Formed in 2000, this collection of industry veterans is taking new millennium by storm. Brought together by a common love for skillfully executed modern sounds, PRO2CALL blends the best of smooth, electric and gospel jazz into fresh new directions.
Combining the earthly grooves of soul jazz with laid back mellow harmonies and up-tempo hard hitting rhythms, their music takes listeners on a journey that inspires and uplifts. As Christians, the band's ultimate goal is to take the same love they have for spiritual worship out onto the concert stage, offering the audience a glimpse of that type of powerful encounter, perhaps the most distinguishing characteristic that separates the group from other artists in the genre. Even through instrumental music one can feel the invisible presence and power of the Spirit.
What can one expect from a live PRO2CALL performance? Up-tempo energetic sounds that are cutting edge, where listeners not only see, but engage the true heart of the band. PRO2CALL aspires to inspire, as well as entertain. Members of the group have performed with/written for/or produced such luminaries as Eric Benet, Will Smith, Kenny Loggins & Jim Messina, Brandon Fields, Special EFX, Wilton Felder, Kebmo, Dave Koz, Louis Johnson, Donald Byrd, Alvin Bautiste, Justo Almario, Jimmy Smith, as well as recent "Best New Smooth Jazz Artist" nominees JANGO & The Lao Tizer Band.
After spending the last 2 decades lending their talents to other artists PRO2CALL is breaking out and helping to reshape the face of contemporary smooth jazz.
Phil Martin - Bassist/Producer
Phil started playing young, 7 years old to be exact. His parents encouraged him to play violin, piano, guitar, drums and finally the bass guitar. Born and raised in Los Angeles, Phil has always loved the bass ever since he received his first one on his 13th birthday. Shortly after that he built his first bass amp. With influences like Stanley Clark, Sly and the Family Stone and Michael Jackson, Phil found himself drawn to Jazz, R&B and Classic Rock.
Since 1976, Phil has been a professional studio bassist and producer. Performing and ministering with many artists such as Andrae Crouch, Maddy Moss Clark, Stevie Wonder productions, Disney Producers and many others.
In 1999, he and fellow bandmate Tony Allmond formed Pro2Call, a Jazz Fusion band made up of musicians who love music. Their music is funky, live, complicated and fun to listen to. Pro2Call's music is designed to feature a particular musician, which gives the audience a new experience with every song.
Phil wants to give the fans what they are waiting for, great music and a great time. Pro2Call brings an experience to their audience offering up a little taste of heaven.
Tony Allmond - Drum/Jazz Musician
Anthony J. Allmond was born in Portsmouth, Va. on March 26, 1960. Anthony demonstrated a keen interest in music through joining the middle school band and excelling in performance of the percussion family of instruments. He learned to play the drum-kit from his cousin who was already an accomplished musician in the area. His enthusiasm and love for the instrument encouraged him to keep practicing, regardless of the fact that he did not own a kit. He managed to excel by practicing on his bed, books and every chance he got on the school kit. His eagerness to learn more about the whole family of percussion motivated him to practice and advance his skills.
As a result, he received numerous awards and scholarships. He received a full scholarship to Norfolk State University in music where he performed in the marching band, Jazz band, and Wind Ensemble. He also performed in area top 40, and jazz bands while attending the university. Anthony was asked to audition for the Army's elite band, "Pershing's Own" and was selected. He was already committed to the Army through the university ROTC program and could not accept this appointment.
While an officer in the Army on a tour of duty in Korea, he had the opportunity to perform with a top 40 ensemble that traveled all over Korea. He eventually left the Army to pursue his true aspirations of performing and writing music. He came to California to start a music production company with his brother and to perform.
After performing with a number of area Jazz and Top 40 groups, he started teaching and obtained his masters degree in music. He and five other area musicians of like mind and experience formed the smooth jazz group " Pro 2 Call." This group has over 95 years combined of experience in the music industry with a trendsetting CD to attest to its virtuosity. Anthony's drumming is a defining asset to the group's nuance and adds his writing skills as well. Some of his influences are Tony Williams, Art Blakey, Philly Jo Jones, Steve Gadd, and J.R. Robinson. Anthony continues in his quest for excellence in drum performance in a variety of music genres.
