James served the Pullum Center from 2015-2022 as a pro-bono Chief Operating Officer. He volunteered countless hours to help the Center become what it is today. He oversaw all financial matters, event planning and development activities of the Center. His inspiring leadership has left a lasting impression at the Pullum Center. His work advanced Pullum Center's mission to empower young people through performing arts.
James Bancroft’s background includes both the private and nonprofit sectors. Over the course of 20 years, James was a founder and senior executive of two investment banking firms, as well as an officer of two Wall Street firms. He was directly involved in the structuring, placement and/or supervision of $6 billion of municipal financings for affordable housing. This work required the management of financing teams involving major banks and insurance companies, real estate developers, local and state governments and securities underwriters & and attorneys.
James is particularly proud of his efforts that helped create 50,000 affordable apartment units, using tax-exempt financing, for low-income persons, mostly in California. In 1994 he joined the Board of Directors of St. Joseph Center in Venice, CA, a provider of social services to the working poor and homeless. In 2000, James wound down his financing activities and became the working, pro bono Chairman of SJC and over 10 years led the agency in a restructuring and substantial expansion of its operations, upgrading of its staff, and a successful $12 million capital campaign and construction project that resulted in a new headquarters. Today St. Joseph Center is at the forefront of addressing homeless issues in Los Angeles, operating with a $20 million budget.
In 2015, James was introduced to Pullum Center by a mutual friend, and, after serving as an advisor for six months, he agreed to join Pullum Center, pro bono, to direct its business and fundraising operations.
Amy Peer's expertise and dedication made it possible to open the Pullum Center. She gave sage advice and connected the Center to much-needed resources. Without her, Pullum Center would have had major obstacles to overcome. She continues to involve others by engaging them to perform with students and provide vital professional services and financial support. Pullum Center is honored to have her as a partner and friend.
In addition to supporting the Pullum Center, Amy volunteers with the UCLA Ronald Reagan PAC Program, where she applies her expertise as a dog behavioral therapist to help patients overcome neurological traumas.
Keyboard Maestro, Vocalist, Composer & Producer
Brandon Coleman is a keyboard maestro, vocalist, composer, producer, and arranger. "A regular fixture with Babyface, Donald Glover, Flying Lotus, and Kamasi Washington’s band, Coleman represents a new chapter in the evolution of jazz and funk fusion."
"Following the release of Resistance in 2018 via Brainfeeder, Coleman embarked on a thirty(30)-city tour supporting Flying Lotus in 2019, laying his interplanetary dance grooves down for eager audiences. This project represents a new chapter in the Funk dynasty that spans a multitude of generations and genres, and honors their ethos of freedom and experimentation in his search for Funk’s future. Coleman’s bold voice reminds us that great music can also contain fun & whimsy, no other member of the current generation has made such a strong commitment to expanding on the psychedelic grooves of decades past, and with so much finesse.
“For those accustomed to Coleman’s role laying the foundation for expansive spiritual-jazz explorations in Kamasi Washington’s band, it’s revelatory to hear him so spry on his feet and down to get down. If his work with Washington contains all the weight and gravitas of Sunday church, Coleman’s Resistance has all the fun, breeziness- and yes, sunlight- of an afternoon church picnic,” said Andy Beta of Pitchfork. At a typical Brandon Coleman show, it’s common to get the entire Sunday extravaganza."
(Source: https://www.nordkeyboards.com/artist/brandon-coleman. Image: Lauren Desberg)
Jazz Trumpeter, Vocalist, Songwriter & Producer
"Keyon Harrold was born and raised in Ferguson, MO, the St. Louis suburb that tore into America’s national consciousness in 2014 with the police shooting of Michael Brown and the bitter protests and riots that followed. While Ferguson looms large in Harrold’s album The Mugician, it examines our troubled times through a far wider lens than any one tragedy. Sweeping and cinematic, the music draws on elements of jazz, classicval, rock, blues, and hip hop to create something uniquely modern, unmistakably American. Guests including Pharoahe Monch, Gary Clark, Jr., Big K.R.I.T., Guy Torry, Georgia Anne Muldrow and Robert Glasper add to the record’s eclectic nature, but it ultimately triumphs as a unified, cohesive whole both because of Harrold’s virtuosic skill as a trumpeter and songwriter and because of his relentlessly optimistic belief in brighter days to come.
