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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.

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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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


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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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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Performer Collaborations Support Bread & Roses


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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Special Fall Concerts Help to Propel Us Forward

Bread & Roses Presents is honored to feature over a thousand different individual performers and groups at our institutional shows almost every day of the year. We simply could not do our program without them.

We are also fortunate to have performers of note help us mainly with fundraising concerts throughout the years or from time to time donate a portion of the proceeds from an upcoming public concert to help support our mission.

Extraordinary acoustic blues maestro Keb’ Mo’ performed a very special benefit concert at the Sweetwater Music Hall in Mill Valley on Monday November 2. Executive Director Dave Perron told the sold-out crowd, “Bread & Roses has a lot of heart and there is a lot of heart in this room tonight as our founder, the late Mimi Fariña, lived in Mill Valley, and is undoubtedly here in spirit.”

Special thanks to event sponsors Rich Robbins, Greg Beattie and Victoria Blythe, who helped it all happen. Those who bought VIP tickets were also treated to fine wines from Chambers & Chambers Wine Merchant, delicious hors d’oeuvres and an opportunity to have a photo taken with Keb’ Mo.’


Singer-songwriter/guitarist Roger McNamee opened the show with the reminder that “Bread & Roses is all about second chances.” Roger performed heartfelt mainly original tunes including Happy Endings and No Tomorrow. His rendition of the classic Leonard Cohen anthem Halleluiah had everyone singing along.


NFL Hall of Famer Ronnie Lott emceed the show and helped us auction off a Gibson Guitar signed by Keb’ Mo’ and donated by board member John Botti. The lucky auction winner also received one of Ronnie Lott’s signed jerseys and a pair of tickets he donated to a 49ers game.


Keb’ Mo’ opened the show with the crowd pleasing More For Your Money and played an enthralling set including the songs More Than One Way Home, You Can Love Yourself and I'll Be Your Water. The audience roared its thunderous approval when surprise guest Taj Mahal appeared on stage to sit in with Keb’ on Muddy Waters classic Baby Please Don’t Go, Dime A Dozen and Do You Love Me Pretty Baby? Keb’ closed out the magnificent show with some crowd favorites including She Just Wants to Dance, Angelina and City Boy.

On Wednesday October 28, long-time volunteer performer Matt Nathanson generously donated a block of tickets from his sold-out show at the Great American Music Hall in SF to benefit Bread & Roses Presents. A handful of lucky VIP ticket-buyers also got to hear Matt perform a very intimate concert earlier in the day at the Capital One Café in SF in a special promotion with KFOG Radio


We also appreciate the continued generosity of many performers on our behalf. On Sat. Nov. 28, long-time volunteer performer Tracy Blackman performed an outstanding concert of originals and standards at the Throckmorton Theatre in Mill Valley accompanied by her sister Cindy Blackman Santana on drums with her husband Carlos Santana on guitar. Other Bread & Roses performers in the band that night included Jimmy Dillon on guitar, Dave Matthews on keyboard, Eric McCann on bass and Rebecca Roudman on cello. Bread & Roses Presents was one of the beneficiaries of this remarkable evening of music called Love To Give. Of her motivation for producing the show, Tracy said “If everyone gives a little, we will all be taken care of.” Her closing medley of Shine On and What the World Needs Now Is Love beautifully brought home this theme.


Coming up on Sunday Dec. 20, 2015 at the Great American Music Hall, another long-time volunteer performer David Gans, will host a very special tribute show This Is All A Dream We Dreamed: A Salute to the Grateful Dead.” The concert will help debut David's recently published oral history of the Grateful Dead with co-author Blair Jackson. A portion of the proceeds will benefit Bread & Roses Presents. Along with David, a number of our volunteers will perform including James Nash, Roger McNamee and Maurice Tani. Click Here for information and tickets visit.


Support live music when you can and most especially the artists who support Bread & Roses Presents. Let us know if you have other ideas for ways we can fulfill our mission and keep our program moving forward. 


