Founder & President
Jim Callahan was born in Washington DC but came to Oakland at the age of three months. He earned a degree in architecture from UC Berkeley in 1979 but having founded Piedmont Piano Company in 1978 he has worked here ever since.
Jim is a lover of all kinds of music, particularly jazz, and he enjoys attempting to play the piano works of Bach, Chopin, Schubert, Scott Joplin, and Fats Waller. He is proud to serve on the board of the Oakland nonprofit Living Jazz. He also collects classic cars and has traded a Bosendorfer for a 1969 Porsche and a Yamaha Disklavier to racing legend Phil Hill for a 1919 Locomobile.
Ross brings a wealth of musical, electronic, and sales experience to Piedmont Piano Company. He had his first paid gig at age 9 and has been a professional musician ever since. His experience as musical director for numerous bay area shows, such as Teatro Zinzanni and the currently running Circus Cabaret SF, put him in high demand by bay area singers and performers.
Ross was also the sales manager for Pro Audio Electronics in Oakland which gave him much experience in electronics sales and repairs.
Ross taught himself how to tune pianos at an early age so he could touch up the tuning of pianos before he played. Though not a technician he uses those skills to help keep the pianos at the store in top shape.
Sharmila G. Lash
The Studios Manager
Since 2012, Sharmila G. Lash has managed The Studios and has helped manage our active concert series.
Sharmila is a freelance vocalist in both the classical and jazz idioms. Along with being a voice teacher in Oakland, she often travels to Southern California, as a member of the Los Angeles Master Chorale and as a session singer, lending her voice to many films such as Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, The Cloverfield Paradox, and A Wrinkle In Time, as well as recording a featured solo for Gangster Squad.
When she’s not sending invoices or racking up frequent flyer miles, she enjoys cooking and dining out with her husband and daughter, dabbling in various arts and crafts, and trying to keep her 3-year-old from running amok in the piano store.
Before joining Piedmont Piano Company in 1998, Norman spent may years as a touring musician, filling not only the role of music director, but those of sideman and featured performer equally well. He is pleased to be able to use his extensive experience as a professional musician to help our clients identify the best instruments for their needs.
Norman has a great love of jazz and can often be found performing at various Bay Area music venues. In the identity of his alter ego Manny Moka, he has realized his lifelong dream of leading a Latin big band, appearing at festivals and local clubs, and recording two CDs with his red hot ten piece aggregation Manny Moka and the Band on Fire.
Kevin Parr supports our customers and friends by organizing the logistics of their piano rentals.
As the newest and youngest member of the team, Kevin feels fortunate to have so many seasoned piano veterans sharing their expertise; and, he’s happy to stereotypically fill the “digital technology” role.
Prior to Piedmont Piano Company, Kevin worked as a community organizer as well as a freelance consultant doing business development.
If you encounter him outside of the store you can find Kevin brewing beer, hiking with his wife and golden retriever, constructing wooden objects for local businesses, drinking coffee, and convincing everyone around him that Oakland is the best city on the planet.
For over twenty years Katharine has managed the Piedmont Piano Company office, taking care of many important aspects of the business including bookkeeping, scheduling, banking, communications, customer relations, and virtually everything else that arises in this always active business. When not working she enjoys visiting Hawaii where she grew up, and spending time with her family. She is pictured here with the daughter of our studio manager, who provides invaluable assistance on all of Katharine’s projects.