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  • Marian Hubler

A True Community Gathering: Annual Volunteer Celebration on August 4

Our volunteers are key to our success at Bread & Roses Presents for the heartfelt way they bring a healing connection through live music to uplift the spirits of isolated audiences in over 600 Bay Area concerts almost every day of the year.

At The JAM (Day of Joy, Appreciation and Music) on August 4 at Unity In Marin, we recognized the accomplishments of our volunteers in a gathering to celebrate our incredibly dedicated community. We honored our performers, hosts, board members and other volunteers with an inspiring program that began with a screening of one of our institutional concerts. The video featured Con Brio band-mates -- the extraordinary vocalist Ezekial McCarter with intuitive guitarist Benjamin Andrews – sharing a concert at the Father Alfred Center in San Francisco with moving testimonials from the men in recovery. This dynamic duo, joined by Daniel Erik on bass, then treated the audience at The JAM to a live performance of several favorite songs that got everyone up and dancing. “Money ain’t got a thang on me oh no no no…”

Many guests arrived that morning feeling stunned by the news of the recent tragic shootings. Motivational speaker and Ambassador-at-Large Michael Pritchard knew just what to say to bring people together, reminding us of the importance of our work as an example of on-going positive change in the world-at large.

Executive Director Dave Perron and Event Producer Lisa Starbird then held a prize drawing for our volunteers. Winners included: Jake Costa for two VIP Fall Benefit Concert tickets for our November 14 fundraiser at The Sweetwater (with Ron Artis II and The Truth, David Luning and Musical Host Megan Slankard); Kyle Alden for a custom hand-tooled Italian leather guitar strap by Kirk Hammett; Evangeline Welch for a Jessie et Laurent Catering Certificate; Mr. Andrew for a Classical Music CD Collection donated by Carolyn Gauthier; and Dick Miner for a case of IPA beer contributed by Lagunitas Brewing Company.

The celebration culminated in an awards ceremony expressing our gratitude for the continuing efforts and special contributions of all our volunteers. Michael Pritchard presented the awards first acknowledging 45 Year Performer Lowell Levinger aka “Banana” founding member of The Youngbloods who accompanied our founder the late Mimi Fariña. 40 Year Performers included Chris Amberger, Dave Austin and Carolyn Gauthier, along with 40 Year Volunteers Ken Harrison and Lynn Louise Davis. Many other performers and volunteers were also recognized for 35, 30, 25, 20, 15 and 10 years of service (see list below).


Of special note was the 35 Year Performer Award given to singer-songwriter and guitarist Teresa Tudury who drove all the way from her home in New Mexico to collect her award because she wanted to acknowledge the role that Bread & Roses played in channeling her music in a positive direction when she was in recovery so many years ago. Scottish singer/guitarist Neil O’Neill was also honored with a 35 Year Performer Award.


On the up and coming end of the spectrum, we appreciate all the young performers who share their talents to give back to Bread & Roses including Outstanding Youth Performer Lyle Belger who pioneered a special voice workshop to teach pop songs to children in after-school day care at the North Bay Children's Center. And Zach Lee who won first-place in the Oh Say, Can You Sing? Contest after The JAM and sang the national anthem for the SF Giants game on Sept. 12.

In the first of many special awards, Ziek McCarter, Ben Andrews and Daniel Erik were honored as Outstanding Ambassadors for their overall contributions to our organization. Ziek expressed the sentiments of many who attended when he shared in social media afterwards; “So amazing. I am honored and ever grateful to be of service… The power of music can really be medicine in our time of need.”

Special awards given in other categories included: Sally Peter for Most Active Volunteer; Kurt Huget for Most Active Performer; Alan Thomas for Outstanding Performer; Dick Miner for All-Around Volunteer; Lyle Belger for Outstanding Youth Performer; Mr. Andrew for Outstanding Performer for Youth; Lucille Allison for Outstanding Event Volunteer; Calvin and Paulita Chang for Outstanding Office Volunteers; Shannon Geis for Volunteer for All Seasons; Richard Wuerth for Trouper Award; Una Lomax-Emrick for Outstanding Intern; Paul Liberatore for Hall of Fame Supporter; Dave Benoit for Media Arts Contribution and Ken Friedman for Outstanding Photo Contribution.

The following volunteers, though unable to attend, received recognition for these awards: John Botti for Above & Beyond; Jay Dicker for Outstanding Host; Nancy Cassidy for Volunteer for All Ages; Joan Baez and Seager-Gray Gallery for Visual Arts Contribution; Sterling Johnson aka The Bubblesmith for Outstanding Interactive Performer; and Moonalice Posters/Gregg Gordon & Chris Shaw for Professional Services.

Everyone enjoyed a festive lunch and many of the performers stayed to JAM or perform on the main or lawn stages or in the Redwood Circle where Jeanne Skybrook led other performers to share songs on acoustic guitar, ukulele and other instruments. All appreciated the once-a-year opportunity to get together to meet and hear each other play music.

