Jazz Musician Reggie “Rajah” Helm to headline "A Salute to Men"
Born on Chicago’s south side, Rajah, formally Reggie Helm, began performing as a drummer in a rock group while attending Chicago Vocational High School. After a short stay away from music, Rajah picked up the alto sax and studied the straight ahead jazz world for years under Von Freeman and Jimmy Ellis. Rajah at that time performed under the name “Reginald Helm Jazz Ensemble”. After the introduction to the sounds of David Sanborn, Grover Washington Jr. and Kirk Whalum, Rajah took a turn in a direction away from the straight ahead scene to write and produce his own music. Rajah’s first CD “Walk Like Ya Talk – 1997” featured a range of smooth R&B influenced tracks with two tracks from the CD getting some rotation on local Chicago stations.
Rajahs’s second CD entitled “To Reach Your Pinnacle – 2002”, reached some new heights as a few friends were called in such as Brandon McCune on keyboards and Phillip Seed on guitar. After selling 2,000 CDs locally, Rajah quickly began writing and producing project #3, “En Sabado – 2006”. Rajah called in friends on this project that included Teresa Griffin, Vince Willis, Kenery Smith, Tim Gantt, Nasheet Waits, John Owens and again another call to Brandon McCune and Phillip Seed.
The new project currently in production, “ChasenMe” featuring a cover of the legendary Kasmir on soprano sax, is scheduled for release early 2015. The project is action packed with John Owens, Evell Knight, Kenery Smith, Brandon McCune and high school rock band friend, Fred Clark. Rajah can be found performing with his raspy and mellow tunes on the soprano sax but has never abandoned the alto and tenor saxes. He has opened for Lenora Zenzalai Helm, Ramsey Lewis, Roy Ayers, Stanley Clark, Marcus Miller, Victor Wooten and KEM.