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Bread & Roses Blog

News and information from Bread & Roses, a non-profit organization that presents live music to bring hope, healing and joy to the community.

New Performers Move Bread & Roses Forward Through Forty Years of Shows

sofiHow do we keep it real, fresh and upbeat? Through the generosity of a new wave of emerging artists who are joining the hundreds of volunteers who are the backbone of our program and who have been a huge boost for our youth audiences in particular.

It’s hard to imagine that forty years have gone by since 1974 when our founder Mimi Fariña gathered a handful of musician friends to start bringing music to those isolated in nearby institutions, and Bread & Roses was born.

Together each year we bring hope, healing and joy through live music to isolated audiences through 600 annual shows in 125 facilities.Over 1200 volunteer performers showcase their talents each year for children, adults and seniors in the Bay Area who need music most.

Performers like Sofi Rox (pictured above), an open-hearted singer-songwriter who brings joy across the board to children in low-income preschools and seniors in convalescent facilities through her charming original songs about nature and her sweet ukulele playing.

sal_and_dadOr Salvador Santana, with keyboard in hand, who shares his journey as a professional musician and whose original songs inspire troubled teens “to navigate the infinite options of music” giving them hope and the chance to imagine a brighter future for themselves.

elsieOr Elsie White, a rootsy folk singer with classically trained full-bodied vocals whose buoyant voice and authentic original songs help teens in juvenile detention see, through poignant lyrics and expression of raw emotion, that there might be another way to heal.

junior-toots-respect50Or Junior Toots, who is also committed to positivity with his conscious up-tempo roots reggae and ska as he inspires youth in alternative schools with the power of affirmation for self and planet.

gemmaOr Gemma Bulos, a Filipina-American musician and teacher, who is a great example of a positive role model as a social entrepreneur, singer and storyteller who performs in jails and rehabs for teens prompting her audiences to realize that creative expression can enhance self esteem.

davidmillermagicianOr David Miller, who enchants all ages -- from children in special needs schools to seniors in convalescent facilities -- with his message that “impossible is not a word” in his interactive magic shows that give all the experience of how to collectively be in an audience and have the thrill of an opportunity to participate.

We are grateful for the new performers who are helping us with our ongoing program keep Mimi’s flame alive.We know from the stories of people, both young and old, in our facility audiences that our shows are remembered and have an impact.

 

Post by Marian Hubler

Graphic Design by Lauren Arrow

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Bobby McFerrin's Joyous Improvisational Singing To Highlight Upcoming Benefit

 

bobby_mcI think we listen to music because we want to be changed. Music is not solely for our entertainment. Music has such tremendous power to bring joy. To me, that’s our job as artists. Not happiness, not a groove, whatever. You must bring joy. I think that’s the assignment. I have no doubt about it.”Bobby McFerrin

Bread & Roses is honored to present Bobby McFerrin as our headliner at our 40th Anniversary Benefit concert on March 1. His understanding of music's power to bring joy is in perfect alignment with our mission of bringing hope, healing and joy to those who need music most.

As a solo artist, Bobby developed Circlesongs, an innovative improvisational choral singing experience that he refined through the years with his vocal ensemble Voicestra. As he toured all over the world, he found that group singing not only made beautiful music but cultivated a deep sense of community and joy.

According to the Omega Institute in New York, where Bobby will lead an upcoming Circlesongs workshop with Bread & Roses volunteer performers Rhiannon and David Worm from SoVoSó; “What Bobby McFerrin does is a spontaneous invention, celebration and prayer. The New York Times credits him with sparking the current revival of a cappella music. The beat-boxing community claims him as an inspiration, the jazz community claims him as a legend and the classical world celebrates his innovative spirit. “

His latest adventure, spirityouall, is a re-imagination of the American folk spiritual tradition. Through it all, his mission is simply this: to invite us all to experience the joy and freedom he feels when he sings.

We invite you to help us celebrate 40 years of bringing the joy of live music to those in the Bay Area who are isolated. Our 40th Anniversary Benefit & Concert at the Marin Center Exhibit Hall and intimate Showcase Theatre gives you a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to join perpetual explorer Bobby McFerrin and his team of inspiring musicians including his children Taylor and Madison McFerrin and The Yellowjackets. Opening this joyous community musical experience will be the imaginative a capella ensemble SoVoSó.

With your help, we can move Bread & Roses forward and sustain our mission far into the future. 

"Improvisation involves coming into a situation without rigid expectations or preconceptions. We must keep going forward, fearful or not, and be ready for anything that comes our way. That’s how life is. Remembering that life can be full of surprises is always useful. We’re improvising all the time—it’s good to recognize that."Bobby McFerrin

Click here for more information on our 40th anniversary event.

 

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Remembering Pete Seeger, True Friend to Bread & Roses

 

Pete Seeger, beloved singer, songwriter and activist, was an inspiration in the way he performed folk music to support the causes in which he deeply believed. A true friend to Bread & Roses, he performed with his grandson Tao Rodriguez-Seeger at Bread & Roses 25th Anniversary Benefit with Mimi Fariña at the SF Opera House in 2000.

Again in 2009 at the age of 90, he played banjo and sang at a Bread & Roses institutional show with Tao at The Redwoods, a community for seniors in Mill Valley.  Co-sponsored by the Seniors for Peace, an activist group in residence there, Pete and Tao's hour-long set featured several sing-alongs that captivated the enthusiastic audience of 250 people. For a close-up look at that memorable concert, see Jim Weltes article from the Marin Independent Journal, Sept. 14, 2009

Coincidentally, singer/activist Ronnie Gilbert, who sang with Pete Seeger in the Weavers from 1949 to 1951, is now a resident at The Redwoods.

 Following his passing, The IJ also ran a story "Pete Seeger Touched Marin along With the Rest of the World" that mentions his participation with Bread & Roses and quotes Bread & Roses Executive Director Cassandra Flipper.   

We are thankful for all of Pete's masterful work as a folk musician and songwriter, and for his support for so many important causes through the playing of folk music and his work as an activist for the better part of a century. We will never forget him and all his poignant songs, like the anti-war standard Where Have All the Flowers Gone? which was also the title of his 1993 autobiography.


As we remember him today, we think of the beautiful musical setting of the song he created from the passage in the Book of Ecclesiastes that became a number one hit for The Byrds in 1965 Turn, Turn, Turn.  Bread & Roses celebrates its 40th anniversary this year (1974-2014). Our Bread & Roses Founder Mimi Fariña and her sister Joan Baez were inspired by Pete's stellar example to be both musicians and activists. His enduring song lyrics give us strength to continue our mission of bringing hope and healing through live music to those who need it most.

