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  • Marian Hubler

Annual Celebration Recognizes Our Performers, Hosts and Other Volunteers


Bread & Roses Presents recognized the accomplishments of over 250 volunteers at its annual celebration called The JAM (Day of Joy, Appreciation and Music) held at Unity In Marin in Novato on Sunday July 29, 2018. In the outdoor courtyard and indoors on the main stage, we honored our performers, hosts, board members and other volunteers with a festive event and awards ceremony in gratitude for their ongoing contributions to our program. The gathering is also a once-a-year opportunity for all our volunteers to come together to meet, network and share their music with each other.

To launch the celebration, singer-songwriter/guitarist and board member Matt Jaffe played a set of crowd favorites in a lively Tom Petty Tribute with virtuoso lead guitarist James de Prato including Rescue Me, You Don’t Know How It Feels, Mary Jane and American Girl. Everyone also enjoyed a special slide show curated by Lisa Starbird with more than a hundred inspirational photos from Bread & Roses institutional shows through the years.

Ambassador-at-large Michael Pritchard shared a few heartfelt words to honor the collective accomplishments of our extensive circle of friends. Executive Director Dave Perron with Event Producer Lisa Starbird, held a prize drawing for our volunteers. Winners included Frank DiFranco from Heartstrings Bridge for the top prize of a KALA mahogany thin-line guitar, Paul Aubert for a custom hand-tooled Italian leather guitar strap by Kirk Hammett and La Pena Community Chorus who won a case of beer contributed by Lagunitas Brewing Company. A poignant moment ensued when Frank DiFranco, overcome with emotion, shared with the crowd that the guitar he’d just won replaced a favorite guitar that had recently been stolen.


Dave then introduced our emcee Vern Glenn, an Emmy Award-winning Bay Area television sports anchor and reporter at KPIX Channel 5. Vern brought a great deal of warmth to his role as emcee as he shared the contributions of volunteer award-winners this year. Forty-year performers Karen Drucker, Dave Fromer, Michael Pritchard and Keta Bill were acknowledged, along with forty-year volunteers Ken Friedman (photographer) and Maureen Hurley (event). Many other performers and volunteers were also recognized for 35, 30, 25, 20, 15 and 10 years of service.

Following the event, Performer Kyle Alden expressed the sentiments of many who attended when he said; "It was an honor to receive the ten-year award and very inspiring to see how many performers exceeded that number by a factor of two, three or four. Such great talent and dedication in your organization!"

Special awards were given in many categories including to Syria Berry and William Greene for Outstanding Performers, Patrick Woods for Above and Beyond and to the Lightworkers Union for Making A Difference. Caterpillar Puppets were honored as Outstanding Performer for Youth along with Gary Lapow as Interactive Performer for Youth. Dick Miner received the award for Outstanding Host and Nancy Jensvold for Outstanding Event Volunteer. Charlie Hale was haled as Outstanding Office Volunteer and Peter Merts for Outstanding Photo Contribution. Pop-up guru Greg McQuaid was recognized for Media Arts and Alexandra Fischer for Visual Arts.

The following volunteers, though unable to attend, received recognition for these awards: Una Lomax-Emrick for Outstanding Youth Volunteer, Arthur Javier for Most Active Volunteer, Si Perkoff for Most Active Performer, percussionist Aaron Kierbel for being a Trouper and Kokomo Winery for Community Support.

Many of the performers then stayed to JAM or perform on the main or lawn stage or redwood circle. Main stage performers included Judy Hall and friends, Connie Ducey, The Nimbles, Bella Bromberg, Richard Wuerth and Phil Lawrence, MoMo Cortez and Debbie Cucalon with Alan Thomas, Neil O’Neill, Neck & Neck, Tom McIntyre, Eric Sylvester, Destiny Harpist from the Hood, Orenzia Jaskiewicz and Barry Bailey.

In addition to the above artists, lawn performers also included Pat & Joe, Janet Lee and Dan McGee Three, Joel Schick, the Splinter Group, the Lightworkers Union, Kiara B as well as Steve Smulian. Up in the redwood circle, other performers played ukuleles and shared harmonies to familiar songs.

Vern Glenn summed it up by saying "If you love music, the JAM was the place to be!" Gene Barnes, Adam Fells, Matt Jaffe, Cathy Less and Kay Tittle attended on behalf of the board with Michael Pritchard and Stacy Nelson representing our Circle of Advisors.

Thanks to Event Producers Lisa Starbird and Francesca Lee for presenting a festive and successful event. Special appreciation also to major JAM sponsors Ken Harrison and Unity In Marin. Much gratitude to: Peter Merts for photography, Carrie Sownie for social media and the food team including Nancy Jensvold and the “Cookie Mamas,” Tom Atkin and Olivia Werblin for tech and sound support; Jeremy Mayer and Louise La Monte for set-up, Pam Haessley from Novato Community Television (NCTV) for video documentation. A big acknowledgement to Bread & Roses staff, board and all the event volunteers who helped to create an easy and relaxed flow for the day.

A round of applause for the following in-kind contributors: Foodniks, Good Earth, H.E.A.R., Lagunitas Brewing Company, Nugget Market, Safeway, Trader Joe’s, United Markets, US Pure Water and W.I.G.T. Printing.

Stay tuned on Bread & Roses social media for screening dates for Novato Community Television's special video segment about The JAM. See the video here:

Photographs by Peter Merts

Photo Captions:

1) Featured performers Matt Jaffe and James DePrato

2) Board, event volunteers and staff gather before the event.

3) Lisa Starbird and Dave Perron hold a volunteer prize drawing.

4) Frank DiFranco wins the KALA guitar.

5) Emcee Vern Glenn from KPIX Channel 5 takes a crowd selfie.

6) VP of Programs Carolyn Gauthier presents Outstanding Performers Award to Syria Berry and William Greene; Producer Francesca Lee presents Outstanding Performer for Youth Award to Joe Leon of Caterpillar Puppets.

7) The current wave of young performers includes Bella Bromberg.

9) Volunteer Performer Destiny Harpist from the Hood

10) Group shot of 2018 volunteer celebration attendees


The JAM 2018 Years of Service Awards

40-Year Performers - Karen Drucker, Dave Fromer, Michael Pritchard, Keta Bill

40-Year Volunteers - Ken Friedman, Maureen Hurley

35-Year Performer - Tony Marcus

30-Year Performers - Daria, Matt Eakle, Kurt Huget, Peter Munks, La Pena Community Chorus

25-Year Performers - Phil Bearce, Shanna Carlson, Rich Kuhns, Jim Nichols, Morning Nichols, Austin Willacy, Mitch Woods, Back Pages

25-Year Vounteers - Dennis McIntyre, Ira Potovsky

20-Year Performers - Jimmy Dillon, Miss Kitty, Frederick Nighthawk, Magic Al, Henry Salvia, Kathleen Salvia

20-Year Volunteer - Ginny Fifield

15-Year Performers - Kate Burkart, Momo Cortez, Dave Getz, Sara LeMesh, Megan Slankard, Smorgaschord, Voice & Soul

10-Year Performers - Asheba, Kyle Alden, Ed Bogas, Vladimir Cardema, Nancy Cassidy, Norris Clement, Jamie Coventry, Andrew Dudnick, Chuck Ervin, Scott Grace, Sylvia Herold, Stefanie Keys, Tom Neylan, Melanie Phippard, James Patrick Regan, Nick Tara, Alan Thomas, Christina Waldeck, Benny Watson, George Yamasaki

10-Year Volunteer - Arlene Rudy

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