PAUL TILLMAN SMITH PRODUCER / DRUMMER / PROMOTER When your father hands you a set of drumsticks at the age of four, chances are you’ll wind up a drummer. Paul Tillman Smith’s father, George Smith (Kansas City Smitty) played drums during the big band era with many well-known bands including Count Basie, Trummer Young and the Harlem Aces. He was also a mentor to singer Pearl Bailey‘s husband drummer Louie Bellson. At age fifteen at the urging of his mother Della, Paul began playing the piano. It was soon after that he began to write simple three chord songs like the ones he would hear on the radio. This love has lasted a lifetime. Paul has published over a hundred songs to date including the Pharaoh Sanders and Phyllis Hyman jazz pop classic “As You Are”, the Norman Connors and Jean Carne hit “Stella” featuring guitarist Lee Ritenour, and the tender love ballad “ Heavenly”, recorded by pianist Webster Lewis featuring vocalist DJ Rogers, saxophonist Benny Maupin. “Heavenly” also featured strings by Herbie Hancock and was performed by the Boston Pop Symphony for nationally syndicated TV. Paul’s album “Sharing” from his middle seventies Buddha Records recording group Vitamin E., featured the Sly Stone & Frank Zappa vocalist Lady Bianca and saxophonist Jules Broussard’s vocalist David Gardener. The “Sharing” album was produced by Norman Connors and the single from that album with a special guest appearance by vocal legend Freddie Hughes and composed by Paul, became a number one hit in over twelve cities across the nation. In the ninety’s, the Vitamin E. CD was reissued in Japan as a double CD which also featured vocalist Melba Moore’s biggest selling CD “This is It”. Paul’s CD “Crying for Love” was voted record of the year by Blues and Soul magazines in England in 2001. The CD featured never released demos recorded at Fantasy Studio’s by his early eighty’s Bang CBS recording group “Bridge”. The CD was released by the U.K. record label “First Experience Records” and featured fourteen original songs by Paul with co-arrangements by Ronnie Laws keyboardist Michael “Spiderman” Robinson. Also featured were former Motown recording artists Derrick Hughes and Debra Von Lewis. The European critic’s called the Bridge CD a brilliant rare American discovery. Paul song “Higher Power” recently won a national contest sponsored by Tyler Perry, Lions Gate Film’s, BET, and Pastor Marvin Winan’s, for the best inspirational song and video of the year as sung by American Idol finalist Donnie Williams. Paul is also the first to record Sheila E., Rosie Gaines and Bonnie Boyer of Prince fame. Paul considers his biggest contribution to the Bay Area music scene as being the co-founder along with South Berkeley Merchants R.D. Bonds and Sam Dykes of the Berkeley Juneteenth Festival, the longest running African American Arts and Music festival in Northern California history. Upwards of twenty thousand people attend annually. He was also the first to promote free music concerts in Berkeley’s Provo Park and Oakland’s Mosswood Park in the seventies and eighties when he was a music and concert supervisor for “ACNAP”, the Alameda County Neighborhood Arts Program. Paul’s band “Bridge” is the only band in Bay Area history to be on the county pay roll other than the Oakland Symphony. Paul has been the stage manager for the Richmond Juneteenth, the Oakland Port Festival. the Laurel District World Music Festival, and the Vallejo 4th of July Festival. He also put the music program together for the city of Emeryville’s Appreciation Day Festival and helped put the city of Berkeley’s Artspark Festival and 100th Anniversary Arts and Music Celebration music program together and managed both stages. Paul also is no stranger to theater and film. He has been musical director for Melvin Van Peeple’s “Ain’t Supposed To Die A Natural Death” directed by Ted Lange of “Love Boat” and Band Director for “America More Or Less”, the Bi-Centennial Play of San Francisco, featuring works by playwrighters Imamu Amiri Baraka (Leroi Jones), Frank Chin and American Indian playwright Leslie Silko. While a senior in the Rhetoric Department at U.C. Berkeley, Paul made the Oakland Tribune’s front-page headlines for songs he and the late Lonnie Hewitt (Cal Tjader’s pianist) wrote for the Off Broadway play “Dunbar” based on the writings of poet Paul Lawrence Dunbar. “Dunbar” later won Paul the prestigious New York Audelco Theater Award, the highest honor in African American theater putting Paul in an elite club, which includes Denzel Washington and Felicia Rashaad. Paul’s composition “ A Hymn” (Gently Lord and Slow) from “Dunbar” was performed with full orchestra in a salute to Harry Belafonte at the Black Film Makers Hall of Fame Awards the following year. Paul wrote music for two one act plays by Cal Berkeley Professor and Author Cecil Brown and award winning Author Ismael Reed at the Julian Morgan Theater and wrote music for Cecil’s movie short entitled “Two Fer”. Paul currently has twelve songs showcased in the feature film the “Tears of a Clown”, produced by Tony Spires. Tony promotes the annual Comedy Competition at the Paramount Theater. His movie features famous BET comedian DC Curry and several other rising comic stars. Paul’s songs in the movie showcases the talents of former “Tower of Power” vocalist’s Lenny Williams, the late Bonnie Boyer, Rosie Gaines, Freddie Hughes, Denise Stewart, Avis Nixon , American Idol finalist’s Donnie Williams and La Toya London. Paul’s music also includes performances by saxophonist Pharaoh Sanders, pianist Herman Jackson, Eric Daniels, Donald Tavie, Michael Stanton and Edell Shepard, guitarist’s Calvin Keys, Juewette Bostick and Carl Lockett and bassist Nelson Braxton who is also co-producer of several songs along with Norman Connors. Paul Tillman Smith’s first professional drumming gig was with Blues legend Lightnin’ Hopkins at the Continental Club in West Oakland. He was fifteen years old. At the age of eighteen he joined the rock group “The Second Coming”, which included Steve Miller and musicians who later split up and became two historical groups, “The Steve Miller Band” and “Country Joe and the Fish”. Both groups sought Paul’s services, but he chose instead to go to New York where he played and recorded with Avante Garde Jazz musicians Sonny Simmons and Albert Ayler, the later considered to be a founding father of the Avante Garde Jazz Era, along with John Coltrane. While in New York he also performed with Jackie MacLean, Archie Schepp, Kenny Dorham and Pharaoh Sanders. On his return to the Bay Area, Paul performed and recorded