 

To everything turn, turn, turn, & a time to every purpose under heaven...


Blog by Marian Hubler

Bread & Roses Video Edited by Lauren Arrow with photos by Andrew de Lory and Ken Friedman,

Courtesy of Bread & Roses

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Kudos to Nominees Jim Kennedy & Mark Hummel for 21st Annual Heart of Marin Awards!

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Kudos to Bread & Roses Board Chair Jim Kennedy and Volunteer Performer Mark Hummel for being this year's Bread & Roses nominees for the 21st Annual Heart of Marin Awards.

Jim was nominated by Executive Director Cassandra Flipper for Excellence in Board Leadership and Mark was nominated by Program Director Carolyn Gauthier for Volunteer of the Year.

 

 

Nominee Jim Kennedy 

Cassandra Flipper noted that during the past year Jim Kennedy, chair of the Bread & Roses Board of Directors, has gone above and beyond the call of duty in numerous ways.Despite his responsibilities as a senior executive at the Bank of the West, he attended a three-day conference with Cassandra to explore the process of change in the nonprofit sector.Together they learned about initiatives undertaken by other nonprofit organizations in an attempt to begin thinking about other approaches to our mission. After the conference Jim led the board and senior staff in a six-month process of strategic thinking.

Since 2005, Jim has been instrumental in obtaining grants, sponsorships and matching gifts for Bread & Roses from the Bank of the West. He has served on the board since 2009 and as board chair for the last two years. This year has been a banner year in terms of Jim’s personal giving (through generous Appeal and Live Auction donations), setting an example for other board members, and for the funds he has raised from the Bank to sponsor both the Spring and Fall benefit events.

He also nominated Bread & Roses for the Bank’s 4th annual Philanthropy Awards. Of the 300+ nominees from the Bank’s 19-state service area, B&R was one of three finalists in the Community Impact category winning a grant of $10,000. We were also presented with a well-crafted two-minute professionally produced video underwritten by the Bank. Click here to see the video

Jim consistently demonstrates his collaborative spirit by his outstanding communication with staff and other board members to explore new ideas and express concerns. He always accentuates the positiveeven when he is urging change and critical thinking. He shows up at meetings and at special events. He attends our regular institutional shows from time to time to stay in touch with our fundamental work for hidden audiences. He is also a devoted participant at our annual volunteer appreciation event where he engages our performers in discussions about their work for Bread & Roses and their personal artistic pursuits.  Last but not least, he effectively engages our donors at fundraising events.

Nominee Mark Hummel

In her nomination for renowned harmonica player Mark Hummel as Volunteer of the Year, Carolyn Gauthier notes that he is a dedicated professional musician who has chosen to give back to the community through his work with Bread & Roses. Through his generosity many people have been inspired and uplifted.

His talent and his connections in the world of "The Blues" run deep. As a harmonica ace, Mark has been in bands with many of the best musicians in the country including Boz Scaggs, John Mayall, Huey Lewis, James Cotton, John Hammond, Charlie Musselwhite and more. Not only does he share his time and talent with Bread & Roses, he also brings in many other fantastic musicians to be part of our volunteer cadre.

Bread & Roses presents 600 free performances a year to those who are isolated from society and often do not have access to live entertainment. These shows are made possible by the gifts of volunteers who believe that the power of music should be accessible to all. Over 29,000 of our neighbors in need receive hope and healing through live music annually in 124 facilities in the Bay Area. The volunteer performers are very special, big-hearted people who generously share their gifts.

Mark Hummel has been sharing his talents with institutionalized audiences for five years. He and his friends perform on a regular basis in many different facilities that are served by Bread & Roses including adult rehabilitation centers, senior day cares and convalescent homes, homeless shelters and facilities for the developmentally disabled. The Blues is a genre of music that is felt deeply and appreciated by a wide variety of people transcending  age, gender and ethnic differences. Whether it is Memphis, Mississippi Delta or Chicago style, the Blues are easily recognized as a true American art form.  Many of the people that Bread & Roses serve are of ethnic minority, do not have English as their first language and/or have experienced hard times. This music is a great equalizer which brings joy, comfort and big smiles to those from varied cultural backgrounds.

In addition to performing for hundreds of isolated individuals this year, Mark Hummel presented a workshop in San Quentin for inmates wanting to learn how to play the harp. He was able to get a donation of 20 new harmonicas from the manufacturer so that each of the men was able to keep the instrument and practice. The impact this made was immense, as the men are still playing, learning and enjoying these instruments.

Mark is an asset in so many ways. In October he put together an amazing lineup of musicians to perform at a benefit concert for Bread & Roses to raise funds for ongoing programs. Supporters bought tickets to hear Bay Area legends Ron Thompson and Nick Gravenites along with other blues musicians. Many new supporters were also introduced to the work and mission of Bread & Roses. He has consistently played at a variety of benefits through the years.

Mark is also a wonderful spokesperson for the organization in the media and beyond. This fall he agreed to let one of his institutional shows be filmed by Bank of the West (see link above).  In his video testimonial, he speaks of how the healing power of music helped in his own recovery from substance abuse. His openness in articulating his personal journey was especially poignant as he shared his story with others in rehab.  From all the ways Mark Hummel has supported Bread & Roses, we were proud to nominate him for the Volunteer of the Year Award at the Heart of Marin. He is a great example of the way that all of our volunteer performers are winners every day as they perform for institutional audiences where people need music most.

Contributed By Cassandra Flipper for Jim Kennedy and Carolyn Gauthier for Mark Hummel.

Photo composit by Lauren Arrow.

Left side: Jim Kennedy at Bread & Roses Spring Benefit, 2013. Photo by Ken Friedman, Courtesy of Bread & Roses.

Right side: Mark Hummel. Photo Courtesy of MarkHummel.com 2014

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Teens Respond to Michael Pritchard's Message of Hope at Contra Costa Juvenile

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Bread & Roses is fortunate that Michael Pritchard is not only our Ambassador-At-Large but has been an ambassador of hope for many of our institutional audiences through the years. A gifted motivational speaker, Michael brings all of his life experiences to every program in a way that is immediate, compelling, humorous and life-affirming for those who most need to hear his message of the importance of having self esteem and caring about others.

Following a recent program for teens at Mt. McKinley School at Contra Costa Juvenile Hall in Martinez, teacher Ray Booker told Michael "It really makes a difference when you visit. You colorfully put into words and sounds many of the random and not-so-random thoughts they get but haven't found a way to express yet."

