Walking into the Renaissance, I felt like I was stepping back in time. Located in Bronzeville, also known as the “Black Metropolis”, The Renaissance Bronzeville is a beautiful venue that combines vintage style with modern accents. Reminiscent of old jazz clubs that used to line the Bronzeville neighborhood streets, the venue is full of ambiance and style. Big Bands have been replaced by soulful DJs playing to an eclectic crowd of young professionals and seasoned house people. Spacious and comfortable seating surround the perimeter of the club with a dedicated VIP area to the left of the DJ Booth. There is a decent sized dance floor and a huge bar. It feels intimate without feeling cramped.
Renaissance Wednesdays’ hosted by promoters Reggie Corner, Ronda Flowers, and Robert “Koko” Walker, is a weekly party that showcases the best in soulful house music in an intimate environment. The three promoters were each looking at hosting a weekly event at this new location but decided to join together to bring different DJ’s specializing in soulful house grooves. As Reggie Corner said, “The intent of this party is to bring a diverse set of DJ’s specializing in soulful house music each and every week and to provide an environment that draws the people in and keeps them returning week after week". Impressed with the venue, I spoke with Reggie Corner about why they chose this spot as the place for this new weekly party. He said, “As a promoter it is your job to find great venues and supply great talent, and then put in the work to ensure the party’s success. It is not enough to find a great venue and hope the people come; you must grind”. He was very pleased with the positive response of Renaissance Wednesday’s, but is committed to ensuring the crowds continue to grow each and every week.
Tonight’s musical selectors were Torin Edmond, Jamie 3:26 and Carlos Mena. Torin Edmond is a DJ, producer and remixer from Chicago. He is also a resident DJ at Chant, another party held in Chicago’s trendy Hyde Park Neighborhood. His set was smooth, soulful and set the entire tone for the rest of the evening. Next up was Jamie 3:26, another DJ from the Southside of Chicago, who has traveled the world bringing the Chicago House sound to the masses. Fresh off another overseas tour, a new label launch and a #1 record, Jamie brought his signature sound and unique spinning style to the Renaissance. Seamless blends combined with new and original music made his set energetic and upbeat. The crowd at Renaissance reveled in it. His sets always reflect his travels; varied and full of soul. Carlos Mena is a DJ/Producer from NYC who has produced music for many Grammy and platinum recording artists. He has released music with Defected, Yoruba, Vega, and Atjazz Records and is known for his eclectic sets. He did not disappoint. Carlos Mena played a soulful set with Afro and Latin inspired beats, intertwined with sexy ebbs and flows that took you on a beautiful musical journey. One of my favorite moments of his set was a beautiful remix of the classic Sade song “Pearls” which was hauntingly beautiful and melodic. His set was electric.
The Renaissance Bronzeville is a great addition to this thriving Southside Chicago neighborhood. Renaissance Wednesday’s is a wonderful way to spend an evening with friends listening to great music. You are guaranteed to be in a great environment in a nice location with sexy ambiance and quality soulful talent. Next Wednesday’s guests at the Renaissance Bronzeville are DJs Paul Johnson and Keith Fobs.
See ya on a dance floor