photo by Javet Kimble

 Unique name. Unforgettable voice. "Z"(formerly known as Saalik Ziyad), a native Chicagoan born in 1978, began singing at the age of seven. His unique style of song creates deep, melodic vocals that many who have witnessed his craft, soon not forget. His first introduction to music was when he was accepted as a member of the Chicago Children's Choir. This experience opened the door to opportunities to perform with many musical greats including Charlie Haden, Amina Claudine Myers, Willie Pickens, and renowned institutions such as the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

While working on his Bachelor's Degree in Vocal Performance at Northern Illinois University (NIU), "Z"'s talents continued to flourish and landed him the position of lead jazz vocalist with the Northern Illinois University Jazz Ensemble, including tours with Hammiet Blueitt, Steve Turre and Rufus Reid. Additionally, the multi-faceted Saalik has appeared in George Gershwin's “Porgy and Bess” under the direction of Grammy® Award winner, Bobby McFerrin at the Ravinia Music Festival in Illinois and has also performed with The Chicago Sinfonietta under the direction of Maestro Paul Freeman. While exploring his continued quest for understanding the creative influence of music at NIU, Saalik formed- “The 5 after 7 Project,” - a collaborative of diverse musicians residing in the Chicagoland area. They continue to hone their skills and thrill audiences at the Velvet Lounge in Chicago.

As a member of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM), Saalik has been able explore the different areas of creative music by composing and performing with the organization. He is a former student of the AACM and taught in the AACM School of Music since he was 18.

"Z"'s unique style and voice ranges from jazz to classical and has afforded him the opportunity to perform worldwide, from the Sons D’hiver Jazz festival in Paris, France to the Umbria Jazz Festival in Italy, just to name a few. One of "Z"s crowning achievements was performing at the Made in Chicago Jazz Festival in Poznan, Poland at the world-renowned Blue Note Jazz Club.

"Z"'s list of performances reads as a who's who of the performing arts world including roles in Dido & Aeneas, Floyd's Susannah, and dinner theater performances of The All Night Strut and many others. As a member of the doo wop group The El Dorado's, "Z" has a chance to perform in some of the biggest venues in the country including the Viva Rock Vegas Show in Las Vegas.

Always a proponent for giving back to the community, "Z" continues, through teaching and mentoring, to help others hone their craft. Between his many performances across the globe, "Z" has taught in the Chicago Public Schools as an artist in residence for the Jazz Institute of Chicago. and has conducted multiple clinics with the Polyrhythms Organization. All these experiences have led this talented musician, arranger, composer, and conductor to grow his voice into a truly powerful vocal instrument that will continue to be enjoyed by music lovers for many years to come.

Previous events

Gemini: "Z" with the Loop Session Project

Constellation, 3111 N. Western Ave, Chicago

The Loop Session Project started by Z (Saalik Ziyad) with mainstays of Preyas Roy and Jonathan Woods. For this concert Z is inviting his special friends to join him as he celebrates his 40th birthday. The Loop Session Project features electronic improvised music incorporating acoustic music while implementing iPads, computers and Loop machines.

Lineup: Z (Saalik), Edward Wilkerson Jr., Frederick Jackson Jr., Preyas Roy, Jonathan Woods, Alex Wing and Dushun Mosley

Polyrhythms Third Sunday Jazz Series

Redstone Room, 129 Main St, Davenport, Iowa

The Saalik Ziyad Quartet is Ziyad’s straight ahead jazz combo. From music of the old to music of the new. You will hear arrangements of bebop to jazz standards and music from Bob Marley to the Beatles. Saalik Ahmad Ziyad on vocals Larry Brown Jr. on guitar Steven C Manns on bass Dushun Mosley on drums

Ziyad has written fresh new lyrics to some of your non standard jazz tunes.

Jazz Record Art Collective:Sam Cooke's Mr. Soul

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Fulton Street Collective, 1821 W Hubbard St., Chicago

The Jazz Record Art Collective is delving into a little soul on Valentine's Day when the Saalik Ziyad Group performs Sam Cooke's’ 1963 release MR. SOUL on Wednesday, February 14 VALENTINE'S DAY, at Fulton Street Collective.

"In 1963, Sam Cooke was a busy man releasing two records on RCA Victor. One of those being Mr. Soul, which was produced by Hugo and Luigi, a producing team and released in February . Besides Cooke, this record features a string section along with a rhythm section that accompanies Cooke. Although the strings can sometimes be over orchestrated, Cooke's soulful voice and all his nuances makes this record a record that shouldn't be ignored." ~Lenard Simpson

Saalik Ziyad Group is: Saalik Ziyad - Vocals Ed Beard - Piano Zachary Biggus - Guitar David Williams - Bass Andy Sutton - Drums

Jazz Record Art Collective Presents Saalik Ziyad Groupt Performing Sam Cooke's Mr. Soul Wednesday, February 14, 2018 Fulton Street Collective 1821 W. Hubbard Chicago, IL 60612 FREE PARKING IN OUR LOT 773-852-2481 8:00 Doors 9:00 Show $10 Suggested Donation $5 with Valid Student ID All Ages

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