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  • Skip Corsini

Performer Profile – Kurt Huget

Kurt Huget is a singer-songwriter/guitarist, volunteer musician and host, as well as a former staff producer who has been active with our organization since the 80s. Of his first experience with Bread & Roses, he shares: “I first saw founder Mimi Fariña in the early days at the “Festival of Music” benefit concerts at the Greek Theatre in Berkeley. When I heard about the mission, I was motivated to get involved.”

One of our most active performers for nearly four decades, Kurt donates his time and talents as a performer nearly every month for isolated audiences at facilities including Canyon Manor (mental health), The Cedars of Marin (developmentally disabled), Helen Vine Detox Center (adult recovery), Homeward Bound (homeless), San Quentin State Prison and many more. Audiences always respond to the warmth Kurt conveys through his music and the special moments he shares when connecting to the crowd. Kurt says of his shows, “There is a sweetness and innocence in the air, a child-like quality of being that makes you feel people are having their happiest moments.”

His familiar, versatile, easy-listening style shines in his repertoire of songs mainly from the 50s to the 80s like “Route 66” and “Don’t Worry, Be Happy.” As a songwriter, he has a catalogue of original work inspired by the late Robert Hunter of the Grateful Dead, with whom he wrote and recorded songs. He has also collaborated with many artists for Bread & Roses shows including noted media celebrity Ben Fong-Torres and David Freiberg of Jefferson Starship.

Kurt’s love of music and for the community extends beyond his volunteering for Bread & Roses. As a skilled musician who loves sharing his passion with others, Kurt also gives guitar lessons and donates a portion of his fees back to our organization. During the pandemic, he began teaching online to support our organization and continues to do so today.

During the pandemic, Kurt was very adaptive in playing for our audiences. At The Redwoods, a community of seniors in Mill Valley, he played on an outdoor mobile stage that moved to various locations within the facility. At a safe distance, some of the residents danced as they followed him like the Pied Piper.

He recently performed at our annual volunteer appreciation event at the San Francisco-Marin Food Bank in San Rafael. This concert was especially meaningful as he volunteers for both the food bank as well as Bread & Roses. Volunteers from both organizations know and love Kurt for his wonderful talent and spectacular heart.

“My involvement with Bread & Roses over the past four decades has been a labor of love, without the labor. Having performed all around the Bay Area as a freelance musician, I can say that there is nothing more satisfying that performing for a caring, attentive and appreciative audience. The intimacy of the connection with Bread & Roses audiences is very special. They are magnificent events for performers, with an inspired and direct heart-to-heart connection between artist and audience,” says Kurt.

In addition to his volunteer work with both Bread & Roses and the San Francisco-Marin Food Bank, Kurt teaches guitar every week at San Quentin under the auspices of the William James Association. He also teaches a weekly guitar class for seniors at Vivalon in San Rafael.

“I find great satisfaction in working with inmates, particularly those who have been incarcerated for some length of time, who are settled in their places, so to speak, and who can see beyond the limited nature of their incarceration into a future that involves artistic endeavor. Pleasant surprises take place anywhere you find them.”

Kurt recently helped to raise money for a long-time musical collaborator who had a stroke and needed financial assistance. He is always willing to give back when there is a benefit concert for a cause he believes in. Kurt is also a cancer survivor who never stopped performing during his treatment and continued to play virtual concerts for isolated audiences when he himself was immune-compromised.

An Oregon native, Kurt has a degree in English from UC Berkeley and is a long-time Bay Area resident. Playing a Bread & Roses concert at The Redwoods, he met his wife Tanya Mendoza when she was on staff. He enjoys gardening, travel and supports a wide range of cultural events. Kurt is a rockstar volunteer, an invaluable member of the community and a selfless individual who spends much of his time helping others.

Kurt Huget performs at the annual volunteer event in San Rafael on August 5, 2023.

Photo by Peter Merts

Contributed by Skip Corsini, Samantha Dueñas and Marian Hubler


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