with award winning Jazz Violinist Michael White on the Impulse. ABC. Paramount Label. That band featured the legendary pianist Ed Kelly and percussionist Kenneth Nash. George Duke has also produced and performed on one of Pauls compositions titled “We Don’t Eat No Meat”. Paul has had the honor of performing or recording with many music legends including the Sonny Simmons, Bobby Hutcherson and John Handy Quartets, Alice Coltrane, Azure McCall, Joe Henderson, Jimmy Mc Cracklin, Richard Pryor, Etta James, Jon Hendricks, Marlena Shaw, Abbey Lincoln, Dewey Redman, Faye Carol, Harold Land, Lorez Alexander, Odia Coates, The Head Hunters, Erma Thomas, Cold Blood, Jon Faddis, Bobby Lyle, Gary Bartz, Reggie Lucas, Azteca, Rodney Franklin, Carlos Santana, Michael Henderson, The Brecker Brothers, Sylvestor, Jeannie Tracy, Mtume, Sylvestor, Big Momma Thornton, Eddie Henderson, Rashaan Roland Kirk, Julian Priester, Buddy Connor, Angela Bofill, Johnny Talbert, Junie Booth. Woody Shaw, Martin Fierro, Ollie Woodson, Pete Escovedo, Ray Obiedo and Merl Saunders and many more. Paul was one of the first drummers chosen to audition for Jimi Hendrix’s new band, “The Band of Gypsies”. Jimi heard tapes of Paul playing in New York with Bassist Percussionist Juma Sultan and offered to send for Paul to come to Woodstock to audition. Thelonius Monk and Herbie Hancock also sought out Paul’s drumming skills. At seventeen Paul auditioned for the gig to play with “Sly and the Family Stone” . Recently Paul was the drum instructor for Oak Town Jazz Workshops. Paul’s achievements have been a source of inspiration and creativity for numerous musicians. He ran three longe running Jazz jam sessions in the history of the Bay Area, Harry’s on University in Berkeley plus jam session’s at Ivy’s and Bluesville in Jack London Square. He provided a venue for young and old musicians alike to sit in and jam and no musician no matter how they played was ever turned away. He recently produced “The Big Belly Blues Band’s” first CD for his label Chumpchange Records composing six of their original songs. “Big Belly”, a twelve-piece band with four horns consisted of prominent jazz musicians in the Bay Area including the late vocalist George Hubbard, pianist Ed Kelly, trumpeter Khalil Shaheed . The group also included Earl “Fatha” Hines bassist Harley White and Oakland Tribune Editor and Rapper Martin “ Ho Flow” Reynolds. His song “Nobody’s Home” recorded by blues legend Sugar Pie DeSanto was recently named a blues breaker by the national syndicated house of blues radio network. Paul recently completed work on the first CD, “just Like Magic” the Maxi-Single “The Power”, and video “Higher Power” by American Idol finalist Donnie Williams and his band “Park Place”. Donnie’s CD’s also features vocals by Donnie’s youngest sister Terrell Williams and top American Idol finalist Latoya London, who was recently on tour with Oprah Winfrey’s “Color Purple”. Paul is currently producing a new Big Belly Blues Band CD with long time Prince Bassist Levi Seacer due out in 2015. Go to ChumpChange.com to purchase Paul’s products. CONNIE TILLMAN Director Connie brings together a lifelong passion for Music, a commitment to education, and great communication and organization skills. She was drawn to Jazz and Classical Music at an early age, singing in choirs beginning in elementary school. She also discovered early on, a love of books and knowledge as well as a desire to share knowledge which led to a career in education. After graduating from college, she began teaching school, first in Chicago, before moving to Los Angeles with her musician husband. She taught for years in Los Angeles beginning in the late '70s. She always incorporated music in her classrooms and encouraged music appreciation in her students. During her time in SoCal she also performed as a vocalist on jazz albums which have gained international acclaim. "Space/Rapture" by Potter and Tillman was reissued on vinyl in 2018, and "New York to L.A.: Coasting", also Potter and Tillman is due for re-release in Summer 2019, both albums co-produced by her husband David Eric Tillman. She left teaching directly to become and educational consultant, working for McGraw-Hill publishing, C.O.R.E, Sacramento Office of Education, and for her own company, providing support for various school districts in California and several other states. She became a school Principal in Oakland Unified School District 2008. She revived the music education program at her school. She moved on to become a Coordinator with the Alameda School District specializing in Common Core and reading. She brings her Passion, Energy, Enthusiasm, and Experience to her role as Director of the Bay Area Jazz Society. Barbara Taylor Secretary Barbara Taylor has been working in the music industry and with small black businesses since 1985. Beginning with working at Ivey’s in Jack London Square where she was able to give local artists an opportunity to showcase. During that period she also managed a number of young local groups. In the early 1990’s she worked for the Mandela Institute, an African Arts Organization as the event coordinator for 11 events For six African Dance companies in the bay area and Los Angeles. She also joined the Bay Area Blues Society as a board member and helped to produce their blues festivals. In 1994 she joined the Black Business Listings/Black Expo and began coordinating the Vendors and volunteers. She formed her business called “Rhythms” a special event support for black business. Currently supporting such business as the , CDA Consulting Group ( 100 Black Women events), African American Ethnic Sports Hall of Fame, Oakland Black Board of Trade and Commerce, Black Comedy Competition, City of Oakland Thanksgiving Dinner. Previously supported the Wiley Manual Law Foundation. Served as the Bay Area Urban Leagues special programs director. Past President, Lend A Hand Foundation, Block Captain of her street, Special Consultant to the Rev. Gregg Brown, Miracles of Faith Community Church assisting with special projects. Currently has over fifty volunteers in her company. Co-coordinated Berkeley Juneteenth Festival for 20 years, supplying volunteers and booking entertainment and managing backstage. Taylor has received numerous awards and certificates from the agencies she has supported including Community Award from the 100 Black Women Bay Area Chapter 2016. Volunteer of the Year from Women of Excellence in 2000 and Community Activisim 2009 from Black Comedy Competition. Local Hero from District 4, Oakland City Council, Thank You Proclamation