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Los Gatos, California, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2012 | SELF

Los Gatos, California, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2012
Band Alternative Pop




"Singer comes out with "Heart on My Sleeve""

Singer comes out with 'Heart On My Sleeve'

By Marianne L. Hamilton, for Silicon Valley Community Newspapers

Juliana Pollifrone has always worn her heart on her sleeve. In every performance the Los Gatos High School junior has given at venues around Northern California, her passions and emotions--especially love and the joy, jealousy and heartache that often muddy it--have clearly been in evidence.

Now the 16-year-old singer-songwriter is poised to reveal even more of her inner feelings, with the release of her new song, appropriately titled "Heart On My Sleeve." Pollifrone is offering free downloads of the original composition to her hometown community. In return, she hopes locals will lend a hand in helping her record and market her first full-length CD.

Pollifrone, who recorded "Heart" at Soundtek Studios in Campbell, has been playing and singing since she was 9 years old. By the time she was an eighth-grader at Fisher Middle School, she was performing at The Cats in Los Gatos, Blue Rock Shoot in Saratoga and other locales. She was also writing her own music.

"I really love the writing process," Pollifrone said. "I'm really more interested in writing songs than anything else."

That "anything else" encompasses a very broad spectrum indeed: Recently Pollifrone was the opening act for the band Tesla, playing at a benefit concert in Roseville, and she performed at a fundraiser for Calvary Church, where she and her family are devoted members. Pollifrone also leads worship sessions at the church, calling her work there "an awesome opportunity to serve the community."

But the majority of the young artist's time has been spent in collaboration with Bay Area rock god and Soundtek owner Robert Berry to birth that first single. Pollifrone said Berry, a Grammy-nominated recording artist, songwriter, performer and producer who has recorded with the likes of Sammy Hagar, members of Boston, Night Ranger and other luminaries, helped demystify her recording debut.

"Robert's so fun; I feel so comfortable in the studio with him. It's more like friends getting together because he really takes care of you. You tell him what you want the music to sound like, and he makes it happen," said Pollifrone.

With Berry supplying percussion, organ, base guitar and other instrumental backup to Pollifrone's lead guitar and vocals, "Heart On My Sleeve" is a raspy, tortured condemnation of those who've done the songstress wrong. "Do you enjoy watching me hurting," she scolds, "when you could have helped me out?" Later, she owns up to her vulnerability: "I'm always there ... with my heart on my sleeve."

Though the tune could well be a requiem for those mourning love lost, Pollifrone said she had an entirely different mindset when she penned the lyrics. "I think a lot of kids in high school go through something like this: They see an individual getting knocked down, and others enjoy seeing that person suffer. I feel really strongly that no one deserves to be treated that way ... so this is what I came up with."

Berry frequently works with female teen singers, noting, "The girls are in touch with their emotions; they write songs and poetry, while boys that age just want to be in a band. It's very cool for me to see people like Jules express themselves through their art."

The first time Berry heard Pollifrone run through "Heart," he said it was a challenge to connect the dots between the artist, her age and her song. "Frank, her dad, was in the studio with us, and I immediately said, 'How old is this girl?' " Berry laughed. "Jules knows who she is and what she likes, what kinds of songs to sing and how they should be sung. She's really anchored in a bluesy, soulful style and she plays guitar well."

But the most important attribute the young performer brings to the task has little--or maybe everything--to do with singing, Berry added. "Jules has confidence at a really young age, which she obviously gets from Frank and Sylvia, her mom and dad. I can't say enough about parents who, through their good example, empower their kids to do things they dream about and love."

Berry and Pollifrone are in the final stages of mixing and remastering "Heart," which will be available for free download to local residents. Then they will select from among two dozen other songs Pollifrone has written to record a full-length CD. Given the expense of such an undertaking, Pollifrone has mounted a Kickstarter campaign to cover her costs.

Frank Pollifrone, who himself is a veteran of more than two decades in the music industry, is all too aware of the vagaries of his daughter's chosen field. And though he and Sylvia and Juliana's sister Jessica (a Los Gatos High School senior) share a rambling house in Monte Sereno, the elder Pollifrones' support of their younger daughter's career ambitions stops short of writing a large check.

"Since Jules was 8, we've done the vocal lessons and the guitar lessons, and we bought both of her guitars," Frank said. "The hard reality of the music industry is that for every dollar you put in, there's a 90 percent chance you'll never see it again. So Sylvia and I really wanted Jules to think through the process, and have some skin in the game."

