Photo: Art of Cool Festival in Durham – April 25 & 26

Photos by Jen Diaz

Coming straight from Bull City after a two-day live music binge is a must. If you haven’t already enjoyed that type of adventure, start planning for next year. The Art of Cool Festival made its debut this past weekend taking over Durham, North Carolina and inviting a city to enjoy the sounds of Jazz, Hip Hop, and R&B with a world-class lineup. A few artists on the bill were Maceo Parker, The Foreign Exchange, Amel Larrieux, Hubert Laws, Kneebody, KING, Thundercat and Cody ChestnuTT, just to name a few. Venues were filled across town and the streets were packed with music-lovers navigating their way through the performances. Be sure to support this tremendous effort to highlight Jazz and all of its influences by donating to the Art of Cool Project.

Keep Jazz Alive!

Staff Picks of 2013

 

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As 2013 nears its end, we continue our tradition of yearly staff picks summing up our favorite music from the 12 months past. This year is very special as we’ve extended our list makers to include Giant Step fam outside of the staff itself; many thanks to Maiya Norton, Nai Palm (Hiatus Kaiyote), Natasha Diggs, Rich Medina, and DJ Spinna for contributing their takes!

Amongst the most popular favorites were Disclosure‘s Settle, Rhye‘s Woman, James Blake‘s Overgrown, and Hiatus Kaiyote‘s Tawk Tomahawk. Dig into the complete lists and let us know your faves as well!

Giant Step Staff Picks of 2013

January Next Step Winner: Selina Carrera

 

A Philly native and graduate from the famed Creative and Performing Arts High School attended by Boyz II Men, Jazmine Sullivan, Amel Larrieux, Questlove, and Blackthought, songwriter, poet, singer, and rapper, Selina Carrera comes from a promising lineage of artists.

Her The Wonder Years project released earlier this year takes a collection of her older works to display the impressive breadth of her skill and sound, which spans hip-hop, soul, and electronic. Stand out tracks are “Get Up,” “Raw Bounce,” “Energy,” and “Retro.”

Look out for her debut EP, Everyday Love, later this year. In the meantime, hear an exclusive track from the upcoming EP called “Better Off” below.

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New Release: Melody Gardot – ‘The Absence’

 

The Grammy-nominated Melody Gardot has just released her Latin spirited jazz, blues, and soul album, The Absence. Pulling influence from Morocco to Lisbon to Brazil to Buenos Aires, the album is rich in sound and culture.

Here most recent video is for “Mira,” which you find below. The track starts off with a soulful murmur and scatting that whisks us into a nostalgic bliss of some our favorite Amel Larrieux tunes. An easy summer scape to the tropics is as close as hitting play on this flirtatious and sunny track – we’ll take it, gladly!

For those itching for a physical copy, cruise to your nearest Starbucks for a double fix!

Enter our contest to win The Absence.

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Purchase The Absence at your nearest Starbucks location

Purchase The Absence on iTunes | Amazon

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