Fernando Pullum is an educator and professional musician. Despite his difficult childhood growing up on Chicago’s Westside, the city’s toughest neighborhood, Fernando earned his bachelor’s degree in music education (1981) and master’s in trumpet performance (1983). Fernando moved to Los Angeles in 1984 to follow his dream of becoming an educator and professional musician. He assumed the music program at L.A.’s Washington Prep High School. Under his tutelage, the program thrived. In 1989 LAUSD recognized Fernando’s music program as the first music magnet in South Los Angeles. During the years that followed, 100% of Fernando’s students graduated with a high school diploma and only one student failed to enroll in college during the next fifteen years. Fernando has been recognized by many organizations and individuals throughout his tenure, including Oprah, VH-1, the John Lennon Foundation and the State of California as its teacher of the year. He has performed and recorded with many industry greats, such as Stevie Wonder, Ella Fitzgerald, Jackson Browne , Etta James, Alicia Keys, Eddie Murphy, Fishbone and more.
Over the years, Fernando’s students have performed for many dignitaries, including President Ford and Prince Charles. The students have performed with Jackson Browne, Stevie Wonder, Herbie Hancock, Lionel Hampton, Wynton Marsalis, Al Jarreau, Crosby, Stills, Nash, and many other incredible musicians. They have opened the Playboy Jazz Festival four times and traveled to Cuba, Brazil, Spain, and New York.