Dianne Nichol Grainger was born October 12, 1984, to Joyce and Gregory Grainger. She has two brothers, Gregory Grainger Jr. and Eric Grainger. From an early age, it became evident to Joyce and Gregory that she was beautiful, special and caring, having a strong love for her friends and family. It was also apparent that she was outspoken when it came to issues that she believed to be unfair. This was demonstrated in elementary school where, while receiving an award in scholastic achievement, Dianne spoke out against what she felt was unfair treatment to some of her classmates.
Having come from a musical family, Dianne always loved music and would pursue percussion at the age of 14. While in her first year at Baltimore City College High School, she joined the marching band as a cymbalist. Because of her drive and thirst for knowledge, she quickly advanced to the snare drum, became one of the best overall percussionists in the entire area, and would eventually teach inexperienced, inner-city youth through multiple programs that she founded, some of which are still in existence. Dianne refined her skills by taking private lessons and refining what she had learned with her father and professional drummer, Gregory Grainger. Through hard work and determination, Dianne was awarded a music scholarship to Howard University.
While at Howard, she played in both the concert and marching bands, eventually becoming one of the most celebrated percussionists in Howard’s history. Her love for music expanded even more when she became a member of Sigma Alpha Iota International Music Fraternity for Women. Dianne graduated Cum Laude in 2007 with a B.A. in Music Education and a minor in Percussion. She also received The Avedis Zildjian Percussion Scholarship, which is awarded to the most outstanding percussionist in the graduating class.
After graduating from Howard University, Dianne became a full time music education teacher at Deer Park Middle school in Baltimore County. There she would continue to enrich the music program and introduce computer music to her students. Dianne was also a professional musician, playing drums behind artists like Orianthi and Jaared. She even did tech work from time to time with Earth, Wind and Fire. Dianne was a member of Shiloh Baptist Church of Washington DC, where she was also the full-time drummer. She had a strong Christian faith, which was just as important to her as her music.
Once Dianne became a music educator, she could feel the void of not having music in primary and secondary schools. She witnessed all the inner-city youth that did not have the same opportunity to continue their education and eventually get music scholarships like she did. She was inspired to start a music program from a concept created by her “Uncle Glen.” Dianne and her dad, Gregory, talked about trying to make that plan a reality. Soon thereafter, Dianne connected with one of her Howard ensemble mates, Jeffery Tribble, Jr., who had also begun developing a similar concept. Dianne, Jeffery and Gregory had a meeting about their shared vision and the beginnings of The MusicianShip were born.
Unfortunately for all, Dianne died in a tragic accident on August 5, 2009 at the age of 24. She never had the chance to see her dream become a reality. But with the help of Jim Reznikoff, Eric Jacobs and Anja Broer, Jeffery and Gregory made The MusicianShip come to life. We are constantly sailing forward in memory of Dianne, all that she believed in, and her spirit is ever-present in The MusicianShip’s ongoing effort to change lives with music.
Jeffery is a magna cum laude graduate of Howard University, as well as a graduate of The George Washington University Law School, where he felt compelled to start The MusicianShip with Dianne Grainger (1984-2009), and her father, Gregory Grainger. As a result of Jeffery’s work with The MusicianShip, he was named one of DC’s Top 30 Under 30 by WKYS/96.3, B.E. Modern Man by Black Enterprise Magazine, and one of Magic Johnson’s 32 Under 32. Jeffery was inducted—as an honorary member—in to Phi Mu Alpha, the largest, oldest music fraternity in the world, after negotiating a partnership with the fraternity to help expand The MusicianShip around the nation.
Under Jeffery’s direction as CEO, The MusicianShip has grown from serving 2 students in 2009, to 1200 in 2018 and has garnered both financial and in-kind support from companies such as Google, Tidal, Hard Rock Cafe, Delta Airlines, Capital One, VitaminWater, Wells Fargo, and Dropbox.
In May of 2014, Jeffery completed a Nonprofit Executive Leadership Certificate Program at Georgetown University and, in 2017, was invited by Red Bull to be a contributor at their global social entrepreneur incubation academy. Jeffery is married and loves to travel, having visited over 25 countries.
No novice to his instrument and a skilled architect of rhythm, Gregory is surprisingly fresh in his artistry and musical perspective. Greg, at the age of 14, was awarded a scholarship to the highly respected Peabody Conservatory of Music at Johns Hopkins University. His world debut came at the age of 19 as the youngest member of the group Pockets the protégé band of Earth, Wind and Fire. The group produced three albums with Earth, Wind & Fires’ Verdine White. Upon hearing him, it is easy to see why Whitney Houston signed him for her 1988 world tour and why Britain’s Rhythm Magazine called his work “solid and tasteful” dubbing him a “rhythm master.” He is the drummer for national smooth jazz artists such as Acoustic Alchemy and Kim Waters, along with being drummer and Musical Director for Maysa (the voice of Incognito’s Deep Waters and A Shade of Blue). He founded The MusicianShip to help students achieve through music, as he himself has done. You can catch Greg playing the drums at places like Blues Alley and Arena Stage, when he is not touring around the world.
Robert is Professor of Law and Co-Director of the Intellectual Property Program at The George Washington University Law School. After earning his J.D. magna cum laude at Harvard Law School, he served as a law clerk to Judge Stephen G. Breyer of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit (now Justice Breyer) and to Justice David H. Souter. He has also served as an Assistant Corporation Counsel for the city of Chicago. He is the co-author of a leading casebook on copyright law and of numerous articles on copyright, trademark, and constitutional law. He is a member of the Managing Board of the Munich Intellectual Property Law Center and a Trustee of the Copyright Society of the USA, and has served as President of the Giles S. Rich American Inn of Court. In 2013 – 2014, he served as the inaugural Abraham L. Kaminstein Scholar in Residence at the United States Copyright Office. Robert is a long-time DC resident and upright bass player.