The boys who were present for Michael's program that day wrote poignant thank you letters afterwards describing what his visit meant to them. Here are some of the things they shared:

Not that many people come out here to try to open up our eyes before it is too late and I thank you and respect you for that.

Thank you for coming to talk to us about our choices and how there are a lot of people in our lives that love us. What really hit home with me was when you said most inmates have regret that they didn't spend much time with their family members. I agree and wish I could be home with my daughter.

I appreciated you giving us the insight of how one violent act can cause a chain reaction in our own community.  I dream of a career in music because I love to play instruments. I agree that the thing that makes you most happy is compassion.  I feel privileged to tell you that you did make an impact on me and I thank you for that.

You gave a good message about violence. I am in here for a violent charge.  I made a huge mistake but I am willing to change.  I learned that I was hurting and I decided to take my anger out on a persecutor.  I believe the message about hurt causing anger. "Hate is as strong as the Berlin wall."  I believe if we are determined to tear down hate that we can.

I wonder and dream about becoming successful and you are the best role model towards that goal because you love what you do and your job. I only want to be the happy little guy that I was when I was younger but now that I'm 18, I realize that life gets real. It was an honor to meet a man like you.  I wish I had your guidance anytime it was needed because for a moment there you had me in that happiness.

I really liked your quote "don't over-stand people, but understand people."  Usually people are too worried about maintaining an image in front of their peers, so they belittle people who are different from them.  You gave me a whole new perspective on the way I look at people.

I admire how positive you are and what you said "Team work makes the dream work." I realize the situation I am in is a "minor setback for a major comeback."  You inspired me to be more positive because I have anger problems. Thanks for being such an inspiration to me and to everyone around the world.

I loved how you said that one day the people that are bullied will be the ones helping you in the end.  I myself have been bullied all my life and ironically enough, I have the dream to be a paramedic.  You had a lot of great things to say that are forever burned in my mind and I will pass on the word like you have.

michaelp

Michael Pritchard visited the Bread & Roses office on his way to Contra Costa Juvenile. We need more positive and inspirational performers for our youth audiences in particular. Let us know if you can help or provide any referrals. Thank you so much!  

Photo Credits:

Top: Michael Pritchard at Bread & Roses Spring Benefit. Photo by Ken Friedman, Courtesy of Bread & Roses. 2013

Bottom: Michael Pritchard with Bread & Roses staff ( left to right):Marian Hubler (Producer), Cassandra Flipper (Executive Director), Michael Pritchard (Volunteer Performer), Janet Lewis (Financial Coordinator) and Susan Gordon (Development Director). Photo by Lauren Arrow, Courtesy of Bread & Roses. 2014

Blog Post Contributed by Marian Hubler

 

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Marco Benevento & The Novelists 12/1 Chapel Benefit A Smashing Success

Sterling_Munksgard

Pianist/song-writer and sound-sculptor extraordinaire Marco Benevento and special guests Reed Mathis and Cochrane McMillan from Tea Leaf Green performed an outstanding concert to benefit Bread & Roses on Sunday December 1 at The Chapel, a stylish new music and restaurant venue on Valencia Street in San Francisco's Mission District.

The concert was a unique opportunity to hear Marco play -- in collaboration with Reed and Cochrane -- an inspired set of exuberant music with soaring instrumental melodies. A true highlight of the evening came when Marco invited any member of the audience to join him onstage in exchange for donating a dollar or two to Bread & Roses and piano teacher Holly Bowling responded.  A fan of Marco's for a long time, she came to the concert on her own and played Heart and Soul with him when she first sat down at the piano. The audience went wild when she then began to play with finesse a duet with him on his original song Atari. Click here to read the article "One Fan's Experience Sitting in with Marco Benevento" to hear what it was like first-hand. 

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Opening the high energy evening was the acoustic pop ensemble The Novelists featuring Megan Slankard. A Bread & Roses institutional performer since she was 14 years-old, Megan sang a number of her original songs including Planets, Give Life and A Token of the Wreckage. The concert turned out to be nostalgic for The Novelists as Megan has since announced that she will be leaving the band and continuing her solo career.

Thanks to Jack Knowles, owner of The Chapel, as well as Bread & Roses board members Patricia Dedekian, Paul Kirincic and Darlene Bearde for combining forces to produce a successful event that attracted over 200 music-lovers, many of whom were introduced to Bread & Roses for the first time. Patricia brought her considerable expertise as a management consultant at The Chapel, along with the assistance of the capable staff at the club.  Paul enthusiastically recruited Marco Benevento who happens to be his son-in-law. Darlene helped with promotion and her husband, jazz vocalist Nicolas Bearde was emcee. Talented DJ Britt Govea set a fun tone.

Our team members assembled many exciting raffle prizes including gift certificates to restaurants in the Mission and tickets to some of the best music venues in town. Anchor Steam Brewery donated beer for the evening, which got the concert off to a festive start. We appreciate the many sponsors and individuals who helped make the evening a success.

A shout out also to Peter Finch from KGO Radio for his help with promotion ahead of time and for his excellent podcast about The Chapel benefit including interviews with Marco Benevento, Megan Slankard and Pat Dedekian. Thanks also to Sterling Munksgard Photography for the great photos of the concert!

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Photo/Video Credits:

1: Marco Benevento at The Chapel in San Francisco. Photo Courtesy of Sterling Munksgard Photography, 2013.

2: Megan Slankard at New Bridge Foundation. Photo by Peter Merts, Courtesy of Bread & Roses, 2005

3: Holly Bowling and Marco Benevento at The Chapel in San Francisco. Video Courtesy of Facebook "Surrender to the Flow" and Holly Bowling, 2013.

4: Marco Benevento, Reed Mathis and Cochrane McMillan at The Chapel in San Francisco. Photo Courtesy of Sterling Munksgard Photography, 2013.

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Rita Moreno & "Broadway Under the Stars" Benefit Cabaret

Rita_DancingOn Saturday Oct. 12, an outstanding cabaret concert was given by Rita Moreno at Coventry Grove in Kensington, CA , to benefit Bread & Roses.  Stephan Stubbins with Leah Sprecher and Robert Petrarca from "Broadway Under the Stars" opened giving all a sense of the wonderful music they present each summer at Jack London State Park.

Generous host Danny Scher opened his home and lovely amphitheatre amidst the redwood trees for our afternoon event to support our ongoing program of live music in 600 annual concerts for isolated people around the Bay.  On the board of the Bill Graham Foundation, Danny has been a supporter since Bread & Roses early days when he helped with production for our benefit concerts at the Greek Theatre in Berkeley.

