THE BEARS BEAT THE SAINTS!!! THE BEARS ARE GOING TO THE SUPERBOWL!!! That was a great day in sports history, it was also the night when The 5 after 7 Project recorded this cd here “Twelve Minutes of Love”. This album features great love songs of despair, eagerness and love. From the song Lush Life to Tenderly, the album just relaxes you into a peaceful state of mind.
The 5 after 7 project is a project inspired by the vocalist Saalik Ziyad. On this cd Saalik decided to record some of his favorite jazz standards that he has learned in his so far young singing career. For this recording to happen he found some great musicians in Chicago to work with. Nevada Hadary on piano, Tim Seisser on bass, Phillip Fornett on drums and Al Strong on trumpet.
Here are the bios of some of the members of The 5 after 7 project.
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). As a member of the Choir, Saalik toured extensively in the United States, Poland, Russia and South Africa and has performed for Hillary Rodham Clinton, Nelson Mandela, Mayor and Mrs. Daley, Archbishop Demond Tutu, Cicely Tyson and Richard Dreyfuss. While in high school, Ziyad also performed and toured with the Kenwood Academy Concert Choir. He continues to support the Chicago Children's Choir as an alumni guest soloist. 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 sang 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.
Phil Fornett a.k.a. “Dr. Phil Good”, plays with the finesse of a adept drum “surgeon”. His humble attitude and phenomenal skills are rooted in his Harvey, Illinois upbringing. Phil started in grade school under the tutelage of John Weber. He graduated from Thornton Township HS where he was a member of band. There he gathered such accolades as Section Leader & Chicago Area Jazz Fest Outstanding Jazz Performance, Best Section Player. From there he began his formal music education training at Northern Illinois University’s School of Music. At Northern, he played for NIU School 0f Dance & Top Jazz Combo. Additionally, Phil has played for such world renowned artists as the late, great Billy Preston and Howard Hewitt. He has toured Italy with the gospel group, Piece of My Soul. Now that he has returned to reside on the southside of Chicago, you are bound to see him playing at restaurants, universities, churches and any occasion where God leads. A man of great faith, he is an honorable and ethical professional, an oxymoron in the music biz. Don’t limit this man to his great talent. He made the decision to master the rudiments of his craft by finishing his bachelor’s degree at Chicago State University (CSU). At CSU, he has played marimba, drum set, vibraphone & steel pan. He is currently a full time music education major. Phil was a percussionist for the youth ministry at Calvary Baptist of Glenwood, IL but now plays for Beth Eden Church in Chicago. He still gives private drum lessons to youth. He was a teacher for the Music Alive Program this summer. Most recently he played percussion for the off Broadway rendition of the play Dreamgirls (ABJ Center of the Arts). He is dedicated to the passion of educating youth who are truly interested in music due to his own experiences. He knows that there is limited knowledge of music fundamentals at the secondary school level that can hinder teens once they begin their college curriculum. Roxanne Stevenson, saxophonist extraordinaire and professor at CSU says, “Phil is an accomplished percussionist who has dedicated much of his time & talent to the CSU Community Jazz & Concert Bands”. “I can certainly attest to the fact that he has the talent & temperament to be a great teacher & a great performer”, adds Felton Offard, professor of music at CSU. His musical inspirations are Dennis Chambers and Art Blakey. He gives all praise to God for his talents, past success and bright future. Phil Fornett is truly "The Man with the Hands
Albert Strong is a native of Washington, D.C., currently residing in Chicago, Illinois as a full-time musician. After completing his Master’s Degree in Jazz Studies from Northern Illinois University, Albert became intrigued with the Chicago music scene, and all it had to offer. His musical background and experience extends from the classic gospel spirituals played and sang, many times by his grandmother while growing up as a child, to the steelpan music of Trinidad and Tobago, which he also studied and performed for a period, while growing up in D.C. In a sense, Albert’s interests lie with the exploration of all types of “Soul Music”, and teaching other peoples children how to appreciate music created before their time, and it’s relationship to music of today.
Tim Seisser, is rapidly becoming one of the most in demand bassists in the Chicago jazz scene. His equal prowess on both upright and electric bass has made him even more sought after. He hopes to continue pursuing his dream of playing jazz professionally both thru leading his own band and working as a sideman with many of Chicago's top artists, including his work here with The 5 after 7 Project.