Les Butler - Keys/Jazz Musician/Music Writer/Music Producer
Leslie Alan Butler was born in Los Angeles, California. When he was two, his family moved to La Puente, California, a suburb of Los Angeles. He first fell in love with music when he was four years old. While playing in the front yard of his home, he heard someone playing an instrument next door. He asked his mother what it was and she took him next door to discover this sound?a piano. Les quickly became attached to the piano and many other instruments in elementary school. He tried nearly all the instruments in his school band before settling on the saxophone. At ten years old Les began playing the piano at church with the encouragement of his family and instruction of his Cousin, Mattie Johnson and Sister, Francis Taylor.
While gospel music had always been a part of the Butler household, another aural discovery was made in 1974 when Les' brothers introduced him to jazz. This genre of music captured countless hours of Les' time. Listening and playing along until whole albums were learned and then performed for anyone who came to the Butler home. This encounter created a springboard for musical achievements including the appointment of Drum Major beginning his sophomore year at Bassett High School, and Student Director of the Jazz Ensemble and Concert Band. These precursory achievements led Les to the University of La Verne where he earned a Bachelor's Degree in Music with an emphasis on composition. He was the leader of the Student Jazz Ensemble, Student Director of the Chamber Singers and Music Director of the BSU Yearly Variety Show. Les graduated from the University of La Verne in 1987 with departmental honors.
Les' love of gospel music was nurtured by his parents and siblings who all sing and/or play instruments. He honed his ability to learn songs quickly by playing piano in church at Friendship Baptist Church of La Puente, California, and later at Avenue Baptist Church of Los Angeles for everyone from soloists to the family singing group "The Mellowtones". In 1992, Les was invited by his best friend to play for "one Sunday" at Antioch Missionary Baptist Church in Pomona, California. As the spirit of God blessed Les' life, "one Sunday" evolved into sixteen years of service. For the past ten years Les has been the Minister of Music at Antioch and has experienced the blessings that only service to God can bring. In the year 2000, Les was honored when Antioch Missionary Baptist Church named its annual youth award "The Les Butler Award" for his faithfulness and dedication to the ministry.
Along his musical career Les has written, produced and played with a number of successful artists across many musical genres. Some of his production and writing credits include gospel artists Norman Hutchins (CD: "Learning to live Holy"/ song "Gods Grace"), Makeda Francisco (CD: "The Return" / songs "I Am" and "That Tree"), Bridgette Bentley (CD: "My Praise" / Songs "My Praise", "Nothing but the blood" and "It is well") and a soon to be release project from Myesha Taylor.
Rhythm & Blues Marques Houston ("Say My Name"), Rapper Will Smith (CD: "Willennium" / song "Afro Angel"), Eric Benet (CD: "A Day in the Life"/ songs "Something Real" and "Ghetto Girl"), Tamar Braxton (CD: "Tamar" / Songs "I'm over you", "The way it should be" and "If you don't wanna love me"), and Something for the People (CD: "This time its personal" / Song "Intro" and CD: "Issues" / Songs "I apologize", "No Man" and "Last Call"). Les's film, soundtrack and television credits include work on the ABC television series "For Your Love", Universal Pictures movie "Deliver Us from Eva" (song "Sooner or Later"), Warner Bros. Film "The Ride" (song "No One") and Allenhouse Entertainments film "Tapped Out". Les has played with jazz giants Wilton Felder (the Crusaders) and Dave Koz (Grammy Winner/ Smooth Jazz). His player list also includes blues artist Kebmo (Grammy Winner / Blues), bass guitar legend Louis Johnson (The Brothers Johnson), and Warner Bros Recording group "Something for the People". Spring 2010 will bring the much anticipated release of a project from his own Smooth Jazz group "Pro2Call". Les is also currently the Music Director for the 2007 Smooth Jazz Magazine Debut Artist of the year Jackiem Joyner. Look for more music very soon from this multitalented musician, writer and producer.
Les currently lives in Montclair, California with his wife Dayna and children Jessica and Jordan. His professional career includes appointments as Director of Financial Aid at Marymount College Palos Verdes (1995) and Biola University (2002). He is currently the Associate Director of Financial Aid at Harvey Mudd College in Claremont, California.
“When I first heard Pro2Call, I was struck by the faint but unmistakable vibe with Weather Report. Not only that, but their unfiltered devotion to a new form of Fusion makes Pro2Call an exciting new sound for music aficionados to evaluate and fall in love with.”
- Vic McLean, Virtuoso Music & Distribution