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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.

Communications Manager/Producer: From Dayton, Ohio, Marian believes in the power of positive culture to effect meaningful change. She has worked as a ranger for the National Park Service and in public relations, cultural programming and special events management. A singer and writer, she appreciates the culturally creative Bay Area. She met the late Mimi Fariña on Alcatraz in 1995 and came to Bread & Roses Presents shortly afterwards where she has worked as a concert producer and part-time blogger ever since. She has a BA in English from Trinity University, Washington D.C. In her spare time, she looks for swans.

Rockin' The Roses Spring Benefit Concert: An Exceptional Night of Music

Rockin’ the Roses Spring Benefit Concert on May 18, brought to us by Jeff & Laurie Ubben, was an exceptional night of music in a spectacular venue. From our earliest benefit concert in 1977 at the legendary Greek Theatre in Berkeley to our latest sold-out success at San Francisco’s grandly elegant Great American Music Hall, Bread & Roses Presents knows how to throw an incredible fundraiser in a special setting. 

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Musician James Nash inspires Bay Area teens to play music

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Bread & Roses Presents Volunteer Host Bob Rose had the following to say after a recent show at the Phillips Academy in Oakland with nationally touring musician James Nash, a co-founder of The Waybacks. "He was off the charts. He is hands-down, the best representative of Bread & Roses and our ideals that I have witnessed. Not only is he an amazingly talented guitarist and singer, he could not have been more patient, friendly or interactive... A computer science graduate from Stanford, James not only provided sensational music, he also came to the school with a powerful message of hope and courage, and clearly inspired many of the students to use music as a positive way to communicate and express their feelings. If ever there was a performer who should get a thank-you from us, it is James Nash!"

Nash, a renowned guitarist and teacher, started his program with an opening instrumental that he recently wrote. His remarkable string-bending and intricate performance immediately caught the attention of the isolated teens at this alternative school for diverse youth in the East Bay. 

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Sensational Irish Singer-songwriter Hozier to Headline Rockin’ The Roses Benefit: Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real with HoneyHoney on Triple All-Star Bill

HOZIERrockinrosesIn an intimate acoustic performance, sensational Irish musician Hozier will headline Bread & Roses Presents annual spring benefit concert on Thursday May 18 at the Great American Music Hall with rockin’ trio Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real rounding out the triple bill with Americana duo HoneyHoney. Master of Ceremonies Jonny Fritz will anchor the evening of support for Bread & Roses programs that bring hope and healing through live music for isolated Bay Area audiences. General Admission and VIP Tickets are still available for this very special evening of exceptional contemporary music, brought to you by Jeff & Laurie Ubben.  

The twenty-seven-year-old Irish musician Hozier is a multi-instrumentalist, Grammy nominated, award-winning multi-platinum singer-songwriter. His first two EP’s “Take Me To Church” and “From Eden” established him around the globe as an artist to be reckoned with for his spirited unfiltered storytelling and deftly woven signature sound.

Hozier's “Take Me To Church” video went viral in 2013 prompting his world-wide breakout success. His self-titled debut album, co-produced by Rob Kirwan (PJ Harvey and Depeche Mode), entered the Billboard Charts at #2 and is now double-platinum in the U.S.

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Innovative Partnership Between Bank of Marin, Fantasy Studios & Graham Nash Helps Support Our Program

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Bank of Marin sponsored a private event at Fantasy Studios in Berkeley on Tues. March 21 to benefit Bread & Roses Presents. This innovative partnership helps support our ongoing program of live music for isolated audiences in over 600 annual Bay Area shows. Rock icon Graham Nash with guitarist Shane Fontayne performed a retrospective of his amazing songs beginning with his days in The Hollies, through Crosby Stills Nash & Young and including a song from his recent CD This Path Tonight.” After the concert, he shared anecdotes from his recent memoir Wild Tales. Journalist and rock historian Paul Liberatore moderated a Q & A with Graham followed by an encore of Teach Your Children that he dedicated to Bread & Roses volunteer host Lynn Colombo

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Bread & Roses Presents: A Record-breaking Year in 2016

Over 600 shows presented to more than 30,000 isolated people

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Bread & Roses Presents gave a record-breaking 626 shows in 2016 to isolated people in Bay Area senior day care centers, convalescent hospitals, juvenile detention facilities and other institutional settings where residents have few opportunities to experience live entertainment by professional performers.