Eric has 30 years of experience building and advising organizations from their start-up and throughout their life cycle. He has provided coaching and consulting services to organizations that include Wal-Mart, America Online, Federal Express, The Census Bureau, Hewlett-Packard, numerous small and mid-sized companies, and multiple Inc. 500 Companies. Mr. Jacobs has provided leadership on programs for The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) that explored effective intervention strategies for Gang Involved Girls and for the U.S. Department of Education that provided assistance to improve Dropout Prevention programs at State Education Agencies. He is a past National Dropout Prevention Center/Network conference presenter and was a founder of the Federal Leadership Institute and The Federal Coaching Institute along with two non-profits, Defining Moments and The MusicianShip. Eric has a background in piano.
Anja has 20 years of experience contributing to the success of organizations through her expertise in sales, marketing, and event planning. As a Dale Carnegie Coach, she enjoys the creative process of helping people find new ways to grow personally and professionally. She raises funds and awareness for non-profits including Children’s Hospital, The Polaris Project, Courtney’s House, Fair Fund (organizations focusing on fighting child trafficking), and sits on the advisory board for Wounded Warriors. Anja is currently working in sales for the Department of Defense division of Lexis Nexis and travels the country, educating high-level officials on tools used by U.S. intelligence professionals. As a former music student and founder of The MusicianShip, she realizes the impact of music in everyone’s lives and is passionate about helping children succeed in life.
An independent Billboard-ranked musician and NAACP Image Award-nominated jazz keyboardist and pianist, Marcus is also the CEO and Founder of FLO Wine, LLC. FLO Wine is capturing the taste buds of wine lovers from California to South Carolina. To date, retail partners in various states include Costco, Wal-Mart, Target, Whole Foods, Giant, Harris Teeter, Renaissance Hotels, Kroger, Aloft Hotels, Four Seasons Hotel (DC), Farm Fresh, and Total Wine. Over the last decade, Marcus has released 15 successful Billboard-charted studio albums. On Pandora, Marcus receives 5.1 million spins per year with 2,000 new stations added each month. A graduate of Howard University, Johnson went on to simultaneously earn both his MBA and Juris Doctorate degrees at Georgetown University. He served on the faculty of Georgetown University Center for Professional Development in 2007 and taught at Bowie State University from 2008 through 2010, adjunct business development. Marcus serves as The MusicianShip’s Chair of Music Business Programs.
Jim offers more than 25 years of experience as an entrepreneur of MicroSystems Automation Group (MSAG), a rapidly growing company with more than 150 staff members. Over the past 25 years, MSAG has played key roles supporting programs at the Department of State, including its International Educational Exchanges such as the Fulbright Scholarship program. He is active in several organizations including Membership Chair for World Entrepreneur Organization, Entrepreneur Organization, and The Northern Virginia Technology Council and coaches a number of entrepreneurs. He is a founder of The MusicianShip and an active guitar player on the DC scene.
Adam Levin is the 3rd generation of family ownership at Chuck Levin’s Washington Music Center, one of the nation’s largest independent musical instrument and equipment retailers. Adam received a degree in Electrical Engineering with a Minor in Business from Washington University in St. Louis (‘10), and came into the family business shortly thereafter. While not a musician, Adam’s passion for music, and particularly how technology empowers anyone to create music and unlocks endless amounts of musical potential, drives Adam to engage with the music community at large to further that message. Adam has been a supporter of the DC Funk Parade since its inception, as well as any other music events that celebrate and honor the creative awesomeness of the Greater DC Metro area.
Gary has worked as an intellectual property and entertainment attorney for over thirty years. In addition to working on deals that involved such artists as The Eagles and AC/DC, he has lectured extensively in the US and Europe on topics ranging from legal aspects of new digital media and distribution channels to ownership and creation issues in music, film, video games and augmented reality systems. His series of lectures on the full range of US intellectual property rights is regularly featured at The School of Law at Queen Mary University of London and in the Executive MBA Technology Management Program at George Mason University. Credited as having created what has been referred to in the music industry as “the anti-360 deal,” Gary has also produced recordings, including a top recording by alt-country artist, Danny Barnes. Gary has also lectured at New York University, The Zurich Institute of Technology, The European Intellectual Property Institutes Network (EIPIN), The Munich Intellectual Property Law Center, The University of Alicante, The University of Trento, and UC Berkeley School of Law.
Chicago native Temi F. Bennett is the Director of Policy and Communication at Consumer Health Foundation (CHF). At CHF, she is responsible for engaging local governments in the DC metropolitan region in approaches to developing and implementing racially equitable policies that enable communities of color to thrive. Prior to joining the Foundation, Temi was Legislative Counsel for D.C.’s Ward 5 Councilmember, Kenyan R. McDuffie and Ward 4 Councilmember, Brandon T. Todd. At Council, Temi focused on Business and Economic Development, Racial Equity, and Economic Justice issues.
In addition to serving on the board of the MusicianShip, Temi is on the Steering Committee for the Black Millennial Political Convention. She is also the Social Action Chair for the Federal City chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.; the Current Issues Chair on the National Public Policy Committee for the National Coalition of 100 Black Women (NCBW100); and the Legislative Affairs Chair of the Washington Bar Association’s Young Lawyers Division.
Temi graduated magna cum laude from Virginia State University with a B.A. in English (2005), before receiving her J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center (2009). At Georgetown, Temi served as Editor-in-Chief of the Georgetown Journal of Law & Modern Critical Race Perspectives. In addition to her passion for racial justice, Temi loves swimming, international travel, sci-fi fantasy novels, and Japanese manga.