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Ray Silkman

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Ray Silkman began playing the saxophone at age 12 after learning that his father, whom he never met, had played the instrument while serving in the Army. Silkman lost his mother to cancer when he was 15 years old. One year later he played his first professional gig with a local band in Florida, where he grew up and studied music. At age 20 Silkman headed to Chicago to gain experience and to take a chance at pursuing his dream. “I came to Chicago with literally nothing but the desire to play my music and be appreciated for it” Silkman said. (Midwest Showcase Magazine)

Silkman’s beginnings were humble yet challenging. Only two weeks after arriving in Chicago, Silkman had been robbed and found himself homeless. To earn money for room and board and possibly a meal he played on street corners and in subway stations for several months. Never wavering he used the lessons of hard work, determination and faith that his mother instilled in him to overcome the adversity and hard times.

Ray Silkman’s first break came when Karen Baker approached him, while performing on the street corners of Oak and Rush in Chicago’s popular uptown neighborhood. Karen Baker, event coordinator, contracted Silkman to perform at an international fashion event, hosted by The Galleria Marchetti and the Como Inn entitled OGGI. Since those days of struggle and sacrifice Ray Silkman has been touted as one of the best sax men in the business. He regularly performs in sold out auditoriums and festivals in Chicago and across the country.

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