Photo Captions

1) Roger McNamee opens at the Keb' Mo' concert

2) Bread & Roses Presents Executive Director Dave Perron with NFL Hall of Famer Ronnie Lott

3) Keb' Mo' with Taj Mahal

4) Matt Nathanson at Capital One Cafe (Courtesy of KFOG)

5) (l-r) Cindy Blackman Santana, Jimmy Dillon, Eric McCann, Tracy Blackman,  Kudisan Kai and Carlos Santana (Photo by Carolyn Gauthier)

6) Early Grateful Dead (Courtesy of David Gans)

All Photos by Peter Merts unless noted otherwise.

Post by Marian Hubler, Communications Manager/Producer

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Keb’ Mo’ To Perform at Sweetwater Benefit Nov. 2: Roger McNamee Opens


Bread & Roses Presents will host a special benefit concert with master contemporary blues artist Keb’ Mo’ at the Sweetwater Music Hall in Mill Valley on Monday, November 2 at 8 pm. Roger McNamee will open. NFL Hall of Famer Ronnie Lott will emcee the show. VIP tickets are $145. They include admission at 6 pm, a meet-and-greet and photos with Keb’ Mo,’ complimentary hors d'oeuvres & wine. General admission tickets are $75 for this all ages show with doors at 7:45pm. Space permitting, tickets will be sold on-site. Advance ticket purchase is recommended at

“We are thrilled to have Keb’ Mo’ back to play a benefit for Bread & Roses Presents following his recent success performing in “A Celebration of American Creativity” at the White House.  We are grateful to have him help us bring the gift of music to those in the Bay Area who need it most,” said Bread & Roses Executive Director Dave Perron.


Three-time Grammy winner and visionary roots-music storyteller Keb’ Mo’ has been a volunteer performer for Bread & Roses since 2001 when he performed a concert with Bonnie Raitt at San Quentin State Prison for a special event that was “A Celebration of Sobriety and Recovery.” He also performed a “Twice Blessed” Benefit Concert for Bread & Roses in 2009 with his son Kevin Moore II on percussion, along with Loudon Wainwright III and his daughter Lucy Wainwright Roche.


Keb’s carefully crafted songs use the power of lyrics and melody to make a difference. “My most recent album BLUESAmericana is about love and understanding. I hope by expressing these qualities in the most poignant and joyfully melodic way that I can make a greater connection with audiences everywhere. I know this is something that Bread & Roses does everyday in its shows for people who are isolated in institutions,” he said.

Over the past two decades, singer-songwriter/guitarist and contemporary blues artist Keb’ Mo’ has cultivated a reputation as a modern master of American roots music through the understated excellence of his live and studio performances. He has collaborated with a host of artists, including Bonnie Raitt, Jackson Browne, Cassandra Wilson, Buddy Guy, Amy Grant and many others. BLUESAmericana on Kind of Blue Music was number one on the Soundscan Blues Album Chart and is his 12th studio album. This recent release marks the 20th anniversary of his debut Keb’ Mo’, and is a signpost of his artistic and personal growth.


The Sweetwater Music Hall offers food, drinks and a broad spectrum of live music and entertainment. This historic venue is dedicated to bringing back the Sweetwater’s musical legacy to Mill Valley.

Proceeds from this concert will support Bread & Roses’ ongoing mission of bringing hope and healing through live music in over 600 annual shows to our neighbors in need throughout the Bay Area. For more info, visit:



1. Keb' Mo' Publicity Photo

2. Keb’ Mo’ adjusts his harmonica at San Quentin in 2001.

3. Loudon Wainwright III, Lucy Wainwright Roche, Kevin Moore and Keb’ Mo’ in 2009.

4. Keb’ Mo’ looks out over the audience at Teatro ZinZanni in 2009.

Photos by Ken Friedman

Post by Marian Hubler

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Steve Earle Thrills New Supporters at Bread & Roses Benefit at Fantasy Studios

Steve Earle captivated his audience of new Bread & Roses supporters in a special intimate concert at the legendary Fantasy Studios in Berkeley on Thursday, October 1. New friends came to learn more about our work and enjoy the special ambiance of a unique concert in Studio D thanks to our hosts at Wareham Development who sponsored this benefit on our behalf.

His heartfelt testimonial about the impact of our mission set the tone for a stirring evening of his authentic music. “Bread & Roses does important work that deserves to be supported,” he said. “Music has the capacity to change the world.”

