JACOB H. CARRUTHERS FOR INNER CITY STUDIES
Rajah Chicago born and raised began his music journey in the 80s as an R&B /Rock drummer. Stepping away from music for 3 years while serving in the U.S. Air Force, Rajah was turned on by some new sounds while at sound check in Sacramento California for Gerald Albright. Rajah began to dig up the sounds of David Sanborn, Grover Washington Jr. and Najee. Rajah was immediately drawn to the sax and the seed was planted.
Rajah waivered on getting back into music and deciding whether to pick up a sax. It wasnt until Rajah, attended a Grover Washington JR concert in 1989 at then, The Holiday Star Plaza, that he would truly be influenced and convinced that this was the instrument for him.
Rajah disappeared from the social scene for 4 years while studying his craft, soaking in the sounds and mentoring from Art Porter, Von Freeman, Branford Marsalis and many more. Von Freeman sent Rajah to Jimmy Elis out of Hyde Park to help smooth out the rough sound and it wasnt long before Rajah was sitting in with many local bands.
In 1993 Rajah decided to put together his own band called the Reginald Helm Jazz Ensemble basically covering jazz standards, but the music and the name was a little uptight and didnt capture the vibe he was trying to find. Rajah revamped the sound and used the initials of the Reginald Helm Jazz Ensemble to RHJE. As many still had trouble with the name, it was simplified to Rajah.
20 Years and many rehearsals later Rajah has opened for artist such as Ramsay Lewis at Park West, Roy Ayers at the Cotton Club, and most recently Stanley Clarke, Marcus Miller and Victor Wooten at the Country Club Hills Music Theater.
Rajah hits you with many of his original scores while performing but loves to throw in a Boney James or David Sanborn cover on any given night. His band, UBAS (U Better Ask Somebody) are all over his music and the pocket is locked!
Rajah will treat you to a rich and raspy tone on Alto and sweet vibrato riffs on the Soprano. Rajah has three CDs written, produced and recorded to his credit. 1. Walk Like Ya Talk -1996 2. To Reach Your Pinnacle -2000 3. EnSabado/Last Call -2006 4. (Chasen Me) in progress, release Spring 2010
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