from Oakland City Councilwoman Desley Brooks. Certificate of Appreciation from McDonald’s and Community Activist Award from the Multi-Ethnic Sports Hall of Fame. 3 Certificates from the office of Barbara Lee for Community activities.Married for over 59 years, Husband, Richard, two sons, Rick & Ken and two grandsons, Yavair & Kris Jon Bendich Jon Bendich has worked for the past thirty-five years as a producer, songwriter,and percussionist in the SF Bay Area. As a percussionist, Jon has performed with Tito Puente, The Last Poets, George Duke & Stanley Clarke, Gerald Albright, Robben Ford, Pete Escovedo, Ray Obiedo, John Santos, Frank McComb, Lisa Stansfield, and MC Hammer. Between 1985 -1989 Jon recorded and performed as a member of The Pete Escovedo Orchestra. In 1985 Jon formed his music publishing company Tortoise Feather Music. From 1987 - 1992 Jon was signed as a songwriter and co-publisher with Famous Music, then a subsidiary of Paramount Corp. To date, Jon's catalog contains over 280 songs with more than eighty songs commercially released. Jon's songs have been recorded by an assortment of Jazz, R&B and Pop acts including Peabo Bryson (BMG), Larry Graham (Capitol), Walter Beasley (PolyGram), Will Clayton (PolyGram), Joe Public (Sony), Starpoint (Elektra), Z' Looke (Orpheus/Capitol), Omar Chandler (MCA), Shades of Lace (Wing/PolyGram), Street Fare (Atlantic), Lenny Williams (Fantasy), and Ray Obiedo (Windham Hill). From 1985 – 2019 Jon worked as a studio musician, and recorded extensively. As a featured percussionist, Jon’s work can be heard on En Vogue's award winning triple platinum album "Funky Divas," as well as on albums by Jesse Colin Young, Lenny Williams, Pete Escovedo, Ray Obiedo, Luce, Carl Lockett, Lady Bianca, Lloyd Gregory, Sakai and Jenna Mammina. From 1997 to the present Jon has also worked as an adjunct professor at both Diablo Valley College and San Francisco State. In 1997 Jon began teaching in SF State University’s Music Recording Industry program, teaching such courses as “Popular Music and Cultural Exchange”, “The History and Aesthetics of Record Production”, “The History of the Popular Music Industry”, “The Independent Record Label from A-Z”, and “A&R in The Popular Music Industry”. Also in 1997, Jon began teaching Humanities courses as well as songwriting at Diablo Valley College. In 1984 Jon received his BA in Social Science from UC Berkeley, and in 2001 Jon received his MA in Humanities from San Francisco State University.  Ben Flint Evocative, thoughtful, and creative are a few words to describe jazz pianist and composer Ben Flint. Growing up near Memphis, Tennessee, he became enamored of Jazz, Blues, and Gospel Music. He attended University of Memphis and the prestigious BerkleeCollege of Music on full scholarship. After completing his degree at Berklee College of Music, he returned to the South to resume his music career. Ben began by conducting musical productions and teaching at the University of Memphis. While in Memphis, he landed a keyboard position with Isaac Hayes. Working with Isaac afforded Ben the opportunity to travel to Australia, Europe, The Middle East, and all over the United States. Ben has appeared with Mr. Hayes on television shows such as Good Morning America, the Today show and Late Night w/ David Letterman. He has also performed at the Montreaux Jazz Festival, North Sea Jazz Festival, as well as the Montreal and Brazil's Free Jazz festivals. As Hayes' keyboardist, he appeared in the documentary movie "Only the Strong Survive". Currently, Ben lives in the Bay Area. He teaches choir and jazz combo at Diablo Valley College. In addition, he has been the Artistic Director for the Oakland Jazz Choir for the past 5 years. His first CD, 'Onyx' was released in 1998 on the One Truth label. Since then, he has been featured on Ellen Robinson's two CD's, "On My Way to You" and 'Mercy' as both pianist and arranger. With longtime collaborator Gerard Harris, he cofounded the group World Soul Project in 2004. Their first CD, self titled, was releasedin 2004. The second CD, "Spirit Talk", hit the airwaves in 2011.
PAUL TILLMAN SMITH PRODUCER / DRUMMER / PROMOTER When your father hands you a set of drumsticks at the age of four, chances are you’ll wind up a drummer. Paul Tillman Smith’s father, George Smith (Kansas City Smitty) played drums during the big band era with many well-known bands including Count Basie, Trummer Young and the Harlem Aces. He was also a mentor to singer Pearl Bailey‘s husband drummer Louie Bellson. At age fifteen at the urging of his mother Della, Paul began playing the piano. It was soon after that he began to write simple three chord songs like the ones he would hear on the radio. This love has lasted a lifetime. Paul has published over a hundred songs to date including the Pharaoh Sanders and Phyllis Hyman jazz pop classic “As You Are”, the Norman Connors and Jean Carne hit “Stella” featuring guitarist Lee Ritenour, and the tender love ballad “ Heavenly”, recorded by pianist Webster Lewis featuring vocalist DJ Rogers, saxophonist Benny Maupin. “Heavenly” also featured strings by Herbie Hancock and was performed by the Boston Pop Symphony for nationally syndicated TV. Paul’s album “Sharing” from his middle seventies Buddha Records recording group Vitamin E., featured the Sly Stone & Frank Zappa vocalist Lady Bianca and saxophonist Jules Broussard’s vocalist David Gardener. The “Sharing” album was produced by Norman Connors and the single from that album with a special guest appearance by vocal legend Freddie Hughes and composed by Paul, became a number one hit in over twelve cities across the nation. In the ninety’s, the Vitamin E. CD was reissued in Japan as a double CD which also featured vocalist Melba Moore’s biggest selling CD “This is It”. Paul’s CD “Crying for Love” was voted record of the year by Blues and Soul magazines in England in 2001. The CD featured never released demos recorded at Fantasy Studio’s by his early eighty’s Bang CBS recording group “Bridge”. The CD was released by the U.K. record label “First Experience Records” and featured fourteen original songs by Paul with co-arrangements by Ronnie Laws keyboardist Michael “Spiderman” Robinson. Also featured were former Motown recording artists Derrick Hughes and Debra Von Lewis. The European critic’s called the Bridge CD a brilliant rare American discovery. Paul song “Higher Power” recently won a national contest sponsored by Tyler Perry, Lions Gate Film’s, BET, and Pastor Marvin Winan’s, for the best inspirational song and video of the year as sung by American Idol finalist