With her father's guidance, Pollifrone launched her Kickstarter campaign in mid-October, aiming to bring in $6,000 to offset the costs of recording, mixing, mastering and duplicating her CD. In short order her Kickstarter page was ranked third of all such campaigns in California; in less than two weeks she was just $1,500 shy of her goal. Now fully funded, Pollifrone said that any contributions brought in above her target will be allocated toward the development of a website and other marketing components, such as a music video. The fundraising process has been educational in the extreme, she continued.

"In my honors English class our teacher showed us a Kickstarter video about funding entrepreneurial projects," said Pollifrone. "I was super interested in the whole marketing piece of it. Then a couple of months ago my dad and I started prepping for my campaign. It's been a ton of work, and I've learned so much about financing and marketing. I'm incredibly grateful that my parents actually want me to do this, and are supporting me through this process."

Still a year and a half from her high school graduation, Pollifrone and her classmates are making the usual overtures to universities and colleges for their post-Wildcat careers. But Pollifrone, who hopes to enroll in the music program at San Jose State University, finds it all but impossible to envision a future that doesn't include a guitar, mic and amp.

"I'm so excited to have this amazing opportunity," Pollifrone said. "I can't wait to see where it goes."

As usual, Pollifrone's heart is right out there, on her sleeve. - San Jose Mercury News

""Shocking": Taylor Swift Hits Apple Music on Artist Pay"

Click on Video Link
In an open letter to Apple, Taylor Swift has criticized the company's new streaming music service for failing to pay artists for a free three-month trial. Scott Budman reports. - NBC Universal Bay Area


I just discovered Juliana Pollifrone, also known as Jules. Put her on your radar. Seriously. She’s probably got one of the most soulful voices I’ve heard in a long time from such a young artist. This 16 year old singer/songwriter is doing amazing things – already! The Los Gatos High School student started singing at age 8, playing guitar at age 9 and has already opened for bands like Tesla (whaaat?!?) Major props from me. Singing, Writing and Playing? Now that’s legit.


In November 2014, she successfully raised funds on Kickstarter to help produce her first album, and is now releasing her debut song, entitled “Heart On My Sleeve”, which she produced with Soundtek owner Robert Berry.

She is currently at #7 on the West Coast – Hit the PLAY button!

(P.S. GRAMMY Amplifier elevates tracks based on plays and shares.
The more amplifications her track gets, the closer she gets to becoming
a winning GRAMMY Amplifier artist! So if you love her, shout it out by hitting the AMPLIFY button!)

‘Like’ Jules on Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/julessongmusic - GIRLS-TEEN-TWEENS

"Young Julianna Pollifrone shows early signs of her musical talent"

It's 6 p.m. on a chilly Wednesday evening, and nary an empty seat is available in the bar at The Cats Restaurant. Guests sip tall cool ones and munch on pub fare. On the TV overhead, Duke silently chases North Carolina down the hard court.

Then a young female duo takes the stage. Both sport dark, flowing tresses; the taller of the two wields an acoustic guitar. With little preamble, they launch into an up-tempo version of "Hell on Heels." Both voices deliver Pistol Annies' lyrics with in-your-face confidence, the guitarist nimbly blasting through chord changes.

"I'm hell on heels, say what you will, I done made the devil a deal ... he made me pretty, made me smart, and I'm gonna break me a million hearts ... "

The crowd takes notice, clapping along.

As the duo continues singing--a mix of country and pop, heavily laced with Taylor Swift and Miranda Lambert--a minor groundswell takes place: While moms and dads await the hostess's nod for tables, their pint-sized daughters edge steadily closer to the stage. One pink-clad moppet of about 6 perches atop the antique rail separating audience and performers, bopping her head and mouthing every word. Soon, a cluster of young fans has whipped out crayons and paper, and is busily crafting notes and pictures.

Now the shorter of the pair exits the stage, leaving the guitarist standing alone in front of the mic. Tentatively she strums a chord, then announces, "This is a song I wrote, called 'Over You.' " The tune that follows is catchy, the lyrics wounded yet defiant. "Your sassy mood and your Amy Winehouse 'tude ... maybe someday I'll get over you, just like you got over me!"


Several intensely personal, evocative songs follow, and then Julianna Pollifrone finishes the set to applause and cheers and joins her beaming friend, Katie Brown, in the audience. The girls are mobbed by a cluster of tiny fans, who present love letters to their idols. Clearly moved, the pair accept the gifts with hugs and tears.