Rita Moreno's intimate cabaret-style show (with trio Russell Kassoff on piano, David Rokeach on drums and Andrew Higgins on bass) transported all in feeling to the coziest club on Broadway.    It was thrilling to hear Ms. Moreno unearth such gems as An Errand Girl for Rhythm, Smoky Joe's and Send Me. She performed songs like Honeysuckle Rose about different women's lives.  She told funny stories mixing in real experiences from her life as she introduced each piece.  Her scat singing was a revelation on songs like Brasil. She even sang an early holiday song from her first home in Puerto Rico.

At one point a family of deer walked slowly behind the stage giving all the sense that this was an afternoon of music that would never be shared in quite the same way again.   Towards the end of her set she pointed to all of us in the audience and said "this is all I ask, this is what I need" inspiring all with her passion and spirit to make the most of every phase of life.

With his beautiful voice soaring, Stephan Stubbins kicked off the opening set for "Broadway Under the Stars" singing The Impossible Dream. He fondly recalled his solo show for Bread & Roses at the convalescent facility at the Veterans Home in Yountville.   He was soon joined by singer Leah Sprecher and pianist Robert Petrecha who warmed the crowd up with a fun set of songs like "As We Stumble Along" from Broadway musicals.

Ben Fong-Torres was our wonderful emcee and Rita delighted our supporters by signing autographs in her new memoir and posing for photos at a reception afterwards.

Photo by Ken Friedman, courtesy of Bread & Roses 2013.

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Hard Rock Blues Brunch for Bread & Roses and Everybody Is A Star

Bread & Roses hosted a fun Blues Brunch at the Hard Rock Cafe (SF) on Sunday October 27th with Everybody Is A Star. All who were there enjoyed a delicious breakfast buffet and soul-satisfying, live music. With world-class harmonica player Mark Hummel's Blues Blowout, special guests Nick Gravenites and Ron Thompson thrilled all with their spirited blues playing.  Performances were also given by  Loren Moale, Eva Sapper and Jeannette Denny from Everybody is a Star.
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Thanks so much to Bob Boemer at the Hard Rock Cafe on Pier 39 for donating the use of his stylish venue dedicated to the celebration of Rock & Roll to support two extraordinary organizations that share a belief in the power of music to transform lives and lift the human spirit.

We also appreciated the support of Howard Sapper and his volunteers who helped organize a raffle. Hats off to former board member Mary Doan who helped Bread & Roses kickoff the concept of this special collaboration.

Bread & Roses board members attending included Jim Callahan and Tom Silk, and former board member Toby Nady.   All guests and supporters had a great time at this special kind of Sunday service.   Photo courtesy of Kevin Comora, 2013. Pictured: Loren and Eva from Everybody Is A Star.

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Music from Bread & Roses Lifts Spirits at San Rafael's REST Shelter Program

gmuldrow2Though many people in Marin County have resources, some who live here find themselves homeless during the cold and rainy season. It is our pleasure to serve our neighbors in need again this winter through REST a remarkable shelter program at a variety of churches in Marin County.

Bread & Roses Volunteer Host Dick Miner spoke movingly of a Bread & Roses show for The REST Program (Rotating Emergency Shelter Team).

"The homeless men who participate in the Marin County REST program received a very special gift from Gail Muldrow.  Gail played guitar and sang while the men ate dinner and prepared their sleeping arrangements.

She is a very soulful singer-songwriter and an amazingly gifted guitarist.  Gail quietly began the show with a lovely version of Neil Young’s Old Man Take A Look At My Life. The men, who were in line for food, stopped what they were doing and let the music move them.  Some came over and stood transfixed watching her play.

Gail performed a mixture of original music and songs from the 60’s.  Her beautiful take on Not Fade Away at the start of the set seemed to capture the audience’s attention.  Similarly, You’re So Fine stimulated smiles and rhythmic hand clapping all while the men ate their dinner.

As the performance progressed, Gail quietly played and sang, going from one song to the next without interruption.  She closed her eyes and sang from the heart.  The songs chosen for the evening spoke of love and life’s changes.  The passion associated with each song was not lost on these men who constantly find themselves living lives of high stress on the streets.

The show ended with three lovely pieces, Dear Prudence, Dust In The Wind and the Youngbloods  Get Together.  By this time, the men had finished eating and were at their sleeping bags preparing for their night's rest.  They happily sang along with Get Together, a song familiar to all.

This show at Congregation Rodef Sholom in San Rafael was a great example of music’s wondrous power.  To these men, where food and shelter are top priority, music tends to be rather low on the agenda.  This evening, however, Gail connected and had them talking about music from their past.  One man told me that the show made him want to get his guitar back from the pawn shop and start playing again.

Gail’s performance also demonstrated the magic that sometimes happens when an artist and audience connect.  Gail sang each song with deep passion.  She closed her eyes and let the lyrics and her acoustic guitar speak for her.  She entertained the men and at the same time she played for herself.  She was totally immersed in the music and let it take her to some place special in her mind.  The men, in turn, responded with love."

Thanks to all our volunteer performers who will be playing at homeless shelters for Bread & Roses this winter season and to all who supporr our program on an ongoing basis.

 

Photo courtesy of Facebook via Gail Muldrow, 2013.

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Bank of the West Community Impact Philanthropy Award Benefits Bread & Roses

Bread & Roses was one of nine nonprofits to be given an award at the Bank of the West's Fourth Annual Philanthropy Awards.  As a finalist for a Community Impact Award, we received $10,000 during the bank’s award ceremony on October 22 in San Francisco. We are especially proud to have received this grant as we understand we were one of 300 nonprofit organizations across the bank's western region to be considered for the award.

Cassandra_Bank_of_the_WestMomentum Alliance, a youth-led nonprofit from Portland, Oregon, Accion, a microenterprise development organization based in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Year Up Bay Area, the San Francisco and Silicon Valley-based internship and job training organization were recognized as the three winning laureates in the Community Impact category, each receiving a $50,000 grant. Bread & Roses was one of six additional finalists to be recognized during the program and to receive $10,000 each.

“Bank of the West has a long tradition of philanthropy and community engagement that has become a part of our organizational and employee culture,” said John Bahnken, senior executive vice president and head of Bank of the West’s Wealth Management Group. “On behalf of the bank’s 10,000 team members, congratulations to the nonprofit organizations named in this year’s Philanthropy Awards. We’re pleased to honor the important contributions they are making to advance the well-being in our communities.”