Vice President of Programs Carolyn Gauthier emceed the main stage performers, with help from Volunteer Host Linda McVey. They included: Eric London and Holly Harman; Richard Wuerth; Rock David Pro; Teresa Tudury; Michael O’Brien; Lyle Belger; Zach Lee; MoMo Cortez with Sky Nelson; Jeanne Skybrook; Neck and Neck; Joan Getz and Nancy Fox; Linda Kosut; Michael Hatfield; Steve Smulian; Janet Lee and the Dan McGee Three; Ricardo Moncrief and Sky Nelson.

Producer Francesca Lee emceed the lawn stage performers that included: Earthcapades featuring Hearty and Lissin; Robby Neal Gordon; Lonewulff; Janet Lee & The Dan McGee Three; Eric London and Holly Harman; Sky Nelson-Isaacs; Chickens on Wood; Lane Murchison; Mr. Andrew; Gail Muldow and Chelsea Wells.

Matt Jaffe, Cathy Less and Jane Scott attended on behalf of the board with Paul Liberatore, Michael McElligott, Lane Murchison, Michael Pritchard and Elizabeth Share representing our Circle of Advisors

Thanks to JAM Producers Lisa Starbird and Francesca Lee for presenting a fun and successful event. Special appreciation also to major JAM sponsors Unity In Marin, Ken Harrison and David Duysen, Brianne Lucke and Eric Spencer for the T-shirts. Much gratitude to: Peter Merts for photography, The Unity in Marin Flower Team, the food team including Nancy Jensvold and Michelle Makino, Jon DeLeon and Chris Van Voorhees for tech and sound support; Jeremy Mayer and Sage Jones for set-up. A big acknowledgment to Bread & Roses staff, board and the event volunteers who helped to create an easy and relaxed flow for the day.


2019 Year of Service Volunteer AWARDS

45-Year Performer

Lowell Levinger “Banana”

40-Year Performers

Chris Amberger, Dave Austin , Carolyn Gauthier

40-Year Volunteers

Ken Harrison, Lynn Louise Davis

35-Year Performers

Neil O’Neill, Teresa Tudury

30-Year Performers

Babushka Brothers (Dick Bay, Peter Bellak & Steven Shoen) John Hoy, Marin Dance Theater

25-Year Performers

Earthcapades (David Heartlife, Lissin & Kai) Prescott Circus Theater (David Hunt)

20-Year Performers

Randy Craig, Doug Delaney Tom Drohan, James Henry, Shelly Hodgen, Shana Morrison, Young Performers International (Leela Pratt), Paul Robinson, Gayle Schmitt, Steve Smulian

20-Year Volunteer

Debbie Matson

15-Year Performers

Craig Caffall, Ian Dogole, David Gans, Isoji Wizards, Adam Kirk, Linda Kosut, Mokai, Lane Murchison, Amy Wigton, Urban School Big Band

10-Year Performers

Tamaka Bailey, Syria Berry, Jonathan Braun, Dix Bruce, Aline Deforge & Emmannuel Presslin, The Gas Men (Kyle Alden & Cormac Gannon), Global Gumbo (Amikayla Gaston), William Greene, Tom Holmes, Mark Hummell, Harpist From the Hood (Destiny Muhammad), Gareth Loy, Sky Nelson, Jim Nunally, Jonathan Richman, Anita Sandwina, Rusty Zinn

10-Year Volunteers

Bob Butler, Kristopher Kupper, Linda MacVey, Dick Miner, Tucky Pogue


Photographs by Peter Merts, unless otherwise noted.

1) Video of Ziek and Ben at Father Alfred by Dan Foldes of Pint of Soul Productions

2) (l-r) Benjamin Andrews, Ezekial McCarter and Daniel Erik open the JAM ceremony. Photo by Marian Hubler.

3) Video of opening music performance by Carrie Sownie.

4) Motivational speaker Michael Pritchard shares his uplifting message. Video by Carrie Sownie.

5) Executive Director Dave Perron thanks the volunteers and runs the raffle.

6) Slideshow of the award winners.

7) Ken Harrison with Carolyn Gauthier.

8) (l-r) Teresa Tudury, Neil O'Neill and Marian Hubler.

9) Zach Lee shares an original song.

10) (l-r) Ziek McCarter, Lisa Starbird and Daniel Erik.

11) a) Lyle Belger performs on the main stage. b) Francesca Lee with Lyle Belger.

12) Folks jam at the Redwood Circle.

13) MoMo Cortez sings with Sky Nelson on piano.

14) Eric London on guitar and Holly Harman on harmonica.

15) Lane Murchison plays the guitar and represents the Circle of Advisors.

16) Dave Perron introduces and thanks the Bread & Roses staff.

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