Donnie Williams. Paul is also the first to record Sheila E., Rosie Gaines and Bonnie Boyer of Prince fame. Paul considers his biggest contribution to the Bay Area music scene as being the co-founder along with South Berkeley Merchants R.D. Bonds and Sam Dykes of the Berkeley Juneteenth Festival, the longest running African American Arts and Music festival in Northern California history. Upwards of twenty thousand people attend annually. He was also the first to promote free music concerts in Berkeley’s Provo Park and Oakland’s Mosswood Park in the seventies and eighties when he was a music and concert supervisor for “ACNAP”, the Alameda County Neighborhood Arts Program. Paul’s band “Bridge” is the only band in Bay Area history to be on the county pay roll other than the Oakland Symphony. Paul has been the stage manager for the Richmond Juneteenth, the Oakland Port Festival. the Laurel District World Music Festival, and the Vallejo 4th of July Festival. He also put the music program together for the city of Emeryville’s Appreciation Day Festival and helped put the city of Berkeley’s Artspark Festival and 100th Anniversary Arts and Music Celebration music program together and managed both stages. Paul also is no stranger to theater and film. He has been musical director for Melvin Van Peeple’s “Ain’t Supposed To Die A Natural Death” directed by Ted Lange of “Love Boat” and Band Director for “America More Or Less”, the Bi-Centennial Play of San Francisco, featuring works by playwrighters Imamu Amiri Baraka (Leroi Jones), Frank Chin and American Indian playwright Leslie Silko. While a senior in the Rhetoric Department at U.C. Berkeley, Paul made the Oakland Tribune’s front-page headlines for songs he and the late Lonnie Hewitt (Cal Tjader’s pianist) wrote for the Off Broadway play “Dunbar” based on the writings of poet Paul Lawrence Dunbar. “Dunbar” later won Paul the prestigious New York Audelco Theater Award, the highest honor in African American theater putting Paul in an elite club, which includes Denzel Washington and Felicia Rashaad. Paul’s composition “ A Hymn” (Gently Lord and Slow) from “Dunbar” was performed with full orchestra in a salute to Harry Belafonte at the Black Film Makers Hall of Fame Awards the following year. Paul wrote music for two one act plays by Cal Berkeley Professor and Author Cecil Brown and award winning Author Ismael Reed at the Julian Morgan Theater and wrote music for Cecil’s movie short entitled “Two Fer”. Paul currently has twelve songs showcased in the feature film the “Tears of a Clown”, produced by Tony Spires. Tony promotes the annual Comedy Competition at the Paramount Theater. His movie features famous BET comedian DC Curry and several other rising comic stars. Paul’s songs in the movie showcases the talents of former “Tower of Power” vocalist’s Lenny Williams, the late Bonnie Boyer, Rosie Gaines, Freddie Hughes, Denise Stewart, Avis Nixon , American Idol finalist’s Donnie Williams and La Toya London. Paul’s music also includes performances by saxophonist Pharaoh Sanders, pianist Herman Jackson, Eric Daniels, Donald Tavie, Michael Stanton and Edell Shepard, guitarist’s Calvin Keys, Juewette Bostick and Carl Lockett and bassist Nelson Braxton who is also co-producer of several songs along with Norman Connors. Paul Tillman Smith’s first professional drumming gig was with Blues legend Lightnin’ Hopkins at the Continental Club in West Oakland. He was fifteen years old. At the age of eighteen he joined the rock group “The Second Coming”, which included Steve Miller and musicians who later split up and became two historical groups, “The Steve Miller Band” and “Country Joe and the Fish”. Both groups sought Paul’s services, but he chose instead to go to New York where he played and recorded with Avante Garde Jazz musicians Sonny Simmons and Albert Ayler, the later considered to be a founding father of the Avante Garde Jazz Era, along with John Coltrane. While in New York he also performed with Jackie MacLean, Archie Schepp, Kenny Dorham and Pharaoh Sanders. On his return to the Bay Area, Paul performed and recorded with award winning Jazz Violinist Michael White on the Impulse. ABC. Paramount Label. That band featured the legendary pianist Ed Kelly and percussionist Kenneth Nash. George Duke has also produced and performed on one of Pauls compositions titled “We Don’t Eat No Meat”. Paul has had the honor of performing or recording with many music legends including the Sonny Simmons, Bobby Hutcherson and John Handy Quartets, Alice Coltrane, Azure McCall, Joe Henderson, Jimmy Mc Cracklin, Richard Pryor, Etta James, Jon Hendricks, Marlena Shaw, Abbey Lincoln, Dewey Redman, Faye Carol, Harold Land, Lorez Alexander, Odia Coates, The Head Hunters, Erma Thomas, Cold Blood, Jon Faddis, Bobby Lyle, Gary Bartz, Reggie Lucas, Azteca, Rodney Franklin, Carlos Santana, Michael Henderson, The Brecker Brothers, Sylvestor, Jeannie Tracy, Mtume, Sylvestor, Big Momma Thornton, Eddie Henderson, Rashaan Roland Kirk, Julian Priester, Buddy Connor, Angela Bofill, Johnny Talbert, Junie Booth. Woody Shaw, Martin Fierro, Ollie Woodson, Pete Escovedo, Ray Obiedo and Merl Saunders and many more. Paul was one of the first drummers chosen to audition for Jimi Hendrix’s new band, “The Band of Gypsies”. Jimi heard tapes of Paul playing in New York with Bassist Percussionist Juma Sultan and offered to send for Paul to come to Woodstock to audition. Thelonius Monk and Herbie Hancock also sought out Paul’s drumming skills. At seventeen Paul auditioned for the gig to play with “Sly and the Family Stone” . Recently Paul was the drum instructor for Oak Town Jazz Workshops. Paul’s achievements have been a source of inspiration and creativity for numerous musicians. He ran three longe running Jazz jam sessions in the history of the Bay Area, Harry’s on University in Berkeley plus jam session’s at Ivy’s and Bluesville in Jack London Square. He provided a venue for young and old musicians alike to sit in and jam and no musician no matter how they played was ever turned away. He recently produced “The Big Belly Blues Band’s” first CD for his label Chumpchange Records composing six of their original songs. “Big Belly”, a twelve-piece band with four horns consisted of prominent jazz musicians in the Bay Area including the late vocalist George Hubbard, pianist Ed Kelly, trumpeter Khalil Shaheed . The group also included Earl “Fatha” Hines bassist Harley White and Oakland Tribune Editor and Rapper Martin “ Ho Flow” Reynolds. His song “Nobody’s Home” recorded by blues legend Sugar Pie DeSanto was recently named