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Social entrepreneur and bestselling author Marc Freedman, founder and CEO of Encore.org, presented a keynote address at the bank’s award ceremony encouraging the audience to not just leave a legacy, but also to live one. He said the nation’s growing older population constitutes “an undiscovered continent” of civic talent. Encouraging increased involvement in communities and philanthropy, Freedman supported a redefinition of older adults between midlife and old age, a generation destined for “encore careers” focused on moving from aspiration to action.

Bahnken noted: “Bank of the West has supported individual efforts and organizational philanthropy, plus the communities in which we operate, with $79 billion in loans, investments and philanthropic contributions over the past 10 years. Our Philanthropy Awards,” he emphasized, “seek to support vibrancy and health in our communities, and also highlight the inspiring richness of nonprofit involvement throughout the west.”

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In addition to The Community Impact Award, one laureate and two finalists were named in two other categories, The  Innovation in Philanthropy Award and Team Member Commitment. 

Founded in 1874, Bank of the West, offers a wide range of personal, commercial, wealth management and international banking services. The bank operates more than 600 retail and commercial banking locations in 19 Western and Midwestern states. Bank of the West, is a subsidiary of BNP Paribas, which has a presence in 80 countries with nearly 200,000 employees.

Video produced by Brick Films for the Bank of the West's Fourth Annual Philanthropy Awards. 

 

 

Photos Courtesy of Bank of the West.

1) Left to Right: John Bahnken,Sr. Executive V.P/Bank of the West; Cassandra Flipper, Executive Director of Bread & Roses; Maura Markus, President and COO/Bank of the West. 2) Left to Right: Vanessa Washington, General Counsel/Bank of the West; Cassandra Flipper, Executive Director of Bread & Roses; Maura Markus, President and COO/Bank of the West. 3) Left to Right: Alec Gorynski, Community Affairs/Bank of the West; Cassandra Flipper, Executive Director of Bread & Roses.

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Roy Rogers & Carlos Reyes at the Fenix; Outstanding Music in Exciting New Benefit Concert Series

How often does one have the chance to hear one of America's top slide guitarists in concert with an electrifying Paraguayan harpist and violinist while enjoying a delicious brunch with friends in a stylish and intimate club with spectacular sound?   While at the same time providing an opportunity to support hope and healing through live music for our neighbors who are most in need?
Better_Merl_and_RoyOn Sunday Sept. 8 at the beautiful Fenix music club & restaurant in San Rafael, extraordinary slide guitarist Roy Rogers and violinist/harpist Carlos Reyes put on a thrilling brunch-time concert for 120 lucky fans to benefit Bread & Roses and the Ritter Center. Thanks to former Bread & Roses board member Merl Saunders, Jr. executive director of the Fenix, and Laura van Galen , the club's CEO, for their generosity in providing this beautiful new cabaret-style venue with state-of-the-art sound.

Roy Rogers with Merl Saunders, Jr. at the benefit brunch. Photo by Marian Hubler, Courtesy of Bread & Roses.

 

This concert was the first in a new series at a variety of exciting venues to benefit Bread & Roses.   Coming up next on Sunday October 27 is a blowout blues brunch at the Hard Rock Cafe in San Francisco featuring harmonica ace Mark Hummel and band with sizzling blues guitarist Nick Gravenites.

On Sunday Dec. 1, cutting edge jazz and experimental keyboardist Marco Benevento will play on our behalf at an evening concert at The Chapel, a beautiful new music venue in a restored chapel in the heartof San Francisco's Mission District.  Contemporary singer-songwriter and folk-rock troubadour Megan Slankard and The Novelists will open.

Bread & Roses is extremely fortunate to have such high caliber artists performing on our behalf -- at both our benefit concerts and regular institutional shows. Roy Rogers is a great example of a dedicated Bread & Roses volunteer performer and supporter who has consistently made time to give back to Bread & Roses.

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Of his commitment to volunteering for Bread & Roses, Roy said, "I would encourage all performers (at any level) to 'give back" in whatever way they are able. I am honored to have been asked and be able to contribute in a small way to raising money and awareness to support a great cause - and hopefully make people feel a little better through the music. You do great work and more people need to know what you accomplish each year."

Gaynell Rogers (with harp) and Carlos Reyes with Merl Saunders, Jr. at the Fenix. Photo by Marian Hubler.

 

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Carlos Reyes (left) with Roy Rogers (center) and Jimmy Dillon (right), featured entertainers for Bread & Roses volunteer thank you celebration at the Freight & Salvage in Berkeley in 2011.  Photo by Ken Friedman.

Roy has played benefit concerts on our behalf with Huey LewisBonnie Raitt and the late Norton Buffalo, among others.    His institutional programs for Bread & Roses include a slide guitar workshop at San Quentin State Prison as well as concerts at Napa State Hospital and with singer Shana Morrison at Sunny Hills, a special needs school for teens in San Anselmo.

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Shana Morrison (left) with Roy Rogers (right) at Sunny Hills. Photo by Susan Hyde-Greene, Courtesy of Bread & Roses

Carlos Reyes will be performing at the White House for President Obama with Gloria Estefan this Sunday at a Hispanic Heritage Month celebration, but you can hear him with Roy Rogers & The Delta Rhythm Kings at Yoshi's in San Francisco on Friday September 20, 2013.  Your support for live music and our performers is always appreciated!

Stay tuned for more news on our upcoming benefit concerts which help continue our mission of bringing live music and other performing arts in over 600 programs each year for isolated audiences in the Bay Area.

 

Post by Marian Hubler

 

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'Rock The Ages' at Whistlestop: Health Benefits For Seniors Through Choral Singing

There's been a lot in the media recently about the health benefits of choral singing for those who are older.   The "Rock the Ages" chorus at The Redwoods in Mill Valley performed an inspiring and poignant concert for Bread & Roses at Whistlestop's regular lunch program for seniorsin San Rafael recently. Many benefits were received not only by the audience, but especially by those who were singing.

Chorus member Dave, who kicked off the concert with a solo on Coldplay's "Yellow," said "I like singing in the chorus as it gives everyone a feeling of happiness."

Just last week, KQED's Forum posted a blog "In San Francisco, Seniors Are Singing for Science" about their recent initiative to organize community choirs for seniors in order to study the health benefits of singing.

On June 20, 2013, The New York Times published an article called "A Search for Harmony" in The New Old Age: Caring and Coping. Featuring the new film "Unfinished Song" it discusses how singing in a chorus helps people who are older maintain their health and social connections.

