Midtown Raleigh News

Durham jazz nonprofit brings ‘Art of Cool’ to Raleigh

After the paintings and sculptures have been locked away, when the crowds have thinned to a trickle of cars and darkness seeps across the city, follow the sound of a trumpet to Flanders Gallery, bringing the Art of Cool to Raleigh one soulful note at a time.

It’s the debut First Friday performance held by Durham-based nonprofit jazz and arts advocacy group The Art of Cool, seeking to help revitalize Raleigh’s jazz scene. The Al Strong Quintet will play a tribute to jazz great Edwin “Cannonball” Adderley.

“We’re trying to expose it to people who might not normally come out to hear jazz, because that’s the only way it’s going to live on,” Art of Cool president Cicely Mitchell said.

With special guest James “Saxsmo” Gates, the Al Strong Quintet plans a soulful, gospel-influenced tribute to Adderley Friday night in Flanders Gallery at 302 S. West St. Doors will open at 9 p.m. and the show starts at 9:30.

“The visual arts parallel instrumental music in that there’s not just one interpretation,” Strong said. “People can have a different interpretation day to day or moment to moment.”

Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 at the door. The Art of Cool will hold a monthly jazz event with different musicians every First Friday at Flanders Gallery through July. Advance tickets are available through theartofcoolproject.com.

It’s a perfect pairing with Flanders’ visual arts focus, gallery co-owner Kelly McChesney said: the interplay between art and music enhances both.

“Music creates an emotion that normally isn’t there when you view artwork in a gallery,” McChesney said. “Galleries can be quite quiet, but with music and people around, it becomes more lively, more energetic.”