“Sax in the City: A Tribute to Von Freeman”, first in series of Jazz Concerts at The DuSable!
“Sax in the City: A Tribute to Von Freeman” Featuring, Audley Reid, Ray Silkman & Skinny Williams
“Sax in the City” on Wednesday, June 20, 2012, featuring Chicago’s finest contemporary saxophone players, Audley Reid, Ray Silkman & Skinny Williams.
Audley L. Reid a.k.a. “Reid” began his musical career 25 years ago. His passionate approach to Smooth Jazz magically takes listeners to an island of musical paradise, a direct result of his Jamaican/Cuban heritage. Although Jamaica proclaims Reid as a native countryman, the Windy City has been home throughout his musical career.
Proficient on all saxophones, with a preference to the Alto sax, Reid has been described as a cross between David Sanborn and the late sax genius Art Porter, but with his own distinct style. He has performed with several entertainment greats including Buddy Guy, Phil Perry, Michael White, Kim Fields, Ray Fuller, Mike Mason, Nick Colionne Howard Hewett, A.J. Brown, Joe Williams, Melvin Miller, and Norman Connors. Reid’s saxophone styling has afforded him tremendous opportunities throughout the United States as well as in Mexico, Asia, Canada, Europe and Jamaica.
Ray Silkman has been touted as one of the best saxman in the business. Emerging from humble beginnings, Ray Silkman has persevered through the hardest of times to be recognized as a viable force in the music industry. Ray Silkman has gone on to perform at countless clubs, festivals and special events in and around the Chicagoland area. His many performances have taken place in venues such as Chicago’s United Center, Donald E Stevens Convention Center, Poplar Creek and virtually every major jazz club in Chicago over the past 17 years. Ray has independently released 5 CDs including his signature work “Sound Check” which features the hit single “So Saxual”. Ray Silkman has opened for jazz greats such as David Sanborn, Kenny G, George Benson, Keiko Matsui, Tom Scott and the late great Art Porter. Silkman has performed throughout the country in other venues such as the Detroit Opera House, The Los Angeles Convention Center, Walt Disney’s Pleasure Island and at The Hilton Hotel Niagra Falls. He has also received numerous awards and honors including Midwest Magazines Artist of the Year 2005, and the Chicago Jazz Legends Award 2010. Silkman’s sound has been described as incomparable by the late great Benny Carter who stated “this young man is sure to go places, I can feel his music”. Silkman’s signature sound is accented by rich melodic tones and an undeniable command of his instrument. With a style that is fresh and literally on the verge of soaring, one can see why the best way to explain it is “the sound of Ray Silkman’s soul pouring through his sax”. The Sun Times exclaims “Silkman’s sound is hypnotic to say the least”.
Skinny Williams is an accomplished instrumentalist, a savvy composer, and an electrifying performer who — since the release of his first solo album in 1999 — has created a series of recordings that have made him a distinctive talent in the realm of contemporary jazz. Through his noteworthy combination of earthy grooves and soulful improvisations, Williams has earned both critical acclaim and mainstream appreciation. Skinny’s latest album, Here2MakeUHappy, a collection of toe tappin’ grooves from the famed saxophonist and all star rhythm section is a praiseworthy successor to William’s last traditional jazz album and audience favorite, Skinny Swings Again.
A Chicago native, Williams embarked on his music career while still in his teens. Being 6 feet 4 and 180 pounds, he was often referred to as “that skinny sax player,” thus earning him his nickname “Skinny”. And putting his first name William as his last name, hence Skinny Williams. He has performed with some of the biggest names in the business- from comedian Bernie Mac, The Ohio Players, Chaka Khan, Brian McKnight, George Duke and Sheila E, jammed on stage with Brian Culbertson, Nick Colionne. Sat in with blues legends Buddy Guy, BB King and Bo Diddley. Toured Australia, Japan, and Europe with blues greats Junior Wells and Lucky Peterson.Williams is one of the industry’s most respected and in-demand players, with critics comparing him to such greats as Stanley Turrentine, Junior Walker, Grover Washington Jr. and Boney James.