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The California Honeydrops Bring Joy to Audience at HealthRIGHT 360 Walden House

The classic Wilson Pickett song Don’t Let the Green Grass Fool You was an apt message from The California Honeydrops for the men at HealthRIGHT 360 Walden House who are working so hard to turn their lives around.

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With a lot of soul, Delta Blues, Bay Area R&B and a big dash of New Orleans style, The California Honeydrops came out of the recording studio to play a stellar show for Bread & Roses Presents at this drug and alcohol recovery program for men in San Francisco. The audience responded with great enthusiasm to the uplifting songs and incredible musicianship of this vibrant band, an inspiration with their amazing chops and rapport with the audience as well as each other. Much appreciation to their manager Heather Newman, a Bread & Roses volunteer, who facilitated this special concert.

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Volunteers Share Why Hosting Shows Makes A Difference

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Volunteer hosts are an essential part of sustaining our program throughout the year at Bread & Roses Presents. With the help of our hosts, we presented a record-breaking 626 shows in 2016, the most ever. Forty-one active volunteers hosted 350 of these shows last year, a whopping fifty-six percent. We are so grateful for our many volunteers, hosts as well as performers, who bring hope and healing through live music to 34,000 people in the Bay Area annually who are isolated and need uplifting.

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An Inspiring Night at “Thanks & Giving” Fall Benefit Concert at Delancey Street

There’s no question people have been pre-occupied for a long time by the presidential campaign and recent election. A big cheer to all those who came out to join us for our “Thanks & Giving” Fall benefit concert on Fri. Nov. 18 at Delancey Street Foundation in SF, an isolated audience served by Bread & Roses Presents since 1995.

There’s nothing quite like the magic of live music in a beautiful venue like Delancey Street’s Town Hall with its cathedral-like wooden-beamed ceiling and cozy ambiance with white lamps and tall candles. Rental income from various venues at their San Francisco facility, including Town Hall, helps support the friendly and professional Delancey Street servers and event staff who work hard while in their recovery program.

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Thanks & Giving: Bread & Roses Benefit Concert on Nov. 18 at Delancey Street in SF

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Corte Madera, CA -- November 4, 2016 -- A festive fall concert will benefit Bread & Roses Presents on Fri. Nov. 18 at the Delancey Street Foundation at 600 Embarcadero in San Francisco with Hot Buttered Rum, Jeffrey Halford and Ben Fong-Torres. Proceeds benefit Bread & Roses programs that bring hope and healing through live music in over 600 yearly concerts for isolated Bay Area audiences. Funds raised will support many annual holiday concerts for children, adults and seniors who need music most. The event includes a VIP Reception at 7 pm, General Admission at 8 pm, and the Concert at 8:30 pm. Cash bar available. All concert attendees will receive a special limited edition poster by Alexandra Fischer contributed by Moonalice Posters.  Get your tickets online here or call 415-945-7120.

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Performers Create Community for Bread & Roses Isolated Audiences

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Mickey Hart, best known as the drummer for the Grateful Dead and a member of our Circle of Advisors, talks about the rhythm of music that connects us all in a common heartbeat. At Bread & Roses Presents, we are fortunate to witness on a daily basis the transformative power of music and the performing arts to bring diverse audiences together in a communal experience. Wiley and Debbie Rankin of Jump for Joy Music, Ross Commons and Gail Muldrow are among the many performers who create community for Bread & Roses isolated audiences in a variety of ways.

