The Art of Cool Fest in Durham, NC (May 6-8) will bring together some amazing music talent in a fantastic outdoor atmosphere. Check out our picks for the best live music acts of the fest.
AOC made a conscious effort this year to return to its jazz roots, and Kamasi Washington’s involvement guarantees just that. You probably already recognize that sax from To Pimp a Butterfly’s “U,” but Washington’s arranging skills (read: he’s a master sculptor of sound) nearly surpass his horn talents. As a result, funk-laden explorations like “Re Run Home” should sound positively transcendent in the warm evening air.
L.A. duo J*DaVeY were doing dark and synth-y R&B long before The Weeknd penned his first Myspace lyric. Their injection of electro and new wave elements into ballads and bangers makes for off-beat ear candy. For a sample of what they’ll be bringing to the AOC stage, check out “Queen of Wonderland” featuring fellow AOC stagemate Thundercat.
Brother & sister team Tennyson bring their prodigious talent to bear on jazzy electronica originals and densely layered, imaginative remixes. As this rendition of “For You” demonstrates, it’s hard to fathom that two people—let alone teenagers—could bring so much sound to a live stage.
We’ve sung the praises of Anderson .Paak before, and with good reason. From eclectic, free-ranging songs to his knockout vocal talent, dude is a blazing musical comet. And with his virtuoso band The Free Nationals backing .Paak up at the festival, it promises to be an incredible set. Here’s a live taste.
The Internet. C’mon—if you’re at the AOC Fest, you’re either seeing them or damn well should be.