Pauletta Washington

Pauletta Washington (nee Pearson) was born in North Carolina where her mother was a teacher and her father was a school principal. The Pearsons had expectations of their daughter and she did not disappoint them. While in high school, Pauletta's courage to participate in the racially segregated world of high stakes talent competitions distinguished her as an unflinching and pioneering artist.

She studied piano at Julliard, then was introduced to the jazz world by Miles Davis and members of the Lionel Hampton Orchestra. In her early twenties, Pauletta was starring in the national tour of a Broadway show, and had begun to build a vibrant career working with theater luminaries Andrew Lloyd Webber, Jerry Herman and Jules Styne.

After marrying Denzel Washington, Pauletta focused her attention on her husband and family, and built a second career undertaking initiatives that optimize the well-being of children and families.


Brenda Russell, songwriter

Born to musical parents in Brooklyn, New York, Brenda Russell grew up there and in the Canadian town of Hamilton, Ontario. She encountered her first piano while singing as a teenager in the Canadian company of the rock musical Hair in Toronto. Without formal musical education, Brenda says she worried that she would never be able to write another song after her first composition. “Then I had a revelation: You’re not doing this alone. You are just a channel for this," Brenda recalls. “Once I realized that, I was sort of fearless about songwriting. I thought: If that’s the way it is, I can write anything. And that’s the premise I’ve based my whole writing career on.

“I am a citizen of the world and believe in peace and love to all people. That is what I write about and what I sing about. It’s the motivating force behind everything I do and the way I live. I want my music to bring people together.”

 

Dedicated to all who have fought, struggled and persevered through injustice, especially those whose voices were not given attention.

Directed by David W. Connolly
Produced by Diane Louie

Noriyuki Shirasu, illustrations

In Los Angeles
Helmut Kobler, director of photography
Leanoard Walsh, 1st assistant camera
James Green, gaffer
Joel Nix, swing lighting technician
Jerome Joves, swing lighting technician
Odette Mattha, set decorator
Lorenzo Agius, photographer
Angela Means, photographer
Kevin Coffey, photographer
Joel Blacker, production assistant
Lynora Miller, production assistant
Eric Johnson, transportation
Steve Shanklin, Rock-It Cargo, logistics
JJ Trinidad, Skyecam, Los Angeles, CA
Tyler Condon, Fantail Entertainment, Los Angeles, CA
Adam Hasper, Centerstaging, Burbank, CA
Capt Peter Hendrickson, Burbank FD
Scott Willis, Burbank FD

Alex Januik, editor
Fabian Matthews, editor
Chris Hooker, lead compositor / colorist

Toni Bell Nance, hair
Sheila Evers Blackmon, makeup
Linda Medvene, stylist
Estevan Ramos, designer

Dan Lutz, bass
Felix Pollard, drums
Pete Snell, guitars
Diane Louie, keyboards and programming
TJ Troy, percussion
Harry Kim, trumpet
Charlie Peterson, trumpet
George Shelby, tenor sax
Andrew Lippman, trombone
Doc Kupka, bari sax

Glenn Erwin, recording engineer
Robert Lowndes, monitor engineer
Rich Williams, production assistant

The Nashville String Machine, Carl Gorodetsky, contractor
Connie Ellisor, concertmaster
Dan Rudin, recording and mixing engineer

Arranged and orchestrated by Diane Louie
Mixed by Dan Rudin

In Memphis
Fabian Matthews, director of photography
Antoine Dandridge, asst. to DP
Heather Horton, photography
Velma P. Cato, research

Stax Music Academy; Children and families of Stax Music Academy; Paul McKinney, music director; Adrianna Christmas, program and operations manager

Soulsville Charter School; Children and families of Soulsville Charter School, Jonathan Schallert, orchestra director; NeShante Brown, executive director

National Civil Rights Museum; Barbara Andrews, Director of Education & Interpretation; Beverly Robertson, Executive Director emeritus

Darion Hayes, himself
Addyson Hines, herself
Special thanks to Adrienne Hines

In Nashville
Video by Details

Travel by Designer Travel, Lisa Smith, Lynn Solky, Rita Pearson; Santa Barbara Travel Bureau, Janet L. Morton.
Business management by Murphy & Kress, Casey Travers.
Insurance by Rod Pyle Insurance, Culver City, CA; Aon, Nelson Tunon, JoEtta Bradford.

Studios: Centerstaging, Burbank, CA; Tracking Room, Nashville, TN.

Education materials written by Corine Frick



Very Special Thanks to the Troupe
and
Denzel Washington