When Jimmy Dillon took the stage to accept his Milley Award for Achievement in the Musical Arts onSunday 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.
And Bring Good Cheer To Our Isolated Audiences in December!
Bread & Roses is sponsoring a holiday sing-along for several of our facility audiences with a chorus of volunteer singers co-led by singers Claudia Russell and Marian Hubler.
Anyone who enjoys singing holiday songs is welcome to participate. Each program will be approximately 45 minutes to an hour. If you interested in being part of the group, you can do one show or all, which will be held in the East Bay, San Francisco and Marin.
Miss Kitty at Papermill Creek Children's Center, 10/17/2011. Video courtesy of Sharon Glenn.
Highly revered children's performer Miss Kitty shows the way to connect with Bread & Roses' younger audiences. At a recent concert for children at Papermill Creek pre-school at Pt. Reyes Station, she was a big hit with over twenty children many of whom were from the Head Start program in West Marin.
A professional entertainer for three decades, Miss Kitty (aka Judy Nee) has been a volunteer performer for Bread & Roses for 13 years. Judy is a real master of her craft knowing exactly how to vary the tempo of her songs for children and to keep her programs interactive. She spoke recently about the secret to her success in connecting with children everywhere:
"I look them in the eyes, find out their names, and respond to them as individuals."
About 1/3 of Bread & Roses current program service is dedicated to concerts for children and youth throughout the Bay Area. Many of our volunteer entertainers for children are like Miss Kitty: performers who sang in rock and roll bands before doing music for children.
Judy has a number of recordings for children including My Miss Kitty: Sweet & Simple - Most Requested Toddler Sing Along Songs and Just Because You're You which was produced by the late Jim Rothermel, another beloved Bread & Roses performer.
Many of our performers for both institutional and benefit concerts for Bread & Roses have recordings for children including Maria Muldaur's Barnyard Dance: Jug Band Music for Kids and Animal Crackers in My Soup. Keb Mo's Big Wide Grin features songs from his own childhood along with some originals.
We are always on the lookout for more quality performers to do concerts for our youngest audiences. Please let us know if you might be able to help in this way - you can contact us by email at email@example.com or you can fill out an application on our volunteer page.
If you are already a Bread & Roses volunteer performer, please leave a comment below and share your experiences.
Micah Press and his jazz combo at the San Rafael farmer's market.
Fall is a time when many nonprofits step up their fundraising efforts in order to meet end-of-year goals. This fall, Bread & Roses was delighted to be on the receiving end of the generosity of thirteen-year-old Micah Press, who took our mission to the streets with the help of his school’s jazz combo.
We first met Micah a few months ago when he set out to raise money in support of our organization. Being a musician himself, he said that of all the Marin nonprofits he could support, he felt most aligned with the mission and impact of Bread & Roses. In order to raise money, Micah played with his jazz combo at the San Rafael farmers market and requested that for his bar mitzvah, his guests make contributions to Bread & Roses in lieu of gifts.
In an ironic turn of events, we were recently able to give back to Micah when he spent time at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital for a neck problem. Singer/songwriter Francesca Lee (who is also a Bread & Roses producer) performed a bedside concert for Micah, reminding him that through his generosity, he had become a cherished member of the Bread & Roses extended family.
Recently, Micah was discharged from the hospital, and one of the first things he did was to deliver his donation. Amazingly, he exceeded his goal of raising $1,800, a number he chose because in Judaism, the number 18 is an expression of life. Micah says that he will continue to raise money for Bread & Roses with the help of his jazz trio once he is fully recovered. In the meantime, we will use his generous gift to sponsor shows for kids in other pediatric hospitals throughout the Bay Area.
Thank you Micah. A whole lot of hope, healing and joy will soon be shared thanks to your generosity.
Bread & Roses hosted a community gathering at a special happy hour at The Tavern at Lark Creek on Thursday, September 8. On the side patio of this beautiful, historic restaurant in Larkspur, many people from diverse parts of our ever-expanding community gathered to share good cheer. With festive sangria, margaritas, wine and beer for sale to benefit Bread & Roses, we visited with each other under the redwood trees and enjoyed the lively folk-rock music of the talented Rant Brothers.
Susan Gilardi, Bread & Roses Board Chair Emeritus, first had the inspiration for the second annual event along with restaurant manager TJ Jacobberger and Bread & Roses Executive Director Cassandra Flipper. While Susan was helping to greet people, her husband Dennis Gilardi parked his 1922 Model T Ford in the driveway to draw attention to the event.
With red, white and blue balloons bobbing cheerfully in the breeze, the band Moonalice played an upbeat Bread & Roses concert for the veterans at the VA Hospital in Menlo Park on Labor Day 2011. Blessed with beautiful sunny weather, this early afternoon special event was held on Monday, September 5 on a small stage in a grassy area to the right of the front door of the Community Living Center.
Our audience was a mix of veterans -- most from World War II who lived in the nursing unit close by and enjoyed the performance from a covered deck. They were assisted by other vets from the Vietnam era who came from a residential rehab program in a nearby building.
Photo: Moonalice performing a Bread & Roses show at Delancey Street Foundation in San Francisco.
A band of seasoned musicians, Moonalice features Roger McNamee on rhythm guitar, bass and vocals; Ann McNamee on keyboards and vocals; Pete Sears on keyboards, guitar, vocals and bass; Barry Sless on lead, pedal steel and bass guitars; and John Molo on drums and vocals.
Pete Sears launched the set with "Down the Road", a crowd pleaser and apt metaphor for this traveling band that goes all over the country playing outdoor festivals and parks as a living embodiment of their belief that music is a communal experience that should be shared.
Budding jazz chanteuse Lucy Krakow is a featured “Whiz Kid” on this week’s Larkspur Corte Madera Patch. While at Redwood High School, Lucy was a volunteer performer for Bread & Roses who did concerts for three different facility audiences. An inventive jazz singer with her own distinctive style, Lucy is also a talented singer-songwriter as well as guitarist.
For her Bread & Roses shows, she brought her talents as a creative collaborator to the forefront by recruiting three musicians to perform with her. At Marin Services for Women (MSW) she performed original songs she co-wrote with Katie Hamilton who is now at Boston’s Berklee College of Music. At Aldersly in San Rafael, a residential community for seniors, she played jazz standards with saxophone player Jake Botts. At Our Common Ground, a rehab for teens in Redwood City, she performed in a charming and inspirational duet with her brother Roger.