a blues breaker by the national syndicated house of blues radio network. Paul recently completed work on the first CD, “just Like Magic” the Maxi-Single “The Power”, and video “Higher Power” by American Idol finalist Donnie Williams and his band “Park Place”. Donnie’s CD’s also features vocals by Donnie’s youngest sister Terrell Williams and top American Idol finalist Latoya London, who was recently on tour with Oprah Winfrey’s “Color Purple”. Paul is currently producing a new Big Belly Blues Band CD with long time Prince Bassist Levi Seacer due out in 2015. Go to ChumpChange.com to purchase Paul’s products. CONNIE TILLMAN Director Connie brings together a lifelong passion for Music, a commitment to education, and great communication and organization skills. She was drawn to Jazz and Classical Music at an early age, singing in choirs beginning in elementary school. She also discovered early on, a love of books and knowledge as well as a desire to share knowledge which led to a career in education. After graduating from college, she began teaching school, first in Chicago, before moving to Los Angeles with her musician husband. She taught for years in Los Angeles beginning in the late '70s. She always incorporated music in her classrooms and encouraged music appreciation in her students. During her time in SoCal she also performed as a vocalist on jazz albums which have gained international acclaim. "Space/Rapture" by Potter and Tillman was reissued on vinyl in 2018, and "New York to L.A.: Coasting", also Potter and Tillman is due for re-release in Summer 2019, both albums co-produced by her husband David Eric Tillman. She left teaching directly to become and educational consultant, working for McGraw-Hill publishing, C.O.R.E, Sacramento Office of Education, and for her own company, providing support for various school districts in California and several other states. She became a school Principal in Oakland Unified School District 2008. She revived the music education program at her school. She moved on to become a Coordinator with the Alameda School District specializing in Common Core and reading. She brings her Passion, Energy, Enthusiasm, and Experience to her role as Director of the Bay Area Jazz Society. Barbara Taylor Secretary Barbara Taylor has been working in the music industry and with small black businesses since 1985. Beginning with working at Ivey’s in Jack London Square where she was able to give local artists an opportunity to showcase. During that period she also managed a number of young local groups. In the early 1990’s she worked for the Mandela Institute, an African Arts Organization as the event coordinator for 11 events For six African Dance companies in the bay area and Los Angeles. She also joined the Bay Area Blues Society as a board member and helped to produce their blues festivals. In 1994 she joined the Black Business Listings/Black Expo and began coordinating the Vendors and volunteers. She formed her business called “Rhythms” a special event support for black business. Currently supporting such business as the , CDA Consulting Group ( 100 Black Women events), African American Ethnic Sports Hall of Fame, Oakland Black Board of Trade and Commerce, Black Comedy Competition, City of Oakland Thanksgiving Dinner. Previously supported the Wiley Manual Law Foundation. Served as the Bay Area Urban Leagues special programs director. Past President, Lend A Hand Foundation, Block Captain of her street, Special Consultant to the Rev. Gregg Brown, Miracles of Faith Community Church assisting with special projects. Currently has over fifty volunteers in her company. Co-coordinated Berkeley Juneteenth Festival for 20 years, supplying volunteers and booking entertainment and managing backstage. Taylor has received numerous awards and certificates from the agencies she has supported including Community Award from the 100 Black Women Bay Area Chapter 2016. Volunteer of the Year from Women of Excellence in 2000 and Community Activisim 2009 from Black Comedy Competition. Local Hero from District 4, Oakland City Council, Thank You Proclamation from Oakland City Councilwoman Desley Brooks. Certificate of Appreciation from McDonald’s and Community Activist Award from the Multi-Ethnic Sports Hall of Fame. 3 Certificates from the office of Barbara Lee for Community activities.Married for over 59 years, Husband, Richard, two sons, Rick & Ken and two grandsons, Yavair & Kris
Jon Bendich Jon Bendich has worked for the past thirty-five years as a producer, songwriter,and percussionist in the SF Bay Area. As a percussionist, Jon has performed with Tito Puente, The Last Poets, George Duke & Stanley Clarke, Gerald Albright, Robben Ford, Pete Escovedo, Ray Obiedo, John Santos, Frank McComb, Lisa Stansfield, and MC Hammer. Between 1985 -1989 Jon recorded and performed as a member of The Pete Escovedo Orchestra. In 1985 Jon formed his music publishing company Tortoise Feather Music. From 1987 - 1992 Jon was signed as a songwriter and co-publisher with Famous Music, then a subsidiary of Paramount Corp. To date, Jon's catalog contains over 280 songs with more than eighty songs commercially released. Jon's songs have been recorded by an assortment of Jazz, R&B and Pop acts including Peabo Bryson (BMG), Larry Graham (Capitol), Walter Beasley (PolyGram), Will Clayton (PolyGram), Joe Public (Sony), Starpoint (Elektra), Z' Looke (Orpheus/Capitol), Omar Chandler (MCA), Shades of Lace (Wing/PolyGram), Street Fare (Atlantic), Lenny Williams (Fantasy), and Ray Obiedo (Windham Hill). From 1985 – 2019 Jon worked as a studio musician, and recorded extensively. As a featured percussionist, Jon’s work can be heard on En Vogue's award winning triple platinum album "Funky Divas," as well as on albums by Jesse Colin Young, Lenny Williams, Pete Escovedo, Ray Obiedo, Luce, Carl Lockett, Lady Bianca, Lloyd Gregory, Sakai and Jenna Mammina. From 1997 to the present Jon has also worked as an adjunct professor at both Diablo Valley College and San Francisco State. In 1997 Jon began teaching in SF State University’s Music Recording Industry program, teaching such courses as “Popular Music and Cultural Exchange”, “The History and Aesthetics of Record Production”, “The History of the Popular Music Industry”, “The Independent Record Label from A-Z”, and “A&R in The Popular Music Industry”. Also in 1997, Jon began teaching Humanities courses as well as songwriting at Diablo Valley College. In 1984 Jon received his BA in Social Science from UC Berkeley, and in 2001 Jon received his MA in Humanities from San Francisco State University.
