Bread And Roses

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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.
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.
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.
Post by Carolyn Gauthier
Photos by Peter Merts, courtesy of Bread & Roses


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 Tues. May 7.

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?"

The film "Follow Me Down, Portraits of Louisiana Prison Musicians " will be shown at Intersection for the Arts, 925 Mission Street, Suite 109 in San Francisco on Sat., Jan. 12, 2013 at 7 pm as a benefit for the William James Association Prison Arts Project. Bread & Roses Program Director Carolyn Gauthier will participate in the Q & A after the film with other panelists.


TRAILER - Follow Me Down: Portraits of Louisiana Prison Musicians (2012) from Ben Harbert on Vimeo.


The Second Annual Bread & Roses Holiday Chorus at The Redwoods (Photo by Lisa Starbird)

It was truly a heart-warming and collaborative experience to see audiences singing along with the Bread & Roses Holiday Chorus at four different facilities: The Blind & Vision Impaired of Marin, The Redwoods in Mill Valley, Laguna Honda Hospital in San Francisco and New Bridge Foundation in Berkeley.  A diverse group of singers came together including children from Young Performers International (who sang the Hannukah Song in several languages), professional vocalists like Debbie Cucalon and Linda Kosut, Bread & Roses donors, hosts and other volunteers as well as members of the Unity of Marin Choir. The chorus, conducted by Carolyn Gauthier (pictured above) and Marian Hubler, was accompanied with great spirit by Alan Thomas on piano.   Marian Hubler, Bread & Roses Producer

When Jimmy Dillon took the stage to accept his Milley Award for Achievement in the Musical Arts on Sunday evening Oct. 21 at the Mill Valley Community Center, he said he felt most comfortable with guitar in hand.  He reminded everyone that "the meaning of life is to find your gift" and "the purpose of life is to give it away."  He then sang one of his inspiring original ballads Hold On To Your Dreams ...and don't you let them go.


Bread & Roses supporter Michael Narada Walden was there cheering Jimmy on along with emcee Leah Garchik who skillfully wove all the stories of the award winners into a seamless whole.  Former Milley Award winner Mark Fishkin of the Mill Valley Film Festival was also there to congratulate Jimmy and to honor Zoe Elton for her Milley Award for Achievement in the Performing Arts.

Marianna_August_at_VA_Hostpital_SFWhen Marianna August & Her Jazz Pals took the stage at this year’s Marin Senior Information Fair on October 24 at the Marin Exhibit Hall in San Rafael on behalf of Bread & Roses, many people were singing along and tapping toes to familiar songs like Night and Day and Old Devil Moon. Vocalist Marianna spoke about Bread & Roses in a heart-felt way when she asked  "Has anyone had a recent hip or knee replacement and spent time in a local convalescent center? If so, you were likely to have been entertained with live music from Bread & Roses."

Bread & Roses serves a variety of developmentally disabled audiences around the Bay Area and our performers always tell us that their exceptionally enthusiastic response is an unforgettable experience for them.  Our friends at audiences like The Cedars of Marin or Las Trampas in Oakland love to dance and sing along to familiar songs. They show their great appreciation through a direct, immediate and heartfelt response to the music.  They always respond with great affection to the connection provided by live performance.



Stephan Stubbins on Broadway

For a wheelchair-bound senior at the Veterans Home in Yountville, it can seem like an impossible distance to travel from Napa to New York City to see the bright lights of Broadway.  But here it was -- songs from the magical production of "Broadway Under the Stars" in their own Holderman Hall. 

Woody Guthrie

Woody Guthrie would have been one-hundred-years-old on Saturday July 14.  The iconic troubadour was a beloved performer during a challenging time in our nation’s history and his songs continue to have relevance today.

A recent article in the San Francisco Chronicle “Loneliness Lethal for Seniors”  talks about results from a new UCSF study that finds older people who are lonely are more likely to experience a decline in health.

Bread & Roses performer Barbara Dane, an 85-year-old resident of Oakland, was quoted in the article as saying many older adults need to take more responsibility for their own social lives.  As her late husband’s primary caregiver, Barbara had to take some time off from a 50-year career as a jazz singer. After he died, she realized how very important it was to maintain her active and varied social life as a performer.

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