Coming off of a strong sophomore year, The Art of Cool Festival gears up to announce its third year festival lineup on October 22nd. The festival will make the announcement during the Caramel City performance at The Pour House Music Hall in Raleigh, on October 22nd.

Saxophonist Terrace Martin, best known for his production of Kendrick Lamar’s ​To Pimp a Butterfly​ album, is scheduled to headline the October 22nd performance. The 2016 lineup includes the legendary Terence Blanchard headlining on Friday (May 6th, 2016) at the Carolina Theatre. This presentation is in partnership with The Sol Kitchen.

Festival favorites Thundercat and Moonchild will reappear on next year’s lineup, and AOC favorite Kamasi Washington is also set to perform. The Internet, part of the Odd Future Records label, will headline at the Carolina Theatre on Saturday, along with underground soul luminary Dwele.

Other artists of mention include Nicholas Payton, Taylor McFerrin, Kendrick Scott, and JD Allen. The Supreme Sound Band, presented by Revive Music/Blue Note Records, will commandeer the PSI Theater for a two night stand May 6 7, 2016. They will present artists from the record label including Derrick Hodge, Brandee Younger and Marcus Strickland.

The 2016 festival will focus not only on entertainment but also education. North Carolina Central University (NCCU) Jazz Ensemble, directed by Dr. Ira Wiggins and NCCU Vocal Jazz Ensemble, directed by Lenora Helm Hammonds will kick off the entire festival on Friday, May 6th at The Carolina Theatre before Mr. Blanchard’s performance.

Vocalist Charanee Wade will be the featured guest vocalist for NCCU’s opening presentation. NCCU will also host the official late night jazz jam sessions at Beyu Caffe on May 6th and 7th from 12pm 2am. Also kicking off the festival will be a showcase performance from our stArt of Cool All Star Band. StArt of Cool is AOC’s jazz education program for 3rd 8th grade Durham youth.

2016’s festival will also be a fundraiser for the stArt of Cool program. Etix will donate $1 to Start of Cool for every festival ticket sold. “For 2016, we’ve carefully curated content to appeal to both the young and young at heart,” states co founder Cicely Mitchell. “We want Art of Cool to be that voice of new music that lets listeners fall in love with a new sound they may have not discovered on their own. We also want the community to learn more about our jazz education program, stArt of Cool, and see our kids shine as they kickoff the entire festival.”

2016’s ticketing options have changed slightly from the previous two years. Patrons will be able to see all performances by purchasing a VIP ticket, or can purchase ​a la carte​ with the option of single headliner and club pass tickets. Single and All Access day passes are only available under the VIP experience for 2016. Noted AOCFEST past performers include Anthony Hamilton, Robert Glasper, Roy Ayers, Snarky Puppy, and BadBadNotGood.

All tickets, including club passes and single day VIP packages, will go on sale Oct. 22 as well. Patrons can purchase headliner tickets to see Terence Blanchard, Dwele/The Internet via TicketMaster or Carolina Theatre Box Office. All other passes are available via eTix on the official festival website ( PRESS: Lineup should not be disclosed until 10pm EST on 10/22/2015. We appreciate your adherence to this request.

The Art of Cool Project is a 501(c)(3) jazz presenting non profit organization that strives to cross artistic, economic and social boundaries to bring together a diverse mix of people, cultures, experiences and creativity.

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