Unique name. Unforgettable voice. 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), Saalik'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 Ziyad 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.