A beloved, internationally known rock, country and folk singer-songwriter/guitarist, Nashville-based Steve Earle is also a bandleader, record producer, author and actor. A three-time Grammy award-winner, he has released 16 studio albums. A musician's songwriter, his songs have been recorded by many diverse artists from Johnny Cash to Emmylou Harris. He is the subject of two biographies, “Steve Earle: Fearless Heart, Outlaw Poet” by David McGee and Hardcore Troubadour: The Life and Near Death of Steve Earle by Lauren St. John.

In 2008, he produced Joan Baez's 50th anniversary release Day After Tomorrow for which he contributed a number of timely songs. He is an often rebellious, ever iconic Americana artist and activist, always nimble and eloquent as he responds in his songwriting to the most topical issues of the day.


Steve treated the rapt crowd to an inspired set of mainly original songs interspersed with a few beloved standards -- from a Texas blues song by Lightnin’ Hopkins called Mojo Hand (on his latest album Terraplane) to a song he wrote for Joan Baez called God Is God on her recent CD.

He recalled that our founder, the late Mimi Fariña, had asked him many times to do a concert for Bread & Roses but that the scheduling had not worked out. He sees his music and activism as one and the same, and his musical career as a path of service. He mentioned that he has a five-year-old son who has autism and that he has gotten involved in raising awareness of the needs of autistic children as a result. He said he hopes to be a role model for people around the world to do a similarly motivated kind of service.

“It is a special honor to have Steve Earle perform in this hallowed room tonight,” said host Rich Robbins. “His dedication to doing good in the world through his music is inspiring as we see the difference music makes in our lives. Bread & Roses does an average of two shows a day every day of the year in the Bay Area. Music nurtures the soul and brings hope to those who need it most – from children in special needs schools, to youth and adults who are incarcerated, to lonely seniors who are isolated in convalescent centers.”

Bread & Roses presents shows in very intimate settings where the connection between performer and audience is immediate and common humanity is shared. We had exactly the same kind of connection during our evening at Fantasy Studios and all came away with a reverence for the healing power of Steve’s music in that extraordinary setting.

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At The Crossroads May 13 Benefit At Terrapin: A Fun Evening & Big Success


On a lovely evening in mid-May, Bread & Roses Presents hosted its annual spring benefit at Terrapin Crossroads in San Rafael. It was our first time presenting a fundraiser at this wonderful venue with its special ambiance and dedication to live music.

About two hundred supporters joined us for the event, beginning with a pre-concert reception on the beautiful patio overlooking the canal. Guests enjoyed delicious canapés along with fine wines contributed by Kokomo Winery of Sonoma. Everyone had the opportunity to preview the exciting music and sports live auction items on the terrace.

The festive concert in the Grate Room began with the music of Gabriel Harris and Rhythm Village. In this elegant barn-like space with chandeliers and colored lights, Gabriel’s talented ensemble, including veteran Bread & Roses volunteer performers Tom Finch and Charles Moselle, helped to bring out the inner drummer in all of us.

Executive Director Dave Perron set a tone of appreciation for all who support our work of over 600 concerts a year for those who need it most throughout the Bay Area. He then introduced Olympic gold medalist skier Jonny Moseley, our emcee for the evening.

Honored special guest Joan Baez began her set with one of her classic anthems by Phil Ochs There But For Fortune (Go You or I) invoking the spirit of our mission to bring uplifting music to those who are isolated. She followed with the Bread & Roses Song, with lyrics by James Oppenheim and music by our founder, the late Mimi Fariña (Joan’s sister). Everyone listened raptly as Joan played a Tom Waits tune, then a moving version of Swing Low Sweet Chariot and I Got Your Letter from her 50th anniversary CD Day After Tomorrow.

With her son Gabriel Harris and band, she broke out Bob Dylan’s It’s All Over Now Baby Blue then did Me & Bobby McGee as a special tribute to Kris Kristofferson who was in the audience with his wife Lisa. She closed out her spirited set with John Lennon’s Imagine and one of her Spanish standards Gracias A La Vida (Thanks for the Life).

After a successful live auction and energetic fund-a-need, singer-songwriter/guitarist Emree Franklin from Seattle opened the second set with three authentic original songs including Dawn Patrol where she echoed the theme of the night with her lyrics “where the healing is a feeling.”