The phenomenon started with "Young at Heart," a 2007  documentary film that was produced about the Young at Heart Chorus based in Northhampton, MA.   The New York Times piece mentions the "Rock the Ages" chorus being inspired by Young at Heart's template.

Three years ago, a group at The Redwoods started "Rock the Ages" a truly collaborative and community-based chorus. Cassandra Flipper, executive director at Bread & Roses, was on the original planning committee that helped launch the chorus.  Music Director Barry Blum has made great strides working with the group to be performance ready. Section leader Amy Turner helps with choreography and lyrics. Ann Ure tirelessly recruits volunteers as well as sponsors.

But as in any Bread & Roses volunteer group,  the majority of credit goes to the performers themselves. At the Whistlestop concert,  Centenarian Al rocked the house singing The Who's "My Generation." Cynthia sang a stirring rendition of Bonnie Raitt's hit song "Have A Heart" penned by local singer-songwriter Bonnie Hayes.  A larger ensemble surprised and delighted with an upbeat version of "Don't Cha" by The Pussycat Dolls.

Bread & Roses Volunteer Host Pat Wall reported that group members shared their thoughts upon their departure:  “I love performing with my friends.I am not the best singer but we have the best time.”  and “This is my first time in a choral group, and I love it. We want to keep performing and Whistlestop was great to have us.”

Pat also noted that "Not only the seniors eating lunch, but the Whistlestop volunteers who work in the café and the kitchen staff were enthralled by the energy and uniqueness of the chorus."

And the media updates keep coming with Marinscope's Monique Baptista reporting on August 21, 2013:  "Whistlestop's Senior Concert Rocks All Ages" in The Mill Valley Herald.

What benefits have you received by singing in a chorus?  We'd love to know.

 

Post by Marian Hubler

Photos by Peter Merts

Slide show by Lauren Arrow 


 

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Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir Performs at San Quentin's Day of Peace

With_Audience

Animated_choir

On Saturday, July 27 the Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir lifted the spirits of 2000 people at San Quentin’s Day of Peace. Dozens of inmates, staff and community volunteers organized an incredible program focused on creating peace one day at a time.

 

The choir sang an hour of joyous music, encouraging listeners to clap, dance and sing along as they felt moved.

Oakland_Interfaith_Choir_Prisoner_back

When they finished singing at high noon, two minutes of silence was observed. Four bells rang, each one symbolizing victims of violence or tragedy. The final bell was rung for the victims of the crimes committed by those present. The silence was palpable, and hundreds bowed their heads or held hands aloft with the peace sign.

Chalk

Associate Warden John Curzon wrote “To have 2,000 inmates on an exercise yard at the same time, enjoying the talents of gifted musicians, without any form of violence or incident, validates that music can make a profound difference. Throughout the years, Bread & Roses has played an integral part in the San Quentin community.”

It is an honor to be part of the healing process that went on and to know that peace is always possible.

Peace_signs

 

Post by Carolyn Gauthier

Photos by Peter Merts, courtesy of Bread & Roses

 

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Just Say Yes! Monthly Shows for Children’s Musician Gary Lapow

Gary Lapow

Sounds of laughter, lots of smiles and much singing along can always be heard when musician Gary Lapow does one of his monthly shows for Bread & Roses. About a third of our Bay Area program -- close to 200 shows every year -- are given for pre-school and elementary children, as well as other youth in a variety of places like low-income day care centers, special needs schools, family shelters, teen rehabs and juvenile detention facilities.

Many performers “Just Say Yes” when we call and we particularly appreciate those who do monthly shows. More performers are especially needed for children and youth, and knowing a few songs in Spanish is a big plus!

We know that in some of the communities we visit, like San Rafael's Canal District, young families often live in tight quarters and Bread & Roses gives them a chance to connect with each other in a joyful way through live music in a larger community setting.

After Gary Lapow’s recent show at the Canal Child Care Center in San Rafael, Volunteer Host Laurie Reemsnyder observed:

“How do you keep almost forty young children with English as a second language spellbound for forty minutes? Gary Lapow is one man who is a powerhouse of entertainment.

When asked if anyone remembered what Bread and Roses was all about, a little boy about six excitedly shouted out 'MUSIC!And then Gary got going, soliciting responses on how to make that magical music with a guitar...or was it a rubber chicken? And once the guitar was identified, how on earth do you play the darned thing? The kids squealed and giggled profusely as Gary tried holding it over his head, on his back, backward and intentionally "misinterpreted" whatever cues they were giving him to play it correctly.

Clearly, Gary did his homework. He wove Spanish into his routine and spoke it well... He recruited Snuey and Mary from the audience to act out some of the skits, weaving tales of making tortillas and managing "dangerous" vegetables, with a grand finale sardine dance that had everyone wiggling and swaying."

Host Glenn Bowland summed it up nicely by saying that “Gary is the epitome of ‘interactive’…with energy and enthusiasm conveyed in every song, story and joke… He is a ‘teaching’ performer and the children learned from him as well as were entertained by him, which is a ‘rare and wonderful combination.’"

Thanks Gary for being such a fun performer!

Join him and other performers like the Bubblesmith (Sterling Johnson), Nancy Cassidy, Magic Jeanne, Miss Kitty, David Miller, Sofi Rox, Amy Wigton and many others who make a lot of isolated young people happy every month with wonderful entertainment.

To apply online click here.

 

 

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New Volunteer Host Helena Pappas Shares First-time Bread & Roses Show Story

"Volunteers are the backbone of our organization," said the late Mimi Fariña, Bread & Roses founder.  Our show hosts, in particular, represent our organization on-site at over half of our institutional performances allowing our small staff to produce 600 Bay Area concerts annually.  

More volunteers are always needed to host our programs, particularly in San Francisco, the East Bay and on the Peninsula.  Hosts greet the performers, help with set-up, liaison with facility staff, act as emcee and report on the effectiveness of our shows.

New host Helena Pappas, is a classically trained pianist and attorney from San Francisco. After her first Bread & Roses show at the VA Medical Center in San Francisco, she recalled some of the audience reactions that day and her experience of the deep healing and joy that music can bring.

"Just minutes into Marianna August & Her Jazz Pals performance, what had been a quiet, gloomy room, turned into a concert hall with Marianna taking center stage singing well-known jazz standards with the accompaniment of her talented musicians (Benny Watson on piano, Rick Brown on trombone, Rex Allen on drums and Dean Riley on stand-up bass).... 