It's all in a night's work for Julianna and Katie. Regulars on the West Valley coffeehouse circuit, the BFFs have logged numerous appearances at Blue Rock Shoot in Saratoga and venues in San Jose. True to their budding superstar status, the two Monte Sereno residents always arrive with an entourage.

But no limo driver, manager or stylist is seen at the girls' gigs. Instead, Julianna and Katie's performances are carefully monitored by their parents. After all, both are still 13, and in the eighth grade at Fisher Middle School.

Ever since she was a student at Daves Avenue Elementary, Julianna knew that singing was in her future. "When I was little, my sister and I would put on plays for our parents; we still have the videos," she says, giggling. "It's funny looking back: I guess I always knew I wanted to be a performer."

It could be said that Julianna was to the manor born. Frank, her father, has logged more than 20 years in the entertainment industry. In the early 2000s he collaborated on the launch of a digital recording label with the likes of vocalist Tommy Funderburk (who has recorded with Boston, Starship, Motley Crue and many others) and composer/producer Peter Wolf. A multiple Grammy nominee, Wolf has at least eight No. 1 singles to his credit for his work with such artists as Paula Abdul, Santana, Natalie Cole, 'N Sync and The Who.

When Julianna was growing up, Funderburk and "Uncle Peter" (along with other music luminaries) often dropped by the house to talk shop and jam. "I think Julianna came into a world where she was constantly exposed to music, and it became very relevant and 'approachable' to her," her father recalls. "These guys were in our house playing ... and Jules would say, 'That sounds like the same thing I just heard on the radio.' And I'd say, 'Uh, yeah, it's the same guys.' "

Family road trips further expanded Julianna's musical repertoire. "My kids have heard this stuff since they were babies in their car seats," confirms Julianna's mom, Sylvia, a real estate professional. "We'd listen to groups like Aerosmith and the Stones on the radio, and Frank would say, 'OK, if you can identify the artist, song title and year the song was recorded, you can pick out the station you want to listen to.' "

Funderburk says he was first impressed by Julianna's ability to sing along with the adults, and later by her songwriting talent. "Julianna's quite talented; she had a great aptitude for singing from day one. Then fast forward, and now she's 13 ... and the songs she's writing and her playing are just fantastic. I think she's been given a real gift, and I look for great things to happen for her."

At the age of 9, Julianna received her first acoustic guitar, a Christmas gift from her parents. "I nearly died of excitement; I was so happy. I'd wanted to play ever since first grade," she says.

Sadness soon followed euphoria, however, when her paternal grandparents both died within a short time of each other. Julianna marked the occasion by writing her first song, "Love Still Lasts," which she and Katie performed at her grandfather's funeral. It was the start of a writing obsession.

"Most of the time I write stuff down in my math notebook," she laughs. "I'll be in the middle of doing my homework or in class, and I'll think, 'Oh, here's a lyric.' "

Hearing his daughter's latest note-perfect composition never fails to dumbfound the elder Pollifrone. "Jules goes into her room, and I don't know what happens in there, but she comes out with these incredibly commercial-sounding songs. The first time Peter heard one of her compositions, he was totally blown away and said, 'Where did that come from? Did you help her?' Nope. It's all Julianna."

Wolf, who recognizes songwriting talent when he hears it, says he continues to be impressed by Julianna. "I've never met anyone who, at the age of 13, could voice her thoughts that clearly and eloquently. I really think she has a very bright future as a singer/songwriter. If I were a record executive, I would sign her now."

That someone barely into her teens can write so proficiently about new love, love lost and other emotions is a mystery to those who hear her songs. How does she do it?

"I don't really know," she says, flipping a thick lock of hair behind her shoulder and studying the floor. "Sometimes I just come up with a catchy tune, and then think of words that fit. Like, I thought of a story where a girl's heart got broken, and she's getting revenge. That hasn't happened to me yet, fortunately."

Campbell resident James Robinson, who's been Julianna's guitar teacher for several years, is awed by his student's writing expertise. A journeyman musician who records on the Favored Nations label launched by legendary guitarist Steve Vai, Robinson says his student arrived for her first lesson with two critical assets: a willingness to learn, and a collection of strong material.

Says Robinson, "The coolest thing about teaching Julianna is that she has such an individual sense of self, and that she won't block learning; she's hungry for it. But I always wonder, where did her talent come from? How is someone so young able to understand and articulate such deep things?"