Tea Leaf Green’s magnificent musicianship closed out the night with a dance party to which the collective tribe, led by Joan Baez, tried out their dance moves to the joy of all who were there. It was a great musical evening that will be long remembered by the like-minded community who shared the experience and most importantly, by the isolated audiences throughout the Bay Area who will receive uplifting music as a result.

crossroadseventposterThanks to all the donors, sponsors and performers whose generosity continues to help keep our program strong.  Special appreciation also to Moonalice Posters for sponsoring Stanley Mouse to create the beautiful art for our event poster. Mimi's spirit lives on! 


Post by Marian Hubler

Video by Andrew Kaluzynski

Second Camera by Reese Brindisi

Slide Show Photos by Ken Friedman

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Spectacular Live Music At The Crossroads Benefit on May 13

Bread & Roses Presents will host a spectacular evening of live music on Wed. May 13, 2015 from 6:30-10 pm at our upcoming benefit concert At The Crossroads at Terrapin Crossroads in San Rafael. Rhythm Village and Tea Leaf Green will headline the concert along with a special guest performance by Joan Baez. In addition, singer-songwriter Emree Franklin will open the second set and Olympic Gold Medal Skier Jonny Moseley will emcee the fun and festive evening.   




Rhythm Is The Soul of Life

Rhythm Village, a collective of masterful musicians and dancers led by Gabriel Harris, thrills audiences with uniquely engaging performances that inspire the drummer in all of us. For twenty years, Rhythm Village has been sharing rhythm-based performances with various organizations like Bread & Roses Presents -- on stages, in schools and for corporate team-building. At Terrapin Crossroads, they will co-create the perfect live experience with all of us to celebrate our fifth decade and all we have accomplished together.

Rhythm Village is a great collaborative partner for Bread & Roses Presents. We bring hope and healing through live music and Rhythm Village creates positive change for individuals and institutions through music. Gabriel Harris and his collective have been volunteer performers since 2006 having performed institutional programs at special needs schools and detention facilities.




How Sweet the Sound

JoanBaezwebJoan Baez has been performing and touring for over 55 years. She began her career singing folk songs in Club 47 near Harvard Square. A political activist since her early days, she marched at the front line of the civil rights movement with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

She has recorded over thirty albums during her career. Her collection of songs Day After Tomorrow produced by Steve Earle in 2008, reflects her journey in song over the past fifty years. She has recently released Diamantes, a special edition of Spanish songs from her 1988 recording Diamonds and Rust in the BullringShe was also featured in American Masters PBS documentary in 2009 How Sweet the Sound, a comprehensive chronicle of her life and career.

Joan has been a supporter of Bread & Roses Presents since the very beginning when her sister Mimi Fariña founded the organization in 1974. She appeared in many Bread & Roses Festivals of Music benefit concerts at the Greek Theatre in Berkeley. She was a featured performer at our 25th anniversary concert at the SF Opera House in 2000 and has supported the organization in various ways through the years. She last appeared with Rhythm Village at a benefit concert for Bread & Roses Presents at The Lodge in San Francisco in 2008.



In the Wake

Tea Leaf Green is a jam band based in San Francisco since the late '90s. They are one of the Bay Area's most thoughtful and dedicated group of song craftsmen. They are known for "marrying honesty, artistry and grit in music that hums with bruised but unbowed life."

Band members consist of Josh Clark (guitar/vocals), Trevor Garrod (Keys/vocals) Scott Rager (drums), Reed Mathis (bass/vocals) and Cochrane McMillan (percussion).

They have produced 16 full-length recordings and their most recent release In The Wake is their best showcase to date of their masterful blend and considerable individual talents. Reed Mathis and Cochrance McMillan played with Marco Benevento at a benefit for Bread & Roses at The Chapel in San Francisco in 2013.

You won't want to miss this unforgettable evening of music. All proceeds benefit our mission of bringing live music to isolated people in Bay Area institutions who need music most. Cabaret-style seating is in the intimate setting of The Grate Room at Terrapin and is limited, so email Elissa Burke for info soon. We look forward to seeing you there!