Marianna August

Throughout the show, the residents were tapping their toes and nodding their heads to the beat of the music and swaying their bodies from side to side. At one point, one of the male residents started dancing with his walker, smiling from ear to ear and shaking his hips to the Latin beat of the song the band was playing... Marianna's rendition of My Heart Belongs To Daddy was a real crowd pleaser, with a bunch of the residents grinning at the silly lyrics and singing along.

With this performance Bread & Roses clearly met its goal of bringing joy to people living in isolation. Right before the beginning the last song, Marianna said "We're going to close out now" and a resident yelled out "Why don't you close out next week?"  Another yelled out "This is the best orchestra we've had!" And yet another exclaimed, "We want you back every night!" Marcia Lizza, our liaison at the facility told the band "You've brightened not just the day but the whole year for us," and many of the residents nodded and smiled in agreement. It was another successful day for Bread & Roses." 

Rex Allen

Marianna August (top) and Rex Allen (bottom). Photos Courtesy of Marianna August.

Would you or anyone you know like to be a volunteer host?  To apply online, click here.

 

 

 

 

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“The JAM” Annual Volunteer Recognition Event Celebrates B&R Volunteers

 

Bread & Roses volunteer recognition event, also known as "The Jam," was held on a sunny Saturday in May at the beautiful home of Toby and John Nady in the Piedmont hills. Thanks to the generous hospitality of our hosts, as well as the financial support of volunteer Ken Harrison, our community came together to celebrate the amazing accomplishment of all our volunteers.

 

Blog_groupOver 350 individuals and performing groups volunteer each year for Bread & Roses. Without our volunteer performers, hosts and many others who assist in the office or behind the scenes, we would not be able to present over 600 annual programs around the Bay Area.

Blog_NicholasBeardeOur celebration began with a JAM first, a special water ballet by Chris Shroeder. Not only is Chris a water ballet performer, she is also a musician and a member of the Lovin' Harmony trio one of our newest volunteer performing groups.  Emcee Nicolas Bearde (renowned jazz singer and Bread & Roses volunteer performer) opened the awards presentation with "I've Got the World On a String."

Anniversary awards were presented to volunteers and groups that have served for 5-10-15-20-25 and 30 years. Keta Bill and Karen Drucker deserving special mention for 35-years as volunteer performers and Mimi Morgan-Terry and Dave Terry for serving 35 years as event volunteers.

 

These special awards were also presented:

Outstanding Performer of the Year – Nancy Cassidy; Outstanding Youth Performers – Matt Jaffe, Constance Nutall, Camille Lummis; Interactive Performer – Andrew Skewes-Cox; Above & Beyond - Alan Thomas; All Around Volunteer - Arthur Javier; Most Active Performer – Si Perkoff; Outstanding Performer for Youth – Magic Jeanne; Outstanding Host – Sally Peter; Volunteer for all Seasons – Dick Miner; Office Volunteer- Dottie Rosso; Visual Arts Contribution - Kathleen Edwards; Professional Services - Kirke Hasson; Innovation Meets Tradition - KALA Ukeleles; Outstanding Sound - Sonic Stew/Clyde Niesen; Return to the Fold - Beth Crespan; Trouper Award - Kit Durgin

The afternoon culminated in great style with jamming at four stages "Jazz & Beyond," the "Acoustic Showcase on the Green," a "Singer-Songwriter Salon" and "Ukelele Universe."

 

Blog_ukuleleNew at this year's "Jam" was a generous gift of ukeleles from KALA Brand Music which are being used for workshops for Bread & Roses audiences.  All had a chance to try out the ukes at our "Ukelele Universe" stage.   Mark Milazzo, who works at Kala, is a volunteer performer for Bread & Roses along with his band the Smashing Banjos.  A recent article "Taking Music Behind the Walls" by Katie Watts in the Santa Rosa Press Democrat mentions their work with Bread & Roses.

Special thanks to Insalata's for the catered lunch, Peter Merts for photography, H.E.A.R for earplugs, Kathleen Edwards for graphic design and flowers, Sonic Stew/Clyde Niesen and David Denny for sound.  Thanks also to our in-kind donors Banana's at Large, Bovine Bakery, Marin Brewing Company, Moylan's Brewery & Restaurant, Noah's Bagels, Peet's Coffee & Tea, Rainbow Grocery, Real Foods Company, Safeway, United Markets, US Pure Water and Whole Foods.

Blog_LisaLast but not least, many thanks to Lisa Starbird at Bread & Roses for producing this year's JAM. We look forward to celebrating all our volunteers again next year!

 

 

 

 

Post by Marian Hubler

Slide/Video by Lauren Arrow

Photos by Peter Merts

 

 

 

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Marin County Teen Sensation Matt Jaffe Pledges Proceeds from 6/27 Concert to Bread & Roses

 

mattjBread & Roses volunteer performer Matt Jaffe, with his band The Distractions, will be performing at 142 Throckmorton Theatre in Mill Valley on Thursday June 27 at 8 pm. Opening the evening will be special guests False Priest. A portion of the show’s proceeds will benefit Bread and Roses.

This is an especially poignant concert for Bread & Roses.  Now 18, Matt has been performing for our institutional audiences for over five years -- His concerts for youth audiences have been particularly inspiring. Teens in residential rehab facilities like Our Common Ground in Redwood City and Sonoma Juvenile are working to express their creativity in positive ways and Matt has been an outstanding role model for them.

youngmattA Bread & Roses 'Youth Volunteer Performer of the Year,' Matt was 'discovered' at a local Marin open mic night by former Talking Head, Jerry Harrison.  Jerry and Matt have been working on Matt's first album of original music.

With a growing catalogue of award-winning songs, Matt and fellow Marin teens, Alex Coltharp and Sammie Fischer, have been playing a dizzying array of shows in the Bay Area and beyond. In addition to their performances for Bread & Roses, they have played at diverse venues such as Slim's in SF, the Roxy in LA and Sullivan Hall in NYC. Winners of the 2013 Marin County Battle of the Bands and the Mill Valley Memorial Day Parade 'Best Music' award, we are very honored that they are supporting Bread & Roses’ work.

To read more about Matt’s amazing music career, see Paul Liberatore’s recent article in the Marin Independent Journal: Lib at Large: The ‘Wonderful Serendipity’ of Marin’s Matt Jaffe.

 

Photo Credits:

1. Matt Jaffe and the Distractions playing at the Sweetwater, Mill Valley. Photo courtesy of MattJaffeMusic.com

2. Young Matt Jaffe performs with Blue Star West at the Cedars in San Rafael, 2009. Photo by Peter Merts, Courtesy of Bread & Roses

 
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Art to Heart: Bread & Roses' 2013 Spring Benefit

 

michael_smallBread & Roses held its “Art to Heart” fundraising event/concert on April 23. Thanks to everybody who helped make it a big success! Our wonderful emcee Michael Pritchard reminded the attendees about why it is important to support Bread & Roses’ mission and about how live music makes a huge impact on those who are isolated.