 Ben Flint Evocative, thoughtful, and creative are a few words to describe jazz pianist and composer Ben Flint. Growing up near Memphis, Tennessee, he became enamored of Jazz, Blues, and Gospel Music. He attended University of Memphis and the prestigious BerkleeCollege of Music on full scholarship. After completing his degree at Berklee College of Music, he returned to the South to resume his music career. Ben began by conducting musical productions and teaching at the University of Memphis. While in Memphis, he landed a keyboard position with Isaac Hayes. Working with Isaac afforded Ben the opportunity to travel to Australia, Europe, The Middle East, and all over the United States. Ben has appeared with Mr. Hayes on television shows such as Good Morning America, the Today show and Late Night w/ David Letterman. He has also performed at the Montreaux Jazz Festival, North Sea Jazz Festival, as well as the Montreal and Brazil's Free Jazz festivals. As Hayes' keyboardist, he appeared in the documentary movie "Only the Strong Survive". Currently, Ben lives in the Bay Area. He teaches choir and jazz combo at Diablo Valley College. In addition, he has been the Artistic Director for the Oakland Jazz Choir for the past 5 years. His first CD, 'Onyx' was released in 1998 on the One Truth label. Since then, he has been featured on Ellen Robinson's two CD's, "On My Way to You" and 'Mercy' as both pianist and arranger. With longtime collaborator Gerard Harris, he cofounded the group World Soul Project in 2004. Their first CD, self titled, was releasedin 2004. The second CD, "Spirit Talk", hit the airwaves in 2011.
PAUL TILLMAN SMITH PRODUCER / DRUMMER / PROMOTER When your father hands you a set of drumsticks at the age of four, chances are you’ll wind up a drummer. Paul Tillman Smith’s father, George Smith (Kansas City Smitty) played drums during the big band era with many well-known bands including Count Basie, Trummer Young and the Harlem Aces. He was also a mentor to singer Pearl Bailey‘s husband drummer Louie Bellson. At age fifteen at the urging of his mother Della, Paul began playing the piano. It was soon after that he began to write simple three chord songs like the ones he would hear on the radio. This love has lasted a lifetime. Paul has published over a hundred songs to date including the Pharaoh Sanders and Phyllis Hyman jazz pop classic “As You Are”, the Norman Connors and Jean Carne hit “Stella” featuring guitarist Lee Ritenour, and the tender love ballad “ Heavenly”, recorded by pianist Webster Lewis featuring vocalist DJ Rogers, saxophonist Benny Maupin. “Heavenly” also featured strings by Herbie Hancock and was performed by the Boston Pop Symphony for nationally syndicated TV. Paul’s album “Sharing” from his middle seventies Buddha Records recording group Vitamin E., featured the Sly Stone & Frank Zappa vocalist Lady Bianca and saxophonist Jules Broussard’s vocalist David Gardener. The “Sharing” album was produced by Norman Connors and the single from that album with a special guest appearance by vocal legend Freddie Hughes and composed by Paul, became a number one hit in over twelve cities across the nation. In the ninety’s, the Vitamin E. CD was reissued in Japan as a double CD which also featured vocalist Melba Moore’s biggest selling CD “This is It”. Paul’s CD “Crying for Love” was voted record of the year by Blues and Soul magazines in England in 2001. The CD featured never released demos recorded at Fantasy Studio’s by his early eighty’s Bang CBS recording group “Bridge”. The CD was released by the U.K. record label “First Experience Records” and featured fourteen original songs by Paul with co-arrangements by Ronnie Laws keyboardist Michael “Spiderman” Robinson. Also featured were former Motown recording artists Derrick Hughes and Debra Von Lewis. The European critic’s called the Bridge CD a brilliant rare American discovery. Paul song “Higher Power” recently won a national contest sponsored by Tyler Perry, Lions Gate Film’s, BET, and Pastor Marvin Winan’s, for the best inspirational song and video of the year as sung by American Idol finalist Donnie Williams. Paul is also the first to record Sheila E., Rosie Gaines and Bonnie Boyer of Prince fame. Paul considers his biggest contribution to the Bay Area music scene as being the co-founder along with South Berkeley Merchants R.D. Bonds and Sam Dykes of the Berkeley Juneteenth Festival, the longest running African American Arts and Music festival in Northern California history. Upwards of twenty thousand people attend annually. He was also the first to promote free music concerts in Berkeley’s Provo Park and Oakland’s Mosswood Park in the seventies and eighties when he was a music and concert supervisor for “ACNAP”, the Alameda County Neighborhood Arts Program. Paul’s band “Bridge” is the only band in Bay Area history to be on the county pay roll other than the Oakland Symphony. Paul has been the stage manager for the Richmond Juneteenth, the Oakland Port Festival. the Laurel District World Music Festival, and the Vallejo 4th of July Festival. He also put the music program together for the city of Emeryville’s Appreciation Day Festival and helped put the city of Berkeley’s Artspark Festival and 100th Anniversary Arts and Music Celebration music program together and managed both stages. Paul also is no stranger to theater and film. He has been musical director for Melvin Van Peeple’s “Ain’t Supposed To Die A Natural Death” directed by Ted Lange of “Love Boat” and Band Director for “America More Or Less”, the Bi-Centennial Play of San Francisco, featuring works by playwrighters Imamu Amiri Baraka (Leroi Jones), Frank Chin and American Indian playwright Leslie Silko. While a senior in the Rhetoric Department at U.C. Berkeley, Paul made the Oakland Tribune’s front-page headlines for songs he and the late Lonnie Hewitt (Cal Tjader’s pianist) wrote for the Off Broadway play “Dunbar” based on the writings of poet Paul Lawrence Dunbar. “Dunbar” later won Paul the prestigious New York Audelco Theater Award, the highest honor in African American theater putting Paul in an elite club, which includes Denzel Washington and Felicia Rashaad. Paul’s composition “ A Hymn” (Gently Lord and Slow) from “Dunbar” was performed with full orchestra in a salute to Harry Belafonte at the Black Film Makers Hall of Fame Awards the following year. Paul wrote music for two one act plays by Cal Berkeley Professor and Author Cecil Brown and award