Board of Directors

 

Dr. Torence Powell

Dr. Torence Powell is an educator, urban designer, husband, and father with a passion for working in urban communities. A Valley Hi native, Dr. Powell served as an urban planner in Seattle, WA before returning to Sacramento to work in the California Community College System. Dr. Powell currently serves as a Vice President for online education in the Los Rios Community College District.

Peter Petty

Peter Petty has been performing as an actor, vocalist, emcee, and bandleader in and around the Central California Valley since 1986. He has worked with The Capital City Stage, Music Circus, and performed voice work for the State of California. He starred in a series of industrial training films for Tower Records, and in the independent GIG Ventures feature film Jump-Cut. Mr. Petty has recorded with Elektra recording artists Papa’s Culture and Columbia Records’Cake, as well as singing with the Sacramento Opera through 8 seasons. As a bandleader he has garnered four Sacramento Area Music Award (SAMMIE) nominations, won the 2018 Live Performer SAMMIE award and has performed repeatedly for the Sacramento French Film Festival, the Sacramento Ballet, the Crocker Art Museum, the Mondavi Center, and the Sacramento Music Festival & Jazz Jubilee. He is a member of the nationally touring Rat-Pack Tribute band The Deanoholics, and is the singing, swinging bandleader of his own 13 piece Swing band Peter Petty & hisTitans of Terpsichore!,  his Bluegrass ensemble Peter Petty & his Dubble P Boys! and his 7 piece milieu meldingPeter Petty & his Double P Revue!  for which he has coined the term Hep-Hop-era to describe the infectious, eclectic, electric/acoustic mash-up that connects the dots between seemingly disparate musical genres with an adventurous and hilarious theatricality that entertains the “swell” out of audiences of all ages.                        
As a board member, he is committed to fostering opportunities for the lifelong pursuit of musical education and expression for all interested individuals, and as such, also serves as a director on the board of the Sacramento Preparatory Music Academy.  He lives in East Sacramento with his wife Theresa and two hermit crabs.

Brandon Au


Currently a clinician for the Sacramento Jazz Education Foundation’s Traditional Jazz Project, Brandon has promoted Traditional Jazz in many school music programs over the years including Mission Ave Elementary, Arden Middle School, Churchill Middle School, Sutter Middle School, El Camino High School, and many more. Brandon grew up listening to his uncle (Howard Miyata) play San Francisco Style trombone in the High Sierra Jazz Band.  In 1996 trombonist Bill Allred (instructor at the Teagarden Jazz Camp), turned him on to the Chicago style of playing. After years of playing festivals with local youth bands (including TNT), he graduated with a music performance degree at CSU Hayward, where he taught the Section 7 Trad Jazz Band and played with Dave Eshelman’s Jazz Garden Big Band.  Over the years Brandon has been a sideman playing trombone (and tuba) on multiple occasions for the High Sierra Jazz Band, The Grand St. Stompers, Polly’s Hot Paupers, Fulton Street Jazz Band, Cell Block 7, Hot City, Neely’s Rhythm Aces, and the Royal Society Jazz Orchestra. He founded the Sacramento based group, The Crescent Katz, and co-leads The Au Brothers Jazz Band, The AUchestra, and the West End Stompers.

Daniel Smith 

Daniel Smith, or as he is known around town, “Dan the Man”, is the executive president and board member of the non-profit Bigger Than Us Arts, owner, and proprietor of Dan the Man Entertainment, a one-stop-shop for booking artistic talent in Sacramento and founder of the music and entrepreneurship event, Music is Passion.
Wanting the experience of a bigger city, Smith, a Vallejo native, arrived in Sacramento in 1996 after attending Shasta College, where he studied psychology and physical science. Smith quickly fell in love with the capital city, where his passion for music led him to the vibrant music scene. Dipping his toes in a few rock bands, he eventually found a musical home in 2014 with a local favorite, Element Brass Band. The group went on to win a 2017 Sammie for the best Jazz.
Smith developed his love of music through his parents. His mother was a blues singer and his father had a deep musical passion that inspired Smith to explore the deeper roots of music. Smith’s upbringing also inspired a second passion, a love of community. For 12 years Smith attended the Omega Boys and Girls Club in Vallejo which developed his desire to help and participate in his own community. 
Smith believes that music has healing powers and can feed your soul. It’s that passion, combined with the power of community to bring people together that brought him to BTU Arts, where he uses both to help develop the area youth. Smith has plans to open his own venue in the future and sees himself as a conveyor for emerging Sacramento musicians.

Rai-mon Nemar Barnes

“How do we do better?” Rai-mon Nemar Barnes was born with this question in his ear. Following the example of his parents, grandparents, and mentors as activists, innovators, and community leaders, Rai-mon has been constantly compelled to build businesses that lead with that question and support the growth of their communities as well as their clients.

Through his agency work supporting brands like Etsy, Vitamin Water, Red Bull, Q Tonic, Dry Soda, Goorin Hats, Vans, Boost Mobile, and others, Rai-mon was able to start connecting the dots between thinking about “doing better” and actually helping businesses “do better” by using the Consciously Method™.

The Consciously team builds conscious and inclusive marketing platforms that help companies nourish their business ecosystem, people behind them, the causes that support them, and the art that inspires them to become a larger part of the communities they serve.
So now, when he’s asked, “how can we do better?”, Rai-mon answers, “Do it Consciously.”

© 2020 by Bigger Than Us Arts a 501c3 Tax Deductible Organization 82-3362916