The Art of Cool (AOC) 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 and experiences. The mission of AOC is to present, promote and preserve jazz-influenced music in ways that uplift the music community. AOC’s two major programs are Innovate Your Cool and stArt of Cool. stArt of Cool, a youth jazz education program, is spearheaded by jazz trumpeter and educator, Al Strong. Strong has a Masters in Jazz Performance and Pedagogy from Northern Illinois and currently teaches music theory, jazz sight singing, and trumpet at his other alma mater North Carolina Central University. Al’s performance career is very active, with recent appearances with his quintet at The Bluenote in New York, Smoke, and Blues Alley. In addition, Strong was named a performer to watch in NC’s Research Triangle.  BOOK stART OF COOL

GRADES: Pre-K K 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12

Jazz Bars – Protecting The Melody With Groove

“Groove Baby, Groove…A Story of Melodic Triumph…!” – Strong and his dynamic ensemble demonstrate the fundamental components at work when a band protects the melody of a song with groove. This highly interactive performance provides an in depth look at what makes a group of musicians sound like one voice, able to bend and shape the sound of music through subtle spontaneity. Along with fine tuning their understanding of musical interplay, audiences will gain a new level of expertise on how music is constructed around the development of beautiful melodies and tenacious grooves!

Maximum Participants: 200

Space Requirements: We will need a room that fits up to 200 people with stage diameter of at least 12ft long by 8ft wide. We will need a power source for electronic instruments and amps on or near the performance space. When available we will need a keyboard/piano, keyboard amp, Drumset, guitar amp, bass amp.

Duration: 60 minutes

Performance Fee:
Single Performance Fee- $750.00
Two Performances Fee- $1,375.00

GRADES: Pre-K K 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12

Mastering The Blues Musician Within

“My Baby Don’t Love Me No More” – Just another day in the life of a heartbroken blues musician. Students will learn to compose and perform original Blues lyrics on a topic of choice. Understanding what having the Blues is, takes us towards the first step to healing and overcoming life’s challenges. Get ready for some hilarious topics of discussion mixed in with the bustling creativity and imagination of your students! This activity is sure to be one to remember for years to come. In addition to all of the fun, students will gain an introductory understanding of how this hauntingly beautiful music known as the Blues, became such a powerful and creative tool, inspiring many people to look ahead for better days.

Special Requirements (Space, Tech, Volunteer):
Classroom that fits up to 30 students preferably with roundtables. Technical Needs: A piano or keyboard

Maximum Participants: 30

Workshop Fee: $128.00 per class/hr. *Minimum two workshops per visit.