"Out Loud Chicago" // Courtesy of Sarah Guinan

LGBTQ artists sing ‘Out Loud’ for The Center fundraiser

Sammy Cannillo and a team of bands and artists from Chicago and the suburbs are bringing the tunes to Chicago’s Pride month with an eye toward giving back.

What’s a celebration without a little music?

Singer-songwriter Sammy Cannillo and a team of bands and artists are bringing the tunes to Chicago’s Pride month with an eye toward giving back.

With “Out Loud Chicago,” an eight-song compilation dropping exclusively on Bandcamp Wednesday, Cannillo gathered LGBTQ friends and artists from the Chicago music community to record covers of songs significant in their lives. With their own spins, of course.

“I’ve had this idea for so long about how music has just been so pivotal to my identity and my coming out, so it’s kind of a no-brainer that I would eventually want to do something that publicly recognizes that,” said Cannillo. “So many bands are critical to people being OK with themselves and their identity and their discovery. I knew that I could share that with a lot of people.”

Purchases of “Out Loud Chicago” via Bandcamp ($10) will benefit The Center on Halsted, a community and resource center assisting Chicago’s LGBTQ residents with career development programs, housing options, youth services and outreach, culinary and computer facilities, benefits and social events.

“There’s so many reasons why I think it’s important to be able to have a safe space to go in such a large city. For a lot of people it is really vital,” said Cannillo. “Not everyone comes from a place where they can feel comfortable being exactly who they are or asking for help for things. So having this center is such a huge asset to Chicago.”

Contributors to “Out Loud Chicago” include Don Crescendo, from top left, OK Cool, splits, Andie, Sammy Cannillo, Bringers, Cameron Lee, IAMAURIN and Mitchell Jay.

With her friends on the music scene, Cannillo tapped a wider network to gather the team, bringing in music from Mitchell Jay and Cameron Lee, splits, OK Cool, IAMAURIN, Andie, Don Crescendo and Bringers to the project. She also recruited Jesse Bolduc, who engineered the music, and artist Sarah Guinan, who created the album cover. A poster version of the cover is also available for sale at scannillo.wixsite.com/out-loud-chicago.

In a happy accident, Don Crescendo, who contributed to the album, is also heading up a DJ set at Sleeping Village (3734 W. Belmont Ave., Chicago) from 8 to 11 p.m. Wednesday night in what’s turning into a release party for the project. Admission is free, and it’s open for the public to celebrate with some of the artists and friends.

“(Chicago’s) always been a space that’s been the most comfortable for me and the most welcoming in my experience and in my coming out. Music has been the reason that it was eventually OK for me. So this is my way to celebrate that and to celebrate being lucky to be in a music scene that’s so diverse and so inclusive,” said Cannillo. “I have always felt welcomed by the local music scene. And being able to be on an album with some of those people is so cool to me.”

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