On a lovely evening in mid-May, Bread & Roses Presents hosted its annual spring benefit at Terrapin Crossroads in San Rafael. It was our first time presenting a fundraiser at this wonderful venue with its special ambiance and dedication to live music.
About two hundred supporters joined us for the event, beginning with a pre-concert reception on the beautiful patio overlooking the canal. Guests enjoyed delicious canapés along with fine wines contributed by Kokomo Winery of Sonoma. Everyone had the opportunity to preview the exciting music and sports live auction items on the terrace.
The festive concert in the Grate Room began with the music of Gabriel Harris and Rhythm Village. In this elegant barn-like space with chandeliers and colored lights, Gabriel’s talented ensemble, including veteran Bread & Roses volunteer performers Tom Finch and Charles Moselle, helped to bring out the inner drummer in all of us.
Executive Director Dave Perron set a tone of appreciation for all who support our work of over 600 concerts a year for those who need it most throughout the Bay Area. He then introduced Olympic gold medalist skier Jonny Moseley, our emcee for the evening.
Honored special guest Joan Baez began her set with one of her classic anthems by Phil Ochs "There But For Fortune (Go You or I)" invoking the spirit of our mission to bring uplifting music to those who are isolated. She followed by singing "Bread & Roses," with lyrics by James Oppenheim and music by our founder, the late Mimi Fariña (Joan’s sister). Everyone listened raptly as Joan played a Tom Waits tune, then a moving version of "Swing Low Sweet Chariot" and "I Got Your Letter" from her 50th anniversary CD Day After Tomorrow.
With her son Gabriel Harris and band, she broke out Bob Dylan’s "It’s All Over Now Baby Blue" then did "Me & Bobby McGee" as a special tribute to Kris Kristofferson who was in the audience with his wife Lisa. She closed out her spirited set with John Lennon’s "Imagine" and one of her Spanish standards "Gracias A La Vida (Thanks for the Life.)"
After a successful live auction and energetic fund-a-need, singer-songwriter/guitarist Emree Franklin from Seattle opened the second set with three authentic original songs including "Dawn Patrol" where she echoed the theme of the night with her lyrics “where the healing is a feeling.”
Tea Leaf Green’s magnificent musicianship closed out the night with a dance party to which the collective tribe, led by Joan Baez, tried out their dance moves to the joy of all who were there. It was a great musical evening that will be long remembered by the like-minded community who shared the experience and most importantly, by the isolated audiences throughout the Bay Area who will receive uplifting music as a result.
Thanks to all the donors, sponsors and performers whose generosity continues to help keep our program strong. Special appreciation also to Moonalice Posters for sponsoring Stanley Mouse to create the beautiful art for our event poster. Mimi's spirit lives on!
Post by Marian Hubler
Video by Andrew Kaluzynski
Second Camera by Reese Brindisi
Slide Show Photos by Ken Friedman