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Collaboration With Salesforce & "Pass the Music" Bring Our Mission To Their Creative Team

At their impressive headquarters in downtown San Francisco, Bread & Roses Presents was invited to “pass the music” at Salesforce on September 22 to educate their creative team about our mission. J.D. Swartz from Salesforce shared that it was a welcome break from intensive planning for their Dreamforce conference held every year in early October.

He introduced Bread & Roses Executive Director Dave Perron who gave an update about our organization and noted that today’s performer Megan Slankard is one of over 1,000 volunteers who help bring music in over 600 annual concerts around the Bay Area to audiences of children, adults and seniors who are isolated.

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Audience Interaction at Recent Programs Shows the Power of Connection

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Audience interaction is the best way to see the power of connection at every Bread & Roses show. Our volunteer hosts report on the impact that our program has on the audiences we serve. Here are excerpts from a few recent shows that beautifully illustrate the healing power that live music has for those who are isolated and need uplifting.

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Volunteer Celebration “The JAM” 2016 -- A Day of Joy, Appreciation & Music

Once a year we gather together our volunteer community to celebrate and recognize the many accomplishments of our tribe of dedicated performers, hosts and other supporters who help us produce over 600 annual concerts for isolated audiences throughout the Bay Area.

“The JAM” is always a special day, for it is the one time during the year that our volunteers have the chance to meet and play music with each other. Executive Director Dave Perron welcomed everyone and said “It’s all about the volunteers and how they support our community in an intimate way.”

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Rock the Bank – Raj Gopal & Friends Benefit Concert for Bread & Roses

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Board Member Raj Gopal put on a fun evening of rock & rollin’ with music, singing, fundraising and celebration for Bread & Roses Presents on June 29 in downtown San Francisco. Fellow board member Alex Wellins and Blueshirt Group provided the venue in the Next15 building. Many of Raj's colleagues from his office a few doors down at Bank of the West attended, including Dan Beck, the bank’s CFO, who as Raj noted “knows the saxophone as well as numbers and he’s not afraid to show it!”

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A Fantastic Night of Music at Bread & Roses Spring Benefit Concert May 26

A fantastic night of music from beginning to end was the experience of the lucky guests who attended our spring benefit concert “Bringin’ It Home” on May 26 at Terrapin Crossroads in San Rafael. It was also a special night, for almost all of the performers are volunteers for our institutional audiences in need of joy and uplifting through live music.

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Peter Merts, Volunteer Photographer: Images of Joy in Shows for Isolated Audiences

Darkness Into Light at the Pomeroy Recreation and Rehab Center in San Francisco, Chris Donohoe at Center Point in San Rafael, Aline deForge and Emmanuel Presselin at The Tamalpais in Greenbrae, Marisa Nordstrom at Marin Learning Center in Marin City, Fancy von Pancerton at North Bay Children's Center in Novato,  Miss Kitty at the Marin Learning Center, The Bread & Roses Holiday Chorus at Vision Impaired of Marin in San Rafael, Sylvia & the Silvertones at Center for Elders Independence in Oakland, Aaron Kierbel at BAHIA in Oakland, these are just some of the recent institutional shows that Peter Merts has helped us document (and are seen in this order in the above slide show).

A San Rafael photographer, Peter has been a volunteer for Bread & Roses Presents for over thirty years. He is a great example of the many ways that donated professional services help to accomplish our mission and move us forward. We have been fortunate that photographers including Robert Altman, Jay Blakesberg, Ken Friedman, the late Jim Marshall, Bill Nichols and many others have contributed to our cause.

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New Volunteers from the Hellman Family Play for Bread & Roses

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“Let there be songs to fill the air…” From Ripple (American Beauty, The Grateful Dead)

On Wednesday March 9, the delightful band "Marco & The Polos," comprised of the late Warren Hellman's four children -- son Mick and his sisters Frances, Judith and Tricia Hellman Gibbs – played their first Bread & Roses concert for an audience of appreciative seniors at The Tamalpais in Greenbrae. All four sang, alternating leads and harmonies, with Mick on drums and Tricia playing both guitar and banjo.