 

sudha_and_cassCassandra Flipper awarded Sudha Pennathur the first “Labor of Love” award, in recognition of twelve years of extraordinary generosity and devotion to Bread & Roses’ mission.Renowned designer, successful businesswoman, tireless community contributor, gifted amateur photographer, and former Board Chair, Sudha started volunteering her services in 2001, spent six years on the Board of Directors, and has put on an annual benefit, “The Sudha Sale”, with proceeds donated to Bread & Roses, since 2003.

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The Jazz Cats from Marin Academy High School (Lena Redford, Aidan Nelson, Cameron Stanton and Michael Hasson, Ellie Cope not pictured) brought the house down with their spirited playing. audreyAudrey Auld performed original songs with Nina Gerber backing her up with masterful guitar playing.   Audrey, originally from Tasmania, began volunteering for Bread & Roses when she lived in Bolinas.  While she’s since moved to Nashville, she continues to volunteer for Bread & Roses, both performing for institutional audiences and giving songwriting workshops at San Quentin. In fact, one of her former students there, Felix Lucero, joined Audrey as guest guitarist on a song he co-wrote with her “Hey Warden.” Tal_and_Tim

The incredibly talented Tim Hockenberry, with the superb Tal Morris on guitar, brought the house down at the end of the night and returned for three encores.   It was a tight-knit audience at the end of the night singing along to Tim’s classy renditions of familiar songs like “Mad World”, The Beatles “Girl” and “Like a Rolling Stone.”
Not only did the headliners volunteer for the “Art to Heart” benefit concert, they also did recent concerts for Bread & Roses’ institutional audiences and understand first-hand the power of the audience/performer connection.Tim Hockenberry and Tal Morris rocked the house at The Father Alfred Center, a men’s rehab center in San Francisco; Audrey Auld and Felix Lucero shared their talent at The Cedars Textile Arts Center for developmentally disabled adults in San Rafael; and The Jazz Cats lifted the spirits of the men at Center Point, a rehab facility also in San Rafael.


Thanks to all who support our mission throughout the year.  Your help makes it possible for us to continue to bring hope, healing and joy to our neighbors
most in need throughout the Bay Area!

 

Article written by Marian Hubler and Mary Doan, Slideshow by Lauren Arrow

 

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Moonalice Celebrates Sixth Birthday with Delancey Street Concert

MoonaliceHappy Sixth Birthday Moonalice! Bread & Roses was honored that the band chose to celebrate its six-year anniversary by performing a high energy concert for the residents of Delancey Street Foundation in San Francisco on Tuesday May 7th.

With a spectacular light show as backdrop, and a beautiful poster by David Singer especially designed for the occasion, this over-the-top concert had everyone 'feeling the love.'

The audience was on its feet for the latter part of the show singing along to such classic tunes as the Beatles "Revolution" and Roger McNamee's lively version of Bing Crosby's 1913 classic hit "Brother Can You Spare a Dime?"

Other show highlights included Pete Sears original song tribute to Moonalice's road crew and acknowledgement that it 'takes a lot of people to put on a show.' Pete sang; "Another show and we're all in debt, to the unsung heroes of blood and sweat."

Barry Sless' rousing solos on electric and pedal steel guitar also mesmerized the audience along with John Molo's masterful drumming.

Roger's song "Nick of Time" seemed to resonate with the Delancey crowd as he sang "What do you see when you lay awake at night? Who do you really want to be? Follow your dreams and don't let them slip away" an apt message for those in a rehab program that are working to remake their lives.

Roger also recognized the audience by saying "No-one appreciates Moonalice as much as Delancey Street."

"I've never seen the residents respond so enthusiastically," says Program Director Carolyn Gauthier. "At the end of the show the guys spontaneously broke into a rowdy version of Happy Birthday." 

Thank you Moonalice, not only for your heart-to-heart live show at Delancey Street but also for streaming the concert live in real time on your website during the show, a first for Bread & Roses! The concert is now available on their website archive for viewing, so don't miss it! Click here to check out the show. (Note: Video will appear in three minutes.)

The band has also performed for Bread & Roses at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Menlo Park and Healthright 360 Walden House in San Francisco. Bread & Roses and the people we serve are proud to be part of the Moonalice tribe.  

 

 

Post by Marian Hubler

 

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Wishing Her Well: Joan Baez, Sr. Joins the Heavenly Band

Joan Baez Sr.

Joan Chandos Baez Senior passed away shortly after her 100th birthday party on Saturday, April 20, 2013 at 11:40 PM in her home in Woodside, California.

A huge celebration took place earlier, on the property where she lived with her daughter Joan Baez, amidst oak trees, spring flowers and one hundred brightly colored balloons. One hundred and fifty people sang her Happy Birthday, the notes echoing downhill past the chickens, on farther to the creek, and then throughout the tree tops.

Joan Baez Sr., also known as “Big Joan” was the mother of our founder, the late Mimi Fariña. We remember her fondly for her long support of Bread & Roses. Every month for many years, she sent a cheerful card with a hand-written note along with a donation. Her cards were always uplifting with heartfelt and often humorous sentiments. In one of her notes she said; “I’m glad Bread & Roses continues to fare so well. It’s a sublime thing for me to think about.”

 

Joan Baez Sr. with Al Baez and Mimi Farina

Bread & Roses Founder Mimi Fariña with her mother Joan Baez Sr. and father Al Baez

on the ferry to Bread & Roses benefit on Alcatraz Island, 1997. Photo by Jon Sievert.

 

 

Her caregivers sent the following note that she had written some years ago:

 

WHEN I JOIN THE HEAVENLY BAND

Friends who want to celebrate my new adventure, please gather round.

Don't grieve, for it's only a worn out body that's leaving and the memory of any sad times goes with it.

The good memories are in my spirit and my spirit is with you today.

I'm in your midst, for there's nothing more valuable to me than to be with you, my beloved family and my gracious friends.

Take a moment for silence and wish me well.  I'll hear you.

Then make the bottles pop. You know I love champagne almost as much as I love you!

Big Joan

 

Here are two of Joan's notes to Bread & Roses from our archives. We welcome you to share any reminiscences that you might have...

Joan Baez Sr. Notes to Bread & Roses

 

 

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