Mission Driven Cool

We are a 501(c)(3) jazz presenting non-profit organization located in Durham, NC. Our mission is to present, promote and preserve jazz-influenced music. We present high quality live music concerts in unique venues throughout the Triangle. Our two major programs are Art of Cool Festival and StArt of Cool.


Art of Cool Festival (AOCFEST) is a progressive jazz and alternative soul music festival located in downtown Durham. The festival is typically held the last weekend of April. The goal of the festival is to expand the audience for jazz and soul music. The first festival was held April 25-26, 2014. The festival is scheduled to return in late April 2015.


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 in the 3rd-7th grades interested in learning more about the performance and fundamentals of jazz. The goal of SOC is to not only be a annual jazz camp but develop into an after-school program in 2015.

The Art of Cool Project is a creative philanthropic project spearheaded by trumpeter and educator, Albert Strong IV, and Cicely Mitchell, DrPH of Al Strong Music Productions.

Click to download our 2012 Annual Report