool is bringing together in 2012-13.

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