Under the threat of a winter storm and 50 mile-per-hour winds, Chicago came out in full force to witness the genius of Roy Ayers at The Promontory in Hyde Park.
Ayers has been in the industry for over 40 years and his signature vibraphone notes have been sampled and replayed around the world by artists from every genre. His first selection of the night was reminiscent of some Fela Kuti ,with a driving Afrofunk groove that makes you move. Watching Ayers play his vibes so effortlessly you forget that he is 75 years old. He is consistently touring the United States. The joy he brings the audience is infectious and such a beautiful sight to witness. He sold out two nights of a mini residency at the Promontory and if you were able to make it out, you were not disappointed. When he announced the next song he would play would be his hit, “Sunshine,” the audience cheered and sang along to every word. Despite the winter weather, you could feel the warmth of the sun in his energy. He ran though a few newer songs but the response was greater for the staples, “You Send Me” and “Searching.”
Ayers was suffering from a cold for the past two days but his illness wasn’t evident. His energy was high and the music was beautiful.
Ayers will be in D.C. sharing his sunshine with the world. Chicago was extremely fortunate to be able to experience this legend live. He is living, breathing, Black history.
Take a look at a few of the pics below.