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Bread & Roses Blog

News and information from Bread & Roses, a non-profit organization that presents live music to bring hope, healing and joy to the community.

Thanks to Swing Society & Teja Gerkin for their recent performances

A big thank you to The Swing Society and guitarist Teja Gerken who both provided music at events for Bread & Roses on Thursday October 20.   Our favorite octogenarian swingers, The Swing Society, performed big band hits and vintage jazz songs with vocalist Heather Harris (who we also know as the activity director at The Tamalpais),  as part of the featured entertainment at the Senior Information Fair at the Marin Civic Center.  

Teja Gerken provided beautiful acoustic guitar music at a benefit reception later that evening at the Rock Flower Paper retail store in San Anselmo that was founded by Bread & Roses board member Katie Smith.  Teja also works as an editor at Acoustic Guitar Magazine, which is part of String Letter Publishing.  By the way, if you are looking for an acoustic guitar teacher, check out String Letter Music School

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Thanks to the performers at the 10/10 benefit for Bread & Roses

Thanks to Audrey Auld, Tracy Blackman, Jess Chambers, Gail Muldrow and Megan Slankard for their wonderful music at the benefit for Bread & Roses on Sunday October 10 at The Woods Music Hall in Mill Valley.  "Into the Woods for Bread & Roses: Celebrating Strong Women of Song" followed the film "Leave Them Laughing" (co-presented by Bread & Roses) at the recent Mill Valley Film Festival.  The benefit was held in honor of Carla Zilbersmith, who was filmed during the last two years of her life as she struggled with Lou Gehrig's disease & continued to perform.  Our founder, the late Mimi Fariña, believed in the power of live music and its ability to bring joy and uplift the performer as well as the audience.  We appreciate the singer-songwriter/guitarists who helped us with this special event: Audrey Auld who came all the way from Nashville & shared her "Bread & Roses" song; Tracy Blackman, with Jimmy Dillon on guitar, who had us in stitches when she talked about her daughter Ella in her song "Baby's Gotta Have It"; Jess Chambers who took us all to her native New Zealand in her island songs; Gail Muldrow who shared her soulful showmanship and Megan Slankard who continues to inspire us with her evolution as a chanteuse and her spirited dedication to the muse.  Our audiences are lucky to have these inspiring performers at our Bread & Roses institutional shows. 

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2010 JAM Highlight: Volunteer Award Winners at Annual Recognition Event

Once a year Bread & Roses has an event called "The JAM" to recognize its many wonderful volunteers.  Our volunteers are the backbone of our organization and we could not do our program without them.  Ten-year volunteer performer Danny Creed had this to say about his recent award:  "THANK YOU for making me feel so special on my ten-year award of performing for Bread & Roses.  It's truly been a joyful ten years of getting much more back from the places I've performed than I could ask for."  Thank you to ALL our volunteer performers.  To see photos of this year's award winners, visit volunteer photographer Peter Merts' website www.petermerts.com.

Here is the  list of this year's award winners: 

SPECIAL AWARDS

 

Trouper Award– Mark Hummel Trouper Award – Rusty Zinn  
Outstanding Performer for Youth – Nancy Cassidy  
Outstanding Performer -Arthur Javier
 
Outstanding Host – Linda MacVey
 
All Around Volunteer – Arlene Rudy
 
Outstanding Youth Performer – Matt Jaffe
Outstanding Youth Performer – Alexis Forchette
 
Outstanding Event