Photos of Gabriel Harris & Rhythm Village with Joan Baez at the Lodge in 2008 by Peter Merts,  Courtesy of Bread & Roses Presents  

Photo of Tea Leaf Green by Jay Blakesberg

Post by Marian Hubler  


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A Taste of Boz Scaggs - Fall Benefit at Great American Music Hall Nov. 24

Thanks for making our November 24 Fall Benefit a great success!


video picture 


This sold-out celebration honoring outgoing Executive Director Cassandra Flipper was a memorable milestone. Longtime B&R supporter and music legend Boz Scaggs and his band dazzled, with everyone dancing in the aisles. We appreciate your enthusiasm, generosity and dedication to our mission.   


It’s because of friends like you that B&R is heading into its fifth decade of presenting the healing power of live music to our neighbors most in need.

Photo Collage smaller 

Photos by Ken Friedman, Courtesty of Bread & Roses

Video by Lauren Arrow, Courtesy of Bread & Roses



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Tribute to Cassandra Flipper at the Great American Music Hall

 Cassandra Flipper was celebrated as guest of honor at a benefit event on Mon. November 24 at the Great American Music Hall. This special evening featured an outstanding concert presented by Boz Scaggs and his wonderful band.  

Executive Director Cassandra Flipper's stellar leadership guided the agency for the past 14 years. She will continue her association with Bread & Roses as a member of its Circle of Advisors. Dave Perron was appointed executive director as of Dec. 1. 

The evening at the music hall featured a special tribute to Cassandra from Noah Griffin, Susan Gilardi and Sudha Pennathur who all spoke of Cassandra's stellar accomplishments and stewardship of Bread & Roses. We wish her well in her future endeaors and know she will continue to shine. 

The video above was shared during the tribute. We hope you enjoy this retrospective of photos taken during Cassandra's time at Bread & Roses, as well as the many photos of our instituional programs through the years.  


web cassGAMH


Please share your reminiscences of Cassandra in the comments section below. 

Video Producer: Lauren Arrow
Consulting Editor: Marian Hubler
Music by Mimi and Richard Fariña
Narration by Cassandra Flipper



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"Pocket Full of Soul: The Harmonica Documentary" & Benefit Concert A Big Hit at the Lark Theater

xmark pfos-web

“The harmonica is in so many ways just like the human voice,” said Mark Hummel from the stage at the historic Lark Theater to over two hundred enthusiastic Bread & Roses supporters and harmonica playing fans. “I’ve been involved with the instrument for so long. It was really fun to see all the folks I've known and worked with up on the big screen.”

This special one-time benefit event was a collaboration between Bread & Roses and the Lark Theater featuring a screening of the definitive film “Pocket Full of Soul: The Harmonica Documentary” followed by a lively concert with harmonica ace Mark Hummel & Friends. 

  xtinsandwhich pfos-web

The Bay Area’s only harmonica band Tin Sandwich serenaded event-goers ahead of time with a combination of songs including Higher Ground by Stevie Wonder, Juke by Little Walter, Peg o’ My Heart a la The Harmonicats and their very own Tin Sandwich Blues. Band members Jamie Coventry, Riccardo La Spina, Deron Cavalletti and Scoty Velardo also had a fun jam on Duke Ellington’s Caravan with Winslow Yerxa, author of Harmonica for Dummies and President of the Society for the Preservation and Advancement of the Harmonica (SPAH).   

xtinwinslow pfos-web

The packed house enjoyed the film, narrated by Huey Lewis, whose idea it was to ask film producer Todd Slobin for permission to hold a special screening to benefit Bread & Roses. The film included interviews with harp players from all over the world including Bay Area legends Charlie Musselwhite and Mark Hummel. Mark’s band, with R. W. Grigsby on upright bass and Robert Sidwell on guitar, kicked off the concert by playing some of the songs from performers in the film.

xartymark pfos-web

They started with a selection of John Lee " Sonny Boy" Williamson songs Shake Your Boogie and Lord O Lord, following with Tampa Red’s But I Forgive You, then two early songs by Little Walter, Just Keep Lovin’ Her and Can’t Hold Out Much Longer - When You Doing Alright.They wrapped up with a spirited version of the classic Summertime and a tribute to Big Walter Horton in Big Walter Boogie

 “With this concert, I was trying to demonstrate the harmonica styles of a few of the older masters who had the most sway with blues players over the past fifty years,” Mark Hummel said. 

xraffle pfos-web

Many people had the chance to take harmonicas home thanks to Winslow Yerxa who donated Suzuki “Easy Riders” and Gizzy O'Toole of Hohner who donated“Blues Band” harps. Four lucky winners won raffle prizes including tickets to Berkeley Repertory Theater and dinner at Zut!; concert tickets and dinner at Terrapin Crossroads; concert tickets and a harmonica lesson provided by Mark Hummel as well as two-day passes to BR Cohn’s Fall Music Festival.

