Nas, Erykah Badu, Maxwell And More To Perform At North Carolina’s Art Of Cool Fest

Music News

Neo-soul powerhouses Erykah Badu, Maxwell, Anthony Hamilton as well a hip-hop legends Nas and Royce da 5’9’ are just some of the performers set to take the stage at Art of Cool Festival, billed as the largest celebration of Black American Music. The two-day festival will be taking place on Friday and Saturday, Sept. 28-29 in downtown Durham, N.C.

The two-day intersection of innovation, music and culture, broadly known as AOCFEST, will be celebrating its fifth-year anniversary this year, boasting forward-thinking jazz, alternative soul and mature hip-hop. Other performers include Damien Escobar, Madison McFerrin, Anna Wise, Dwele, Sons of Kemet and more.

The conference section of the festival features STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) activities and discussions with 9th Wonder, Rapsody, Nike designer Jason Mayden and Moet Hennessy CEO Christophe Navarre, as well a STEAM field day for the children of the city’s public school district.


View this post on Instagram


💫The Art of Cool Festival returns for the 5th Year Anniversary to Downtown Durham, NC September 28 + 29, 2018. ________________ 💫AOCFEST presents an exceptionally talented and diverse group of artists ranging from industry veterans to rising new stars. Headlining the festival are @erykahbadu, @nas , @maxwell, @anthonyhamiltonofficial, @dameesco, & @royceda59. ________________ 💫Our ticket packages allow you to customize your ideal festival experience. Choose from Single Day, Weekend, or VIP passes but act now as tickets are moving fast! See 20+ artists, at 6 walkable venues, for 1 great price. ________________ 💫Click the link in the bio or visit to purchase today! . . #aocfest #theartofcool #AOCFEST2018 #musicfestival #culture #aoc #grammys #durhamnc #durm #goodmusic #jazz #hiphop #randb #livemusic #artofcool #bullcity

A post shared by The Art Of Cool Festival (@aocfest) on

In the past, Anderson Paak, The Internet, George Clinton, Goldlink, Rakim and Common have been just some of the performers at this soul-eccentric fest. HBCU alums Cicely Mitchell and Al Strong co-founded the Art of Cool project as an extension of their deep passion for the jazz culture and bringing it into nontraditional spaces. Due in part to a successful Kickstarter that raised over more than $27k, the festival aspect officially kicked off in 2014.

Strong is a jazz artist himself who has performed for the likes of Aretha Franklin, while Mitchell fell in love with the genre after dating Strong and was also interested in giving back to the local community whom where the two are based.

To find out more information, please visit

READ MORE: J. Cole’s Dreamville Festival Has Been Rescheduled