Rajiv Halim is a saxophonist, composer, bandleader, and educator who was born on September 15, 1990. Incidentally he shares birthdays with legendary saxophonist Cannonball Adderley. He was born in Chicago, IL to immigrant parents from Belize. Music is part of his genome; his paternal great-grandfather, Mr. Rudolph Andrews, performed in and later on directed many big bands in his career. His maternal and paternal grandmothers were accomplished vocalists. His mother and her siblings are all proficient musicians. As for his father, let's just say he's an anomaly, but yet a music lover. From a very young age, his parents exposed him to various types of music including punta, soca, calypso, reggae, country, soul, and R & B. At the young age of 8, they enrolled Rajiv for saxophone and music lessons at his elementary school, North Shore Junior Academy. While attending Lane Technical High School, his band teacher loaned him a Charlie Parker CD, and thus sparked Rajiv's interest in improvisation and creative music. During his senior year of high school, he had the opportunity to take part in a jazz performance program at The Gallery 37 Center for the Arts in downtown Chicago (one of 9 performing arts high schools sponsored by the The Thelonius Monk Institute of Jazz). During spring break of 2008, the Gallery 37 Jazz Performance class traveled to Salt Lake City, Utah, on tour with world-renowned recording artist Antonio Hart and world-class vocalist Lisa Henry. They performed at four SLC public high schools and performed in Ogden, Utah, at the Wine Cellar Jazz Club. The education Rajiv received at Gallery 37 further sparked his interest in music and his drive to practice harder.
After one year as a Chemical Engineering student, Rajiv entered the Jazz Performance program at the University of Illinois at Chicago. At UIC, he studied with some of the greatest musicians in the world: Orbert Davis, Nicole Mitchell, Ari Brown, Zvonimir Tot, Stewart Miller, and Ernie Adams. Rajiv left UIC after the fall 2010 semester. In September 2009, Rajiv joined an eclectic band called Kids These Days. Starting out as just a jam band, the group began creating original songs, as well as arrangements of songs by artists from their many collective influences. In June 2011, KTD released an EP, "Hard Times", that was highly praised by various local and national press (Chicago Tribune, New York Times, Huffington Post) and other blogs. Throughout 2011, Rajiv toured parts of The United States and Canada with Kids These Days, opening for artists such as Snoop Dogg, Raphael Saadiq, and Chicago. Rajiv left KTD in August 2011.
In 2010, Rajiv won 1st place in Division II in The Union League Civic and Arts Foundation's Jazz Improvisation Competition. He also won an Outstanding Individual Musician Award at the 2010 Elmhurst College Jazz Festival.
He continues to perform regularly around the Chicagoland area with many musical groups such as Ron Haynes Game Changers and "RAJIV HALIM'S GOOD MUSIC ENSEMBLE", which he founded in December 2011. The group's lineup varies often; however, it typically features trumpeter Shaun Johnson, vibraphonist Justin Thomas, guitarist Scott Hesse, pianist Michael King, bassist Junius Paul, and drummer Michael Piolet.
Rajiv keeps an open ear and enjoys all good music, much of which has influenced his musical vocabulary and compositions. These influential artists include: Charlie Parker, Roy Hargrove, Cannonball Adderley, J Dilla, The Roots, Vincent Herring, Stevie Wonder, John Coltrane, Common, Clifford Brown, Robert Glasper, Miles Davis, D'Angelo, Grover Washington Jr., Erykah Badu, Miguel Zenon, Tupac Shakur, Biggie Smalls, Paul Desmond, Sonny Rollins, among many others.
Rajiv has had the privilege to perform and/or record with such outstanding artists: Curtis Lundy, Wess "Warmdaddy" Anderson, Antonio Hart, Lisa Henry, Von Freeman, Mike Stern, Martha Reeves, Bob Mintzer, Ira Nepus, Orbert Davis, Ernest Dawkins, Ari Brown, Nicole Mitchell, Maggie Brown, Corey Wilkes, Maurice Brown, Ernie Adams, The Chicago Jazz Philharmonic, Lorin Cohen, Marquis Hill, Shirazette Tinnin, Willerm Delisfort, Big Mel, Crucial Conflict, and many others.