Saalik A. Ziyad
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Saalik Ziyad is a human being who loves music and the creative process around it.
Saalik Ziyad who is the founder of The 5 after 7 Project is also a
member of the AACM: Association for the Advancement of Creative
Saalik A. Ziyad, a native of Chicago, is no stranger to performing. He
began his singing career at age seven with the Chicago Children's
Choir and under the choir's tutelage performed with Willie Pickens,
Charlie Haden, Amina Claudine Myers, and the Chicago Symphony
Orchestra (under the direction of Zubin Mehta and James Levine).
Saalik began music training at the Association for the Advancement of
Creative Musicians' (AACM) School of Music at the age of eight;
studying with Edward Wilkerson, Ernest Dawkins, Mwata Bowden, Vandy
Harris, Ann Ward, and many other AACM faculty. Saalik, a new member of
the AACM (October 2005), has been able to explore various types of
music. His major influences are John Coltrane, Edward Wilkerson, Eddie
Jefferson, Jon Hendricks, Joe Williams, Miles Davis, Gil Scott Heron
and many others to name a few. Ziyad, who is also working on his
Bachelor of Vocal Performance degree from Northern Illinois University
(NIU), has regularly performed in NlU's classical, opera and jazz
ensembles. He has performed the roles of Elder McLean in the opera
Susannah, Vicomte Cascada in the Merry Widow, Aeneas in Dido and
Aeneas, St. Stephen in the opera Four Saints in Three Acts the role of
the Rabbi in the musical Fiddler on the Roof and the role of Sammy
Davis Jr. in the production of The Rat Pack Live. Ziyad was also the
lead jazz vocalist with the world-renowned NIU Jazz Ensemble. While
performing with the Ensemble he toured with Hammiet Bluertt, Steve
Turre and Rufus Reid. In addition, the multi-faceted Ziyad has
appeared in George Gershwin's Porgy and Bess under the direction of
Bobby McFerrin (Ravinia Music Festival); and sung with Paul Freeman
and the Chicago Sinfonietta. Ziyad also recently performed in the 2005
Chicago Jazz Festival at Grant Park with the Frontburners in a Tribute
to Vandy Harris, and also with the AACM Great Black Music Ensemble. He
recently performed with the Fulcrum Point New Music Project (Harris
Theater for Music and Dance) with Hannibal Lokumbe, Malachi Thompson,
Stephen Burns, and others. He is currently teaching voice, theory and
ear training at the AACM School of Music.