Tribute to 25-Year Volunteer Debbie Cucalon
“Shine on and be the star you were meant to be. And may the healing power of music always play in your ear, as you ride the winds of your own ‘Love Journey.’”
Lyric from Debbie Cucalon’s song “Shine On” on her CD “Love Journey.” www.debbiecucalon.com
Our thoughts are with the family and friends of Debbie Cucalon, a twenty-five-year volunteer performer who recently passed away. A well-loved San Francisco vocalist, Debbie was an enthusiastic volunteer who supported Bread & Roses in many ways.
She opened for The Pete Escovedo Family with Sheila E at Bread & Roses annual benefit concert Viva La Musica at Teatro ZinZanni in 2011. She made her largest contribution as a singer for our institutional shows, performing standards, pop songs and show tunes for isolated audiences with many accompanists through the years including Alan Thomas, Rob Grant, Jeff Labes and Gary Rowe.
She was also an enthusiastic member of Bread & Roses Annual Holiday Chorus for close to a decade where she regularly sang Silent Night in Spanish for diverse institutional audiences.
Upon hearing the news, Pianist Alan Thomas wrote "I did so treasure the many gigs we did together. I signed on with Bread & Roses in 2008 and met Debbie at the first Christmas Chorus performance in 2011. We had a positive and harmonious musical relationship from then on. We performed outside of Bread & Roses as well including several times for the Calvary Presbyterian Church Seniors and were always guaranteed a standing ovation."
Particularly fond of performing for seniors, she once said; “To see the spark in their eyes when they recognize songs from their era, bringing back fond memories, warms my heart every time. I feel humbled and blessed, being able to bring joy and laughter to others through music and song that touches their soul. This has been such a large part of my life and touched me beyond measure!” (From the 2015 article “Singer Debbie Cucalon, Once An Impersonator, Has a New show of Her Own Music Coming Up” www.loveletterslive.com).
As noted in her Life Tribute in the San Francisco Chronicle on Sunday, June 6, 2021; "Her love for music and the performing arts was unparalleled and she spent years mastering the crafts of singing and songwriting. Debbie wrote and performed several of her own original songs when she did her own 'One Person' shows. She would share all these gifts with the world by donating her voice and songs with those at Bread & Roses... In lieu of flowers, please donate to www.breadandroses.org/donate - Debbie's favorite charity."
Debbie Cucalon, your big heart, big smile and big voice will be long remembered and with us always. We are so grateful that your many extraordinary gifts have helped sustain Bread & Roses for close to three decades.
Photos by Peter Merts 1.) Bread & Roses Performer Jam, 2014
2. & 3.) Bread & Roses Holiday Chorus at Vision Impaired of Marin, 2015
4.) Bread & Roses Performer Jam, 2017