Harrold grew up one of 16 children in a family that prioritized music and community across generations. His grandfather was a police officer who retired from the force to found a drum and bugle corps for local youth, both of his parents were pastors, and nearly all of his siblings sing and perform music today. Culture shock hit Harrold hard at 18, when he left Ferguson for New York City to enroll in The New School. In New York, he landed his first major gig with Common, an experience which he says broadened his musical horizons beyond jazz to include funk, Afrobeat, R&B, and hip hop. Soon he was performing with stars like Snoop Dogg, Jay Z, Beyonce, Rihanna, Eminem, Maxwell, and Anthony Hamilton.
In 2009, he released his solo debut, Introducing Keyon Harrold and then won wide acclaim for his trumpet performances in Don Cheadle’s Miles Davis biopic Miles Ahead. The Mugician is a portmanteau of “musician” and “magician, a nod to a nickname Cheadle bestowed upon the young virtuoso, and it’s an apt descriptor for a record that pushes beyond the traditional boundaries of jazz trumpet. In fact, the album doesn’t even begin with trumpet, but rather with a track called ‘Voicemail,’ which features an inspirational message from Harrold’s mother set to a stirring, orchestral soundscape. Entirely unedited, her words lay the groundwork for an album that celebrates the importance of family (ten of Keyon’s siblings appear on the record) and the absolute necessity of optimism in the face of darkness and doubt. These days, Harrold is a parent himself, and he pays tribute to his son with a pair of tracks on the album, “Lullaby” and “Bubba Rides Again.” Issues of identity and equality percolate throughout the record, sometimes subtly beneath the surface, sometimes more pointedly, as in “Circus Show.” However, the album’s most powerful moments come with the one-two punch of “MB Lament” and “When Will It Stop,” songs written in the wake of Michael Brown’s death and the senseless killings of so many others like him."
(Source and Image: https://www.keyonharrold.com/)
Peter Michael Escovedo
Percussionist and Musical Director
"Peter Michael Escovedo III, Emmy-nominated Musical Director / Producer, has earned recognition not only as a percussionist, but a producer, singer, songwriter, and television personality.
Peter Michael (named after his father, percussionist and original member of Santana, Pete Escovedo) has contributed in countless world tours, recordings and television productions.
He has produced television shows, written music for film, theme songs for television, composed, arranged, and produced music for various artists, and is currently releasing a new E. Family cd featuring Joss Stone, Prince, Earth Wind & Fire, Gloria Estefan, Raphael Saadiq, and Israel Houghton."
(Source: https://peteescovedo.com/escovedo-family/peter-michael Image: Kari Coulter)
R&B and Soul Singer & Actor
"Louis Price, former lead singer of The Temptations and The Drifters is often called “a performer’s performer” because he is one of the few singers who can entertain the entertainers. Based in Los Angeles, the Chicago native and teacher has a long history of captivating audiences all over the world. Whether taking his fans on a walk down memory lane by covering the old Motown classics or performing his original songs, Louis continues to shine through his uncanny ability to bring people together around great music and worthy causes.
Louis remains in high demand to serve as Lead Performer as well as coordinate entertainment for large corporate events. He has helped create memorable events through his work with The HELP Group, The American Medical Association, The National Council On Aging, The Sheraton Corporation, Miller Brewing Company, 20th Century Fox, Warner Brothers, The NAACP State Convention, Cedar Sinai Medical Center and a host of other companies.
Louis sang on the Oscars and the Grammys with John Legend and Common "Glory" and with Mary J. Blige (2018). It's Louis's voice that you hear singing “Gloria” and “The Chase” in the pulp film classic “White Men Can’t Jump” where he also honed his acting abilities as "basketballer", “King Eddie Faroo. The sweeps winning teleplay “The Temptations” featured Louis as the Dennis Edwards voice. In addition, his station ID’s have been heard on The Wave radio network.
Louis had the opportunity to sing on the hit films "Uncle Drew" and "SuperFly." He can be seen and heard in the Steven Spielberg TV show, "Amazing Stories."
