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  • Marian Hubler

Inspiring Night of Music at the Great American Music Hall

Bread & Roses Spring Benefit Concert on May 3, 2018 sponsored by Jeff & Laurie Ubben, was an extraordinary night of music at the Great American Music Hall. The legendary, historic San Francisco hall was the perfect venue for enjoying live music and supporting our ongoing program of free, high quality entertainment for isolated Bay Area audiences. A special thank you to the donors, sponsors, board and other guests who were invaluable in making the evening a tremendous success.


Executive Director Dave Perron welcomed everyone and gave a heartfelt thank you to this year’s expanded roster of sponsors for their incredible support. He introduced Bread & Roses board and staff giving special recognition to Event Committee members Robin Eber, Adam Fells, Simone Haas, Lane Murchison, Stacy Nelson, Philip Pillsbury III, Tucky Pogue, Andrea Schultz and Alex Wellins.


Musical hosts HoneyHoney, featuring Suzanne Santo and Benjamin Jaffe a well-honed duo with beautiful harmonies, returned from Los Angeles to be part of our spring benefit for the second year. Benjamin invoked our collective spirit by quoting the poem that inspired our founder, the late Mimi Fariña, to name our organization “Bread & Roses.” Hearts starve as well as bodies, Give us bread, but give us roses. (Poem by James Oppenheim) He roused the audience by saying that “beauty is essential to human life,” reminding all that we delivered uplifting healing music to over 36,000 isolated youth, adults and seniors in 635 institutional shows last year.


Marlon Williams, a musical maverick from New Zealand, then kicked off his set of dreamy songs of love and loss as he worked through the list on his recent second album Make Way For Love. The audience was swept along as he created an evocative mood of searing emotion with his distinctively high voice and original songs.


Courtney Marie Andrews also performed songs from her most recent release May Your Kindness Remain. She shared how she is inspired by the stories she hears on her travels throughout the United States where life is sometimes “a little rough around the edges.”


Headliner John Paul White, with his band of accomplished musicians, reflected the spirit of his famed southern musical home near Muscle Shoals, Alabama, playing songs from his new release Beulah. He warmed up the crowd by striking a common chord with a couple of solo songs including the familiar vintage jazz tune I Remember You. With his haunting voice, masterful guitar playing and lyrical songwriting, he ushered in the finale of the show with his full band showing off their extraordinary chops and ensemble playing. He told the stories behind the songs, sharing about his family life and particularly his love for his grandfather with songs like I Wish. He thanked the audience for being there and educating him to the cause of Bread & Roses.

Long-time supporter, journalist and musician Paul Liberatore introduced the film “Bread & Roses Presents” narrated by fellow Advisory Circle member Peter Coyote, directed by Dan Foldes of Pint of Soul Productions and co-produced by Bread & Roses Producer Francesca Lee.

Former KFOG DJ and co-creator of “Renee & Irish Greg’s Pop UP,” Auctioneer Renee Richardson helped raise support for this year’s fund-a-need for sustaining and expanding Bread & Roses program service to a special population, people across the Bay Area who are housing-insecure. With a scarcity of affordable housing in the Bay Area, those who are vulnerable now need our compassionate support more than ever.


Congratulations to auction contributors and raffle prize-winners John Botti who won the Tony LaRussa Animal Rescue Foundation (ARF) and Warriors package, Chris Gorog who won the custom-made Fylde Alchemist Guitar and Conde Freeman who won two VIP ticket passes to Outside Lands.

From East Palo Alto to Marin City, from Oakland to the Tenderloin, Bread & Roses continues to set the stage for live performing arts around the Bay Area. Nearly every day of the year, we transform social service facilities into ‘venues” to present nearly 650 uplifting annual shows for isolated audiences from frail seniors in daycare and low-income housing programs, to homeless men housed for a night in rotating church shelters and women finding safety from domestic violence in homes for the abused. All benefit from the hope and human connection that Bread & Roses provides.

The money we raise sustains our organization and helps cover increasing production costs, including the sound equipment we bring to provide healing live music to those who are isolated around the Bay. Because the show must go on! Thanks again for your support.

Photos by Ken Friedman, unless as noted by Ben Snell

Photo Captions:

1) Slideshow of photos from the evening

2) Dave Perron with Jeff Ubben, photo by Ken Friedman

3) HoneyHoney performing, photo by Ken Friedman

4) Marlon Williams plays a heartfelt set, photo by Ken Friedman

5) Courtney Marie Andrews during her inspiring set, photo by Ken Friedman

6) John Paul White and band ends the evening with their rocking tunes, photo by Ken Friedman

7) Raffle winner Chris Gorog with wife Kathy Taggares, photo by Ken Friedman

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