Ambassadors Directory

Ranzel Merritt | CEO & Founder

Ranzel Merritt is a multifaceted young man with a successful record of accomplishments in music. Throughout his journey in the music industry, Ranzel Merritt has received a certificate of completion from Oakland School For The Arts in California, San Francisco State University in California on a full scholarship, Berklee College of Music Performance Program in Boston, Massachusetts, The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music in Manhattan, New York. Ranzel is known for being a talented Musician and composer, covering all genres of music, a Philanthropist, and Technology Entrepreneur.

Worked: With the Young Musician's Program at the University of California in Berkeley and The San Francisco Jazz High School All Stars.

Ranzel has toured with Grammy award winners, Solange Knowles and Macy Gray with David Murray’s Big Band in January of 2013. The group went to Washington D.C and played at the Howard Theater and performed for three nights at the Iridium in Times Square in New York. The shows were broadcasted on the NBC network, live.

Dee Spencer | Vice President

DEE SPENCER Dianthe “Dee” Spencer is a Professor of Theatre and Dance and former Director of the School of Music at San Francisco State University where she founded the jazz studies undergraduate degree program in 1990. She earned and Ed.D from the University of San Francisco; M.M. from Washington University in St. Louis; and a B.S. from Florida A&M University. Dee served on the piano faculty at Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA. Dee served on the governing boards of the International Association for Jazz Education (IAJE) and the SF Chapter of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS). She currently serves on the board of the Community Music Center. She is past director of the Clifford Brown/Stan Getz Fellowship Award combo for the National Foundation for the Advancement of the Arts (NFAA), GRAMMY All-Star National High School Jazz Combo and the SFJAZZ All-Star High School Ensemble. This ensemble competed at the Essentially Ellington Competition for Jazz at Lincoln Center in 2002 and 2003. She was musical director/conductor for the TheaterWorks production of RAISIN'. Dee was a performer and adjudicator/clinician at Walt Disney World's 2010 Jazz Celebration. As a keyboardist, Dee has recorded with former Tower of Power vocalist Lenny Williams and Aretha Franklin’s favorite drummer Bernard “Pretty” Perdie. She was a featured performer at the Beijing, Cork, Tasmanian, and Dresden International Jazz Festivals. In various settings, Dee has performed with jazz greats Jimmy Scott, Louis Bellson, Clark Terry, Branford Marsalis, John Handy, Greg Osby, Jeff “Tain” Watts, Regina Carter and R&B sensation LEDISI. Dee’s debut CD, Vintage School was released in 2002.  She recently composed the score for the musical "Goodnight, Gorilla."  In May 2015, Dee worked with Wynton Marsalis as a judge for the annual Jazz at Lincoln Center's Essentially Ellington Competition.  She is currently music director of the CHICAGO: The Musical.

Ambassadors Directory

Rickey Taylor | Audio Production Director

Rickey Taylor is a graduated and proven Sound Engineer/Producer out of the East Bay. Licensed by Apple and Avid (Pro Tools) to teach and demonstrate software knowledge and techniques, Rickey specializes in a variety of genres such as Hip-Hop, Jazz, and Electronic music. Some recent projects Rickey has been a part of include Kamaiyah's - A Good Night in the Ghetto, Kev Choice's 88 Steps to Eternity, and a variety of other well known and respected artists out of the Bay Area.