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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.

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366

We are happy to announce that four new members are joining the Bread & Roses board of directors: Greg Beattie of Veritas Corporate Law; Catherine Less of Baker Street Advisors; Amanda Metcalf, Law Offices of Amanda Metcalf and Stacy Nelson of Stacy Nelson & Associates LLC. We are thrilled to have such talented individuals join us.

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240

We all know someone who is a veteran – a family member, a friend, a relative of a colleague, a son or daughter of a neighbor. So many sacrifices have been made for our freedom.

As I drove down to Menlo Park on Memorial Day, I could not think of a more appropriate place to be than the Veterans Hospital. I thought about my grandfather Colonel Robert L. Hubler who served in the trenches of WWI and my Uncle Paul Carey who was a disabled Korean War veteran.

It was a beautiful outdoor setting at the brand new Welcome Center at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center. We had older veterans from the convalescent hospital at their Community Living Center along with veterans from their Homeless Veterans Rehabilitation Program, a Western Blind Rehabilitation Center, and First Steps of Recovery, a substance abuse treatment program. Some veterans had family members and/or caregivers in attendance as well. 

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391

We are making a special effort to bring more interactive programs to audiences across the board, especially to children and youth. Many talented performers excel at putting music and stories together in an interactive way with magic, movement, puppets, juggling and other performance art. 

Thanks to storyteller Kirk Waller; children's musicians Beth CrespanMadeleine KingGary LapowSpike SikesMiss KittyJoni de Gabriele; magicians Dan RaspyniDavid Facer, Frank Olivier; and so many others who are contributing to this effort. 

Recent efforts include a wonderful clown workshop with much audience participation by Circus of Smiles at 24-Hour Childcare in Oakland

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306

 Bread & Roses hosted a sold-out and spectacularly successful 40th Anniversary fundraising event on Saturday March 1, 2014 at the Marin Center and Showcase Theatre.Transformed with twinkling lights and a stunning red and black décor, The Exhibit Hall was a fitting venue for the 280 guests who came to celebrate our legacy of four decades of live music for our neighbors in need who are isolated in the Bay Area.

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334

Bread & Roses is often asked by the facilities we serve for special programs to help celebrate the landmark events of each season. In February of this year, Noah Griffin and Phillip Percy Williams (with Si Perkoff on piano) presented outstanding programs on behalf of Bread & Roses for Black History Month at the Orin Allen Youth Rehabilitation Facility in Byron, CA and at The Tamalpais in Greenbrae.

Noah_GriffinNoah Griffin, a vocalist and recent founder of The Cole Porter Society, is also a historian who has a wealth of knowledge about black people who are important to history in the United States. On February 15, 2014, he captivated his audience of a hundred teen-age boys by starting out with stories about some of the well-known and inspirational athletes like Jackie Robinson in baseball and Arthur Ashe in tennis. 

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448

We are continually reminded of all the performers who have done shows for Bread & Roses through the decades, especially those who are no longer with us.

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Like piano and bass player the late John Chase Lewis who did hundreds of Bread & Roses shows for seniors and cheerfully accompanied many different vocalists through the years. John loved the joy of collaboration with other artists as well and played with many musicians for Bread & Roses including vocalists Joan Getz, Daria and Kat Fitzgerald, violinist Yehudit, jazz pianist Si Perkoff and the late Dr. Bill Pemberton and James Jenkins.

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343

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Bread & Roses 40th Anniversary Benefit Celebration & Concert will be held on Saturday March 1st at the Marin Center Exhibit Hall and intimate Showcase Theatre in San Rafael at 5:30 pm.  This annual fundraising event, an important part of sustaining our program into the future,  will feature a once-in-a-lifetime concert with "Explorer of the Musical Universe" Bobby McFerrin backed by members of The Yellowjackets and the imaginative a cappella ensemble SoVoSó.

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263

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.

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235

 

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

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447

 

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.

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393

Heart_of_Marin_Nominees

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.

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514

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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."

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581

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Pianist/song-writer and sound-sculptor extraordinaire Marco Benevento and special guests Reed Mathis and Cochrance 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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603

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.

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552

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.

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487

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.

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590

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.

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1202

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.

 

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913

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."

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919

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Recent Comments

It was a fantastic show. I am honored to be working with such talented women. thank you!
Carolyn G
Kelsey was wonderful to work with. Those Oberlin students are very special.
Carolyn Gauthier
I am extremely proud to say that I have been a volunteer performer for Bread and Roes for over 10 ye...
Magic Jeanne
by all accounts the Oct event was awesome - I'm sorry I had to miss it, but kudos to all! Katy
Katy McGovern
I had no idea! This was a special, special event. It was a moment I will always remember. It is ...
Paul Kirincic
21.07.2014 in Is It Opera??