The Brave Ones aim for music success, aid to Susan G. Komen

Two Bradenton band members raise funds to help their moms, others

jajones1@bradenton.comMarch 15, 2014 

BRADENTON -- From the time Sally Palmer's breast cancer was diagnosed in 2009, her son, Ben Palmer, stood by her with unwavering support and encouragement.

"Ben has gone through it with me. He has taken part in the Walk for a Cure at Lakewood Ranch every year since 2009. He has even worn a pink bra and pink tutu out there," Sally Palmer said.

A year ago, Ben Palmer and his friend, Taylor Sullivan, Manatee High School graduates, moved to Hollywood, Calif., to pursue their passion for music.

They joined The Brave Ones, an aggressive, high-energy band with a hip look that writes and performs its own rock music. The band was looking for a bass player and a rhythm guitarist and Sullivan and Palmer fit the bill.

They back singers Amy Jean Davis, a former top-eight finalist on "American Idol," and Gene Louis.

Even though Palmer and Sullivan are on the West Coast, they have not forgotten about Sally Palmer's fight against breast cancer. Drummer Jay Pinfold's mom has also been diagnosed with the disease.

While the band struggles to reach the upper rungs of the music world, band members hold down working-class jobs. Palmer waits tables. Sullivan delivers pizza.

The band hit on the idea of an online fundraiser to help raise money needed to pay for studio time to record, produce and market their own CD. Their goal: $35,000.

The band pledges to donate a portion of the proceeds to the Susan G. Komen Foundation to help women and men battling breast cancer.

If the band hits its fundraising goal, it will donate 15 percent to Susan G. Komen. If it fails to hit its goal, it will still donate 5 percent, Ben Palmer said this week in a phone interview from California.

"These are young people with a passion for their music and a desire to make a positive impact on the world. They have great music and great hearts," Sally Palmer said. "We are really proud of them."

Ben Palmer and Sullivan were formerly in the Bradenton band Crash FistFight, along with lead guitarist Felipe "Man" Rodrigo.

Among Crash Fistfight's local performance venues for three years was Bradenton's ArtSlam.

The Brave Ones provide a more mature, well-rounded sound compared with Crash FistFight with potential to hit the radio airwaves, Sullivan said in a phone interview.

Cheryl Dykstra is a donor to the campaign and a Manatee High classmate of Sullivan and Palmer.

"They are such good guys," Dykstra said. "Ben is very family oriented and everything that went on with his mom is very important to him. He even has a breast cancer ribbon tattoo."

The online fundraiser started ends March 21.

To contribute, visit

For more information about The Brave Ones, visit

James A. Jones Jr., East Manatee reporter, can be contacted at 941-745-7053 or on Twitter: @jajones1.

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