Thanks to volunteers Bradley Thomas and Elijah Morgan from the Marin Academy who helped with event logistics and assisted Bread & Roses Staff Carrie Sownie and volunteer Nancy Jensvold with the raffle.  We also appreciate the great job David Denny of David Denny Audio Consulting did with sound and Peter Merts of Peter Merts Photography with documenting the event.


xma pfos-web

 We hope this will be the first of many successful events with Ellie Mednick and our friends at the Lark Theater. It was the perfect combination of an educational and entertaining film, with the music from the film brought to life in a very special concert. Proceeds benefit Bread & Roses ongoing concerts for people isolated in Bay Area institutions.   

xtomsilk pfos-web

Do you play the harmonica? Tell us your favorite harmonica story and what song you most like to play.  

Post by Marian Hubler 

Photos by Peter Merts, Courtesy of Bread & Roses

Video Clips by Event Producer & Program Director Carolyn Gauthier 

Photo Captions (from top to bottom):

1.) Mark Hummel plays his harmonica at the benefit

2.) Tin Sandwich at the Lark Theater

3.) Winslow Yerxa (left) author of Harmonica for Dummies had a fun jam with Tin Sandwich

4.) (L-R) Robert Sidwell (guitar), Mark Hummel (harmonica), and R.W. Grigsby (stand-up bass) 

5.) Carolyn Gauthier announces raffle winners with Dakari

6.) Marin Academy volunteers Bradley Thomas and Elijah Morgan sell raffle tickets

7.) Bread & Roses Board Member Tom Silk gives a "thumbs up" to Tin Sandwich 

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Music Together in Marin Family Concerts with "Uncle Gerry" to Benefit Bread & Roses

b2ap3_thumbnail_UncleGerry_web.jpgOn Friday August 15 and Sunday August 17, Music Together in Marin will host two special concerts for families with children (up to age 8) with recording artist "Uncle Gerry" aka Gerry Dignan.

Music Together of Marin staff Beth Crespan will host the 4pm concert on Friday August 15 at the San Rafael Community Center, 618 B Street in San Rafael. Sing-Dance-Play staff Elina Coulter will host the concert on Sunday, August 17 at the Homestead Valley Community Center, 315 Monford Avenue in Mill Valley. Tickets are available on a sliding scale of $5-10 per person or $20 per family. The concert is open to the public and proceeds will benefit Bread & Roses. For more info, visit:

Approximately one-third of Bread & Roses 600 annual programs are for children and youth in a variety of institutional settings throughout the Bay Area including day-care centers for low-income children, special needs schools and juvenile detention facilities.

b2ap3_thumbnail_Beth-Crespan_web.jpgBeth Crespan has performed for Bread & Roses as a musician for many of its children's audiences including the Fairfax-San Anselmo Children's Center, Bahia Centro Vida in Berkeley, St. Vincent's Day in Oakland, Canal Child Care in San Rafael, the Berkeley YMCA and North Bay Children's Center in Novato.

She began volunteering for Bread & Roses as a jazz vocalist back in the 80's, after performing for her grandmother in a convalescent home and seeing how much she enjoyed it. On a recent visit to our office in Corte Madera, she said "Music is close to my heart and I want to share it."

Music Together of Marin serves 250 families at three locations and offers group music and movement classes for families and children (infants, toddlers and preschoolers up to age 8.)

Let us know if you have ideas for other events to benefit Bread & Roses. You can also support us directly by donating here.

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Spectacular 40th Anniversary Benefit A Great Success

 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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40th Anniversary Benefit To Sustain Bread & Roses Into the Future



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


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. 



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!


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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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.


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.



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.


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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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.


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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