Julianna suggests that her facility with songwriting is likely linked to her love of reading, along with writing poetry, essays and journal entries. "I love writing of all kinds," she says.

Despite writing and practicing her music several hours each day, she maintains a 4.0 grade point average in school. She seems equally at home in a number of other areas, where she likely finds additional inspiration.

On Sundays she spends time with the youngest congregation members of Calvary Church, where her family is active, doing crafts and teaching Bible stories. In December, Julianna and her sister Jessica--a freshman at Los Gatos High School and a member of the Wildcats' cross country, track, basketball and volleyball teams, and a Junior Olympian in cross country--joined their dad in building homes for the poor in a rural village in Mexico. The sisters also accompany him regularly on his visits to San Jose's City Team Ministries, where he works with the homeless and chemically dependent. All have instilled in both siblings a profound appreciation for their many blessings.

"There's not a single night when I don't think that I'm so lucky to have what I have, and live where I do. And I'm never going to complain about being tired, or having too much to do, because I asked for all of this," Julianna says.

In the Pollifrone household, there seems to be a profound lack of sibling rivalry. When asked what it's like to have a sister who's so involved in music, Jessica clasps both hands in front of her chest and grins. "I love it so much! Whenever I'm doing my homework and I hear her playing, I think, 'Amp it up!' It's so amazing; it's like having 10 hours of free music."

Similar sentiments are expressed by the Brown family, all of whom have witnessed Julianna's artistic evolution firsthand. Victoria Brown, Katie's mom, says Katie is genuinely thrilled by her close friend's success. "There's no jealousy there, even though at that age you would think there might be. It's really nice to see."

Katie immediately agrees with her mom's assessment. "Julianna is such a great performer and is completely dedicated to her music. I'm completely supportive of her, and I know she's the same for me, so I never feel jealous," Katie says.

With such strong reinforcement and encouragement from her best friend, and firm boundaries set by her parents, Julianna seems to be navigating into her teens with minimal angst. Still, like most moms, Sylvia frets that her daughter will collide with heartache in following her dream. "It's one thing for her to sing in the back yard in front of friends; it's another thing entirely for her to get up on stage someplace. It's hard to watch at times, because I worry about her," Sylvia says.

If the response of those who have booked and worked with Julianna is any indication, such fears can be put to rest--at least for the present. Mark Edwards, the new owner of The Cats, says, "I'm very impressed by Julianna's presence on stage, especially for only being 13. She seems like an adult up there."

Roger Allen, a 30-year veteran of club gigs who frequently hosts open-mic nights at Blue Rock Shoot, adds, "The first time I heard her, I let her play my guitar and thought she was really talented. I'm not a big Taylor Swift fan, but coming out of Julianna, those songs sound great."

Somewhere in the margin of a math workbook in Monte Sereno, there may soon be a song that even Taylor Swift would envy. - San Jose Mercury News



“Telephone line” is about reluctant and futile attempts to break o a long distance

relationship gone awry. “Heart on my Sleeve” is a tortured condemnation of those

who'd prefer watching friends’ train wrecks, rather than help. “Burn Out”is a song

about investing so much of yourself into others yet in the end, it leaves us unsatis-

ed. “Head Above the Water” is a song about faith and surrendering.


A lternative, Folk, Folk-Rock, Acoustic, Americana




17 year-old singer-songwriter, Jules discovered her passion for the written word very early in life. A native of Monte Sereno, California Jules was raised in the small Santa Cruz mountain town area of Los Gatos. During her formative years, Jules was (and remains) a prolic journal and poetry writer. Her life took an exciting turn when at the age of 8, Jules was given an acoustic guitar for Christmas, melding her two beloved expressions; writing and guitar playing. This self-taught singer-songwriter is poised to garner attention with the release of her debut solo debut album, titled “Stories Never Told”. Produced and engineered by Robert Berry, (ELP, Ambrosia, Greg Kihn) the album set to drop October 3, 2015.

The EP features Jules’ original songs “Telephone Line,” “Burn Out,” “Heart on My Sleeve,” and “Head Above Water.” Jules has invested her heart and soul into this debut, funding this project on her own with the help of Kickstarter.


“Telephone line” is about reluctant and futile attempts to break o a long distance relationship gone awry. “Heart on my Sleeve” is a tortured condemnation of those who'd prefer watching friends’ train wrecks, rather than help. “Burn Out”is a song about investing so much of yourself into others yet in the end, it leaves us unsatisfied. “Head Above the Water” is a song about faith and surrendering.

Band Members