While the Arthur Lakes Library is generally a silent place to study, the upbeat sound of smooth jazz drifted throughout the building one Friday afternoon. Vintage Silk Band, a four piece jazz ensemble, energetically performed a one hour-lunchtime show in the Boettcher room as part of the Concerts in the Library entertainment series.
With saxophone solos and fun lyrics, Vintage Silk Band aims to put a new twist on popular songs from the 30s, 40s, 50s, and today. The quartet of musicians consists of Jim Jones on guitar, Bryan Siebuhr on bass, Tamara Montoya as vocalist, and Andy Snyders on saxophone. While the band members have diverse interests and all levels of musical experience, it is clear that they enjoy playing together and appreciate each member’s unique contribution to the music. Jim Jones and Tamara Montoya previously performed together and later met Andy Snyders and Bryan Siebuhr in the Denver area to form Vintage Silk. While a jazz band might seem out of place at an engineering school, Friday’s concert was actually the band’s second appearance at Colorado School of Mines, and Bryan Siebuhr (bass) is a Mines alum.
Sharply dressed and ever upbeat, Vintage Silk performed everything from Al Green’s classic “Let’s Stay Together” to Leonard Cohen’s romantic and calming “Dance Me to the End of Love”. With each classic choice, it was interesting to see how the musicians embellished both the melody and the lyrics, keeping the song familiar enough to sing along to but also making it entirely their own. The quartet also debuted their version of “My Ideal”, an insightful tune about the odds of a person walking right past his or her soul mate, for the audience of Mines students and faculty.
As the concert progressed, the group moved on to songs like “All of Me”, originally by Gerald Marks, and Tracy Chapman’s “Give Me One Reason to Stay Here”, becoming progressively more comfortable with the audience as the show went on. One great aspect of the music is that with only three instruments and just one vocalist, Vintage Silk is able to include lots of musical solos and fun harmonies. Additionally, the instruments balanced vocals very well, and the overall sound of the music was not at all harsh or piercing, but full-bodied and mellifluous. Vintage Silk’s characteristic style is perfect for studying, softy singing along, or simply appreciating.
Concerts in the Library is a relaxing and entertaining lunchtime experience for Mines students and faculty alike. At a school with such a pronounced math and science focus, taking a break to listen to an upcoming band, musician, or songwriter can be an incredibly effective form of stress relief. Additionally, the artists appreciate school support, and the concerts contribute to the sense of community on campus. To learn more about Vintage Silk Band or the Concerts in the Library program, visit the band’s website, www.vintagesilkband.com, or contact Wendy Shortridge, Arthur Lakes Library technician, at (303) 273-3699.