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The Art of Cool Festival

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Jazz Artist, Godfather of Neo-Soul Roy Ayers to Headline Durham’s Art of Cool Project April 2015

Top Composer and Vibraphone Player to be Star Performer at Three-Day World-Class Jazz and Soul Festival with Food and Fun in the Bull City

Durham, NC, August 23, 2014 --( The Art of Cool Festival (AOCFEST), a locally run, three-day music festival, has announced that Roy Ayers, an influential jazz artist who is known as the Godfather of Neo-Soul, will headline the upcoming event running from Friday, April 24 through Sunday, April 26, 2015. A leading composer and vibraphone player, Ayers is now in his fourth decade in the music business as an artist who continues to bridge the gap between generations of music lovers. Beginning as an award-winning jazz vibraphonist in the 1960s, he transformed into a popular R&B bandleader in the 1970s and 1980s. Today, the dynamic music man is an iconic figure still in great demand whose music influences many industry heavyweights, including Mary J. Blige, Erykah Badu, 50 Cent, A Tribe Called Quest, Tupac and Ice Cube.

The Art of Cool Fest is Durham’s first world-class jazz and soul music festival. Launched in 2014, AOCFEST combines two outdoor stages, five indoor music venues and over 30 world-class performances to create one epic music festival. The event presents artists that rarely appear in Durham or perform on the same lineup together. AOCFEST’s economic impact for the City of Durham was approximately $600,000 in direct and indirect spending in 2014.

For this year’s event, organizers have launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise $35,000 in operational funds by Friday, Sept. 19 to book music talent. Pledges are needed both to maintain the festival’s nonprofit status and support the event at its present scale of hosting bands in 2015. Donations to its Kickstarter campaign can be made through

The festival is part of the Art of Cool Project, a jazz presenting 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization located in Durham dedicated to presenting and promoting live jazz and related music in unique venues throughout the Triangle. Its two major programs are Art of Cool Festival and StArt of Cool, a jazz education program. The Art of Cool Project is the rhythm of the Bull City that connects music and art to people. For more information, visit

“Roy Ayers is a legendary performer who has been able to build a bridge between jazz and neo-soul for decades,” said Cicely Mitchell, Dr.Ph., president of the Art of Cool Project. “He is a perfect headliner as we begin our second year of the Art of Cool Fest, and we hope everyone who enjoys his music will contribute to our Kickstarter campaign as well as come to the festival so that we can have an even more elaborate event in 2015.”

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About The Art of Cool Festival:
The Art of Cool Festival is a three-day music festival with two outdoor stages, five indoor venues and more than 30 world-class performances presented by the Art of Cool Project. More information about the festival can be found at
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The Art of Cool Festival
Erin Smith

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