winning Author Ismael Reed at the Julian Morgan Theater and wrote music for Cecil’s movie short entitled “Two Fer”. Paul currently has twelve songs showcased in the feature film the “Tears of a Clown”, produced by Tony Spires. Tony promotes the annual Comedy Competition at the Paramount Theater. His movie features famous BET comedian DC Curry and several other rising comic stars. Paul’s songs in the movie showcases the talents of former “Tower of Power” vocalist’s Lenny Williams, the late Bonnie Boyer, Rosie Gaines, Freddie Hughes, Denise Stewart, Avis Nixon , American Idol finalist’s Donnie Williams and La Toya London. Paul’s music also includes performances by saxophonist Pharaoh Sanders, pianist Herman Jackson, Eric Daniels, Donald Tavie, Michael Stanton and Edell Shepard, guitarist’s Calvin Keys, Juewette Bostick and Carl Lockett and bassist Nelson Braxton who is also co-producer of several songs along with Norman Connors. Paul Tillman Smith’s first professional drumming gig was with Blues legend Lightnin’ Hopkins at the Continental Club in West Oakland. He was fifteen years old. At the age of eighteen he joined the rock group “The Second Coming”, which included Steve Miller and musicians who later split up and became two historical groups, “The Steve Miller Band” and “Country Joe and the Fish”. Both groups sought Paul’s services, but he chose instead to go to New York where he played and recorded with Avante Garde Jazz musicians Sonny Simmons and Albert Ayler, the later considered to be a founding father of the Avante Garde Jazz Era, along with John Coltrane. While in New York he also performed with Jackie MacLean, Archie Schepp, Kenny Dorham and Pharaoh Sanders. On his return to the Bay Area, Paul performed and recorded with award winning Jazz Violinist Michael White on the Impulse. ABC. Paramount Label. That band featured the legendary pianist Ed Kelly and percussionist Kenneth Nash. George Duke has also produced and performed on one of Pauls compositions titled “We Don’t Eat No Meat”. Paul has had the honor of performing or recording with many music legends including the Sonny Simmons, Bobby Hutcherson and John Handy Quartets, Alice Coltrane, Azure McCall, Joe Henderson, Jimmy Mc Cracklin, Richard Pryor, Etta James, Jon Hendricks, Marlena Shaw, Abbey Lincoln, Dewey Redman, Faye Carol, Harold Land, Lorez Alexander, Odia Coates, The Head Hunters, Erma Thomas, Cold Blood, Jon Faddis, Bobby Lyle, Gary Bartz, Reggie Lucas, Azteca, Rodney Franklin, Carlos Santana, Michael Henderson, The Brecker Brothers, Sylvestor, Jeannie Tracy, Mtume, Sylvestor, Big Momma Thornton, Eddie Henderson, Rashaan Roland Kirk, Julian Priester, Buddy Connor, Angela Bofill, Johnny Talbert, Junie Booth. Woody Shaw, Martin Fierro, Ollie Woodson, Pete Escovedo, Ray Obiedo and Merl Saunders and many more. Paul was one of the first drummers chosen to audition for Jimi Hendrix’s new band, “The Band of Gypsies”. Jimi heard tapes of Paul playing in New York with Bassist Percussionist Juma Sultan and offered to send for Paul to come to Woodstock to audition. Thelonius Monk and Herbie Hancock also sought out Paul’s drumming skills. At seventeen Paul auditioned for the gig to play with “Sly and the Family Stone” . Recently Paul was the drum instructor for Oak Town Jazz Workshops. Paul’s achievements have been a source of inspiration and creativity for numerous musicians. He ran three longe running Jazz jam sessions in the history of the Bay Area, Harry’s on University in Berkeley plus jam session’s at Ivy’s and Bluesville in Jack London Square. He provided a venue for young and old musicians alike to sit in and jam and no musician no matter how they played was ever turned away. He recently produced “The Big Belly Blues Band’s” first CD for his label Chumpchange Records composing six of their original songs. “Big Belly”, a twelve-piece band with four horns consisted of prominent jazz musicians in the Bay Area including the late vocalist George Hubbard, pianist Ed Kelly, trumpeter Khalil Shaheed . The group also included Earl “Fatha” Hines bassist Harley White and Oakland Tribune Editor and Rapper Martin “ Ho Flow” Reynolds. His song “Nobody’s Home” recorded by blues legend Sugar Pie DeSanto was recently named a blues breaker by the national syndicated house of blues radio network. Paul recently completed work on the first CD, “just Like Magic” the Maxi-Single “The Power”, and video “Higher Power” by American Idol finalist Donnie Williams and his band “Park Place”. Donnie’s CD’s also features vocals by Donnie’s youngest sister Terrell Williams and top American Idol finalist Latoya London, who was recently on tour with Oprah Winfrey’s “Color Purple”. Paul is currently producing a new Big Belly Blues Band CD with long time Prince Bassist Levi Seacer due out in 2015. Go to ChumpChange.com to purchase Paul’s products. CONNIE TILLMAN Director Connie brings together a lifelong passion for Music, a commitment to education, and great communication and organization skills. She was drawn to Jazz and Classical Music at an early age, singing in choirs beginning in elementary school. She also discovered early on, a love of books and knowledge as well as a desire to share knowledge which led to a career in education. After graduating from college, she began teaching school, first in Chicago, before moving to Los Angeles with her musician husband. She taught for years in Los Angeles beginning in the late '70s. She always incorporated music in her classrooms and encouraged music appreciation in her students. During her time in SoCal she also performed as a vocalist on jazz albums which have gained international acclaim. "Space/Rapture" by Potter and Tillman was reissued on vinyl in 2018, and "New York to L.A.: Coasting", also Potter and Tillman is due for re-release in Summer 2019, both albums co-produced by her husband David Eric Tillman. She left teaching directly to become and educational consultant, working for McGraw-Hill publishing, C.O.R.E, Sacramento Office of Education, and for her own company, providing support for various school districts in California and several other states. She became a school Principal in Oakland Unified School District 2008. She revived the music education program at her school. She moved on to become a Coordinator with the Alameda School District specializing in Common Core and reading. She brings her Passion, Energy, Enthusiasm, and Experience to her role as Director of the Bay Area Jazz Society.