Louis has been fortunate to sing on the Justin Timberlake "Suit and Tie" video plus many hit albums, including those of, Katie Perry, Michael Buble, Celine Dion, Elton John, Leon Russell, and The Promise Keepers. He has been a Vocal Consultant on 2 Seal albums. His vocal arrangement of "Carol of The Bells" is included on the Carole King holiday CD. He has recorded with Ms. King as well as vocalist Melody Gardot."
(Source: https://www.louisprice.tv/about Image: )
Recording Artist, Songwriter, and Voice-Over/Actor
Sy Smith has long since solidified her place in the world of underground soul music (she’s often called “the hardest working woman in underground soul”). This Los Angeles-based singer, songwriter and producer helped cultivate the nu-soul scene in that city more than 10 years ago, a scene which now easily boasts some of the most progressive artists of that genre to date, some of whom came directly from Smith’s own band line-ups (including Thundercat and Kamasi Washington). Her catalog includes 5 studio albums, with contributions from a who’s who of producers (James Poyser of The Roots, Ali Shaheed Muhammad of A Tribe Called Quest and Nicolay of The Foreign Exchange). All 5 of her albums, including her brand new project “Sometimes A Rose Will Grow In Concrete” have been heralded by critics around the world for Smith’s lyrical dexterity, her vocal whimsy (often colored with a very distinctive rhythmic swing that’s all her own) and her ability to spin a story like few others in soul music. Listeners often remark on Smith’s vocal range, which moves effortlessly from a speakeasy, gritty alto all the way to a stratospheric soprano whistle register reminiscent of the late Minnie Riperton.
Smith’s career began as a backing vocalist on some of the music industry’s most coveted gigs. She has provided supporting vocals for Whitney Houston, Sheila E., Meshell Ndegeocello, Chaka Khan, Usher, Macy Gray and The Rickey Minor Band (as seen on American Idol for six seasons and The Tonight Show with Jay Leno). Most recently though, she’s caught the ear of jazz aficionados as a featured guest with Grammy-winning trumpeter Chris Botti. Audiences around the world are often astounded to see Smith’s voice and Botti’s trumpet go note-for-note in playful competition on stage, and her performance of “The Look Of Love” on his Grammy-nominated DVD “Live In Boston” is an audience favorite. Jazz critics have also taken note of Smith’s solo performances in her genre-bending presentations (e.g. “SySingsJanet!”, her jazz-reworking of classic Janet Jackson songs), which include her often sitting in on piano, synth bass and manipulating her own vocal effects on with an on-stage processor.
Smith has received two NAACP Theater Award nominations, both for best supporting actress in a comedy/musical, for her theater work in Los Angeles (Michael Ajakwe’s If You Don’t Believe: A Love Story, Body Language), and she has numerous television acting credits (Ally McBeal, How I Met Your Mother, American Dad). Her voice can be heard as the character of Aisha on the popular video game franchise Saint’s Row (she also wrote/produced some of the music for this game!). She has an Emmy nomination for her songwriting (Best Music/Lyrics for “Welcome Back All My Soulmates” for HBO’s Dancing In September). This NYC-born/Washington DC-raised woman is a proud graduate of Howard University where she earned a bachelor of science in psychology.
"When Kamasi Washington released his Tour De Force LP, The Epic, in 2015, it instantly set him on a path as our generation's torchbearer for progressive, improvisational music that would open the door for young audiences to experience music unlike anything they had heard before. The 172-minute odyssey featuring his 10-piece band, The Next Step, was littered with elements of hip-hop, classical and R&B music, all major influences on the young saxophonist and bandleader, who exceeds any notions of what "Jazz" music is. Released to critical acclaim, the epic won numerous "Best of" awards, including the inaugural American Music Prize and The Gilles Peterson Worldwide Album of the Year. Washington followed that work with collaborations with other influential artists such as Kendrick Lamar, John Legend, Run The Jewels, Ibeyi and the creation of "Harmony of Difference," a standalone multimedia installation during the prestigious 2017 Biennial of the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City.
His mass appeal continues to grow drawing vibrant, multi-ethnic and multi-generational crowds with tour stops at the world's most prominent festivals such as Coachella, Glastonbury, Fuji Rock, Bonnaroo and Primavera."
(Source and Image: https://www.kamasiwashington.com/bio)