Jazz and soul fans are welcoming the fourth year of a homegrown tradition: The Art of Cool Fest.
Friday kicks off a three-day mix of local and national artists bringing the dynamic world of jazz and soul music to Durham.
Cicely Mitchell and Al Strong started presenting concerts in Durham with the Art of Cool Project in 2011 and expanded a year later to an official festival.
Strong says the idea with the festival has always been to foster new and long lasting relationships between artist and audience.
“Art of Cool has been a matchmaker for audiences and artists,” he said.
“We set up these audiences for blind dates with bands. We say, 'Hey you know there is a really cool band you might like. Why don’t you meet up at about 8 p.m. in the art gallery?'"
The festival will showcase Anthony Hamilton, a soul singer from Charlotte, and the “Godfather of Neo Soul” Roy Ayers. Check out the lineup here.