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Congratulations Michael Pritchard on Lifetime Achievement Award

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“Two men stared out from prison bars. One saw mud, but the other saw stars.” - Michael Pritchard

Congratulations to Michael Pritchard for receiving a well deserved 2015 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Pacific Sun. We are so honored that he is our ambassador-at-large and a volunteer for our organization since the early days. Michael also received national recognition in the Huffington Post for his recent interview with humorist Mark C. Miller.

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Performer Collaborations Support Bread & Roses

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Steve Meckfessel Leads the Way with Freight & Salvage Benefit Sunday March 13

Singer-songwriter/guitarist and urban folk artist Steve Meckfessel shared a double bill with modern day troubadour Beth Wood at the Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse on Sunday March 13 at 7 pm. In round robin style, he played a selection of his well-crafted and wise original songs from his second album Under Beautiful Skies. Multi-instrumentalist and soulful songstress Beth Wood also shared some of her most recent songs from her latest album Sometimes Love.

The concert was a benefit for Bread & Roses as well as three other local music nonprofits. Fifty-two attendees placed their tickets in a jar, resulting in an upcoming gift of $5200 to our organization from several anonymous donors. 

“I am blown away by the work that Bread & Roses does bringing more than one show every day to people in the Bay Area who need live music most. As a performer, I get to be a first-hand witness to the connection that happens from the power of music and I am happy to support the organization,” said Steve Meckfessel.

A volunteer performer for Bread & Roses since 2010, Steve Meckfessel knows what it means to perform his “jazz-infected urban folk” for those who are isolated. He has performed for mental health patients, brought healing songs to adults in homeless shelters and shared his music in drug and alcohol recovery centers playing songs such as “On the Road” (about what to do on the road of life when the going gets tough.)

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Blasting Off Into 2016: Momentum Builds in Our 42nd Year

“As a former board member for Bread & Roses some thirty years ago, I take heart in seeing that the hope and healing we bring through live music is needed now as much as ever. It is an honor to continue to bring our founder Mimi Fariña’s enduring legacy to isolated audiences throughout the Bay Area,” says Executive Director Dave Perron.

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Last year was a pivotal time for Bread & Roses Presents -- a year of transition as we move into our fifth decade. We had a banner year for our program in 2015 as we produced 617 shows, our most since our founding in 1974. We brought joy and uplifting music to over 34,000 audience members in 120 facilities in eight counties throughout the Bay Area. We also had 388 shows hosed by volunteers, over ten percent more than the previous year.

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Making A Difference: New Corporate and Community Partners

We are heartened to be cultivating new relationships beginning last year with many corporate and community partners such as Bank of Marin, Blueshirt Group, Fantasy Studios, Nelson & Associates, Robertson Stephens, Oakland A’s, San Francisco Giants, Salesforce and Wareham Development. We are excited to embark on new collaborations including the possibility of presenting workshops through the Institute for STEM Education in the East Bay. 

This year we will be a featured nonprofit at the Bank of Marin’s Running Festival, a half-marathon on May 22 in Novato. We are also honored to have a presence at Bonnie Raitt’s concert at the Fox Theatre in Oakland on April 23 and appreciate her steadfast support for our organization. We are grateful for our long-lasting partnerships with organizations such as the annual Kate Wolf Music Festival June 23-26, 2016.

Stay tuned for some breaking news as we seek to put ourselves forward and generate support in even bigger ways in 2016. A special membership program will debut soon offering new ways to get involved and go behind-the-scenes.

 

Captions:

1) Dave Perron with emcee Ronnie Lott at the Sweetwater benefit featuring Keb' Mo' on Nov. 2, 2015. Photo by Peter Merts

2) French musicians Aline Deforge and Emmanuel Presselin of Duo Cours Toujours at The Tamalpais in Greenbrae on Feb. 17, 2016. Photo by Peter Merts

Post by Marian Hubler

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