The festival, which will be held Friday and Saturday, will host more than 30 jazz performances on two outdoor stages and six indoor music venues. The festival will feature performances from Maceo Parker, The Clayton Brothers and Thundercat.
Cicely Mitchell, co-founder of the Art of Cool Project and president of its board of directors, said that the project took about two years to put together.
“The Art of Cool is a jazz-protecting concept,” she said. “We are about presenting and promoting jazz and expanding the audience of jazz.”
Mitchell said there is something at the festival for everyone, regardless of budget or musical background. There is one free stage per day, and people can buy day passes for $65 and two-day passes for $120.
“The biggest thing is to help music lovers discover new music; for people who may not necessarily like jazz, turning them on to jazz,” she said. “It’s got multiple goals, multiple entrance points for different types of people.”
Mitchell said the festival is mostly volunteer-run, and many students help out.
Stephen Coffman, a Durham native and drummer in three of the bands at the festival, said that the Art of Cool Project started as a grassroots movement and does a lot to promote jazz in the Triangle.
“They have an amazing ear for modern jazz, and they obviously push hard to get good music in the Triangle, so I’m 100 percent supportive of their mission,” he said. “It’s really helped me in bands that I’ve been in to be presented to Triangle music listeners.”