Al Strong: Jazz Is My Religion

Saturday, Jun 10, 2023, 7:00 - 9:00pm
This is a past event


$15 - General Admission
$12 - MOHA/Museum Members

6:30 p.m. doors open; 7:00 p.m. concert begins

Join the North Carolina Museum of History to celebrate African American Music Appreciation Month  with a special concert of jazz music performed by award-winning trumpet player, composer, recording artist, and educator Al Strong. Strong will be joined by a string quartet to amplify this performance. 

A cultural innovator, he is the co-founder of the nonprofit the Art of Cool Project, which spawned the internationally recognized Art of Cool Music Festival.

Strong is lauded for his unique sound. Whether melting hearts at a whisper or delivering piercing musical intensity while being gracefully dynamic, his natural ability to strike listeners at their core is unmatched.

A native of Washington, D.C., Strong is a graduate of the renowned Duke Ellington School of the Arts and a passionate advocate for young people in music education. His experiences studying music at renowned jazz studies programs at North Carolina Central University and Northern Illinois University afforded him invaluable opportunities to perform at premier jazz festivals including Montreal International Jazz Festival, North Sea Jazz Festival, and the Peru Jazz Festival, to name a few.

Strong’s discipline and dedication to his craft have forged a prominent career that includes performances and recordings with music legends, such as Aretha Franklin, the Count Basie Orchestra, the Foreign Exchange, Dwele, Eric Roberson, and the Hamiltones. He’s served also as music director for hip-hop pioneer Rakim and has headlined shows at the Blue Note Jazz Festival, Winter Jazzfest, and Blues Alley.

Known for his creative ability to seamlessly reimagine existing works, such as “Blue Monk,” “Fly Me to the Moon,” and the classic “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” Strong aims to challenge the boundaries of music while connecting with his audiences via familiar musical textures. He continues this mission of storytelling with his latest musical offering Love Stronger, which includes an array of beautifully introspective original compositions and Strong’s heartfelt arrangement of the Negro national anthem, “Lift Every Voice and Sing.” Fan favorites from the album include the singles “Black Love” and “At-Nimara’s Journey,” a tribute to the freedom fighter Araminta Ross, aka Harriet Tubman. Music enthusiasts can find Love Stronger for purchase and streaming on all digital media outlets. 

For more information on Al Strong’s musical journey, visit