Barbara Taylor Secretary Barbara Taylor has been working in the music industry and with small black businesses since 1985. Beginning with working at Ivey’s in Jack London Square where she was able to give local artists an opportunity to showcase. During that period she also managed a number of young local groups. In the early 1990’s she worked for the Mandela Institute, an African Arts Organization as the event coordinator for 11 events For six African Dance companies in the bay area and Los Angeles. She also joined the Bay Area Blues Society as a board member and helped to produce their blues festivals. In 1994 she joined the Black Business Listings/Black Expo and began coordinating the Vendors and volunteers. She formed her business called “Rhythms” a special event support for black business. Currently supporting such business as the , CDA Consulting Group ( 100 Black Women events), African American Ethnic Sports Hall of Fame, Oakland Black Board of Trade and Commerce, Black Comedy Competition, City of Oakland Thanksgiving Dinner. Previously supported the Wiley Manual Law Foundation. Served as the Bay Area Urban Leagues special programs director. Past President, Lend A Hand Foundation, Block Captain of her street, Special Consultant to the Rev. Gregg Brown, Miracles of Faith Community Church assisting with special projects. Currently has over fifty volunteers in her company. Co-coordinated Berkeley Juneteenth Festival for 20 years, supplying volunteers and booking entertainment and managing backstage. Taylor has received numerous awards and certificates from the agencies she has supported including Community Award from the 100 Black Women Bay Area Chapter 2016. Volunteer of the Year from Women of Excellence in 2000 and Community Activisim 2009 from Black Comedy Competition. Local Hero from District 4, Oakland City Council, Thank You Proclamation from Oakland City Councilwoman Desley Brooks. Certificate of Appreciation from McDonald’s and Community Activist Award from the Multi-Ethnic Sports Hall of Fame. 3 Certificates from the office of Barbara Lee for Community activities.Married for over 59 years, Husband, Richard, two sons, Rick & Ken and two grandsons, Yavair & Kris
Jon Bendich Jon Bendich has worked for the past thirty-five years as a producer, songwriter,and percussionist in the SF Bay Area. As a percussionist, Jon has performed with Tito Puente, The Last Poets, George Duke & Stanley Clarke, Gerald Albright, Robben Ford, Pete Escovedo, Ray Obiedo, John Santos, Frank McComb, Lisa Stansfield, and MC Hammer. Between 1985 -1989 Jon recorded and performed as a member of The Pete Escovedo Orchestra. In 1985 Jon formed his music publishing company Tortoise Feather Music. From 1987 - 1992 Jon was signed as a songwriter and co-publisher with Famous Music, then a subsidiary of Paramount Corp. To date, Jon's catalog contains over 280 songs with more than eighty songs commercially released. Jon's songs have been recorded by an assortment of Jazz, R&B and Pop acts including Peabo Bryson (BMG), Larry Graham (Capitol), Walter Beasley (PolyGram), Will Clayton (PolyGram), Joe Public (Sony), Starpoint (Elektra), Z' Looke (Orpheus/Capitol), Omar Chandler (MCA), Shades of Lace (Wing/PolyGram), Street Fare (Atlantic), Lenny Williams (Fantasy), and Ray Obiedo (Windham Hill). From 1985 – 2019 Jon worked as a studio musician, and recorded extensively. As a featured percussionist, Jon’s work can be heard on En Vogue's award winning triple platinum album "Funky Divas," as well as on albums by Jesse Colin Young, Lenny Williams, Pete Escovedo, Ray Obiedo, Luce, Carl Lockett, Lady Bianca, Lloyd Gregory, Sakai and Jenna Mammina. From 1997 to the present Jon has also worked as an adjunct professor at both Diablo Valley College and San Francisco State. In 1997 Jon began teaching in SF State University’s Music Recording Industry program, teaching such courses as “Popular Music and Cultural Exchange”, “The History and Aesthetics of Record Production”, “The History of the Popular Music Industry”, “The Independent Record Label from A-Z”, and “A&R in The Popular Music Industry”. Also in 1997, Jon began teaching Humanities courses as well as songwriting at Diablo Valley College. In 1984 Jon received his BA in Social Science from UC Berkeley, and in 2001 Jon received his MA in Humanities from San Francisco State University.
 Ben Flint Evocative, thoughtful, and creative are a few words to describe jazz pianist and composer Ben Flint. Growing up near Memphis, Tennessee, he became enamored of Jazz, Blues, and Gospel Music. He attended University of Memphis and the prestigious BerkleeCollege of Music on full scholarship. After completing his degree at Berklee College of Music, he returned to the South to resume his music career. Ben began by conducting musical productions and teaching at the University of Memphis. While in Memphis, he landed a keyboard position with Isaac Hayes. Working with Isaac afforded Ben the opportunity to travel to Australia, Europe, The Middle East, and all over the United States. Ben has appeared with Mr. Hayes on television shows such as Good Morning America, the Today show and Late Night w/ David Letterman. He has also performed at the Montreaux Jazz Festival, North Sea Jazz Festival, as well as the Montreal and Brazil's Free Jazz festivals. As Hayes' keyboardist, he appeared in the documentary movie "Only the Strong Survive". Currently, Ben lives in the Bay Area. He teaches choir and jazz combo at Diablo Valley College. In addition, he has been the Artistic Director for the Oakland Jazz Choir for the past 5 years. His first CD, 'Onyx' was released in 1998 on the One Truth label. Since then, he has been featured on Ellen Robinson's two CD's, "On My Way to You" and 'Mercy' as both pianist and arranger. With longtime collaborator Gerard Harris, he cofounded the group World Soul Project in 2004. Their first CD, self titled, was releasedin 2004. The second CD, "Spirit Talk", hit the airwaves in 2011.