Gregory Charles Royal - Interim CEO, Artistic Director
Carrying his trombone in a brown paper bag, 15-year-old Gregory Charles Royal snuck into the Blues Alley Jazz Club in Washington, DC to watch legendary Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers. After the final set, Mr. Blakey noticed Gregory’s horn and asked him to play. Impressed with the young trombonist, Mr. Blakey took Royal under his wing, inviting Royal to stay with him in New York City, giving him an opportunity to play with the Jazz Messengers, and allowing him to mingle with greats like Miles Davis and Ornette Coleman. Royal became a noted Jazz musician who was mentored by Jazz great Curtis Fuller. He was a protégé of Mercer Ellington, and a soloist with the Duke Ellington Orchestra for over a decade. He was in the original Broadway production of Five Guys Named Moe, as well as performing in Ain’t Misbehavin’ and Jelly’s Last Jam. Coming from a lineage of educators, Royal also toured college campuses with his educational seminar “Blackstreet Boys/Backstreet Blues” examining the influence of African Americans on a wide range of musical genres. As Artistic Director of American Youth Symphony, a think tank whose aim was to promote instrumental music in popular culture, from 1982- 2019, Royal co-founded the New York Jazz Film Festival and wrote stage plays performed Off Broadway, starring notables like Frenchie Davis and the renowned Rev. Dr. James A. Forbes, Jr. He created an American Idol for musicians with Marissa Regni, Principal Second Violinist for the National Symphony Orchestra, and has written and directed the first Jazz dramatic comedy, Giant Steps; and several other music and theatrical creations for SVR & Associates. In 2019, Royal co-founded The BeBop Channel, an online streaming platform and interactive community for artists and arts patrons.
Sue Veres Royal - COO
Sue Veres Royal is the co-founder and Chief Operating Officer of The BeBop Channel Corporation. Veres Royal has over 25 years of management experience of both national and international organizations, working directly with Boards of Directors creating and implementing strategic plans; Veres Royal has overseen the financial management of multi-million dollar budgets, supervised staff and scaled each organization that she has led. Each year, throughout her career, she has raised on average over $1 million for the organizations which she has run. From 2013-2014 as Executive Director of Happy Hearts Fund, an international organization working in Asia, South America and North America, she worked with in-country partners around the world and with high-wealth individuals in the USA where she raised over $3 million. From 2016 to present, Veres Royal serves as Executive Director of the ACE Mentor Program of Greater NY, and works directly with CEOs of leading real estate firms in New York City, nationally and internationally while managing close to 1,000 volunteers overseeing its $1 million annual budget . Veres Royal also has vast experience developing relationships with governmental agencies, public figures and various leaders throughout the USA. In 2020, Veres Royal was named one of "The Responsible 100" by City and State Magazine and also received the "Quality Leadership Award" by New York State Network for Youth Success.