corey ra Fairmont Chicago

Fairmont Chicago Presents Their Grand Opening with SmoothChicago Jazz

Sunday, May 24, 2015 Cora

Fairmont Chicago presented a night with The entertaining evening was to promote upcoming collaborations and shows at the Fairmont. The venue was beautiful. The spacious room with a sea of red tables and chairs felt special with four Folie Bergere inspired black and white paintings against rich red walls.

Ray Silkman Chicago's own Ray Silkman opened the show. The audience loved his unparalleled youthful energy and passionate enthusiasm that made his sax playing mesmerizing. In his hands the sax was never an inanimate object but something he was empowering to sing and share its story, creating a very decadant sound. He delighted the crowd walking through the tables off of stage right and then touring the tables off of stage left. Silkman was also accompanied at times by vocalist Corey Rae who had a very pure and sweet voice that was a lovely addition to Silkman's powerful playing.

Typhanie Monique After a hefty intermission, rising international star Typhanie Monique, originally from Stevens Point, Wisconsin, took the stage. She debuted some original work and shared what inspired her to become a singer. The first live jazz show she saw was at the Jazz Bowls and from that point on she knew that's what she wanted to do.

Phil Denny They went right into the next artist, Phil Denny, from Lansing, Michigan, who shared how when he saw Ray Silkman play a couple years ago he was inspired. He brought a poised energy to the stage with his crisp saxophone playing. Both saxophone players were very good and moved the audience. Their energies and presences were nice counter to each other. Guitarist Jerry Johnson kept mentioning, "It's like you're backstage with us. Working stuff out with us as we go." This was the first time the featured artists had met the band. As Silkman said, "It's okay because music is an international language." It was also the first time they all had played in the venue. The night was not without hiccups as maiden voyages are. There were many sound problems that need to be worked out if the venue is going to host music. Things happen. Part of the fun of performing is overcoming whatever is thrown at you. The performers prevailed over the hot mikes, dead mikes, and other sound snafus. At times the audience couldn't hear the vocalist, but could hear others onstage clapping. The event also started half an hour late. They were originally going to have two intermissions, but luckily decided against it. But we have grand openings to get an endeavor launched, get kinks out so there will be smooth sailing. The next show at the Fairmont will be August 15th with Jazz Funk Soul featuring Jeff Lorber, Everette Harp, and Chuck Loeb.

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