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You couldn’t have ask for better weather, it was a picture perfect day to enjoy the awesome music at the Art of Cool Festival in Durham on Saturday. Thousands of jazz aficionados and novice jazz listeners were entertained to the smooth sounds of The Stanley Baird Group. Pianist Ryan Hanselar took the crowd all the way to New Orleans with traditional jazz with a blend of ragtime and swing. South African born and Durham raised singer/songwriter Laura Reed captivated the audience with her dynamic vocals, look for her new album slated for a August 2014 release.

Composer and Saxman Brian Horton’s ensemble rocked the stage with original music. The Revive Big Band from New York City described by the Village Voice as the “most electrifying young lions in jazz.” The Revive Big Band showcased original compositions alongside imaginative new arrangements of jazz standards and contemporary classics with a blend of hip-hop.

And the headliner Cody ChesnuTT did not disappoint, his explosive performance reminiscent of Hendrix and Havens blended with the showmanship of Prince and James Brown had the venue rocking.

The Art of Cool Music Festival put Durham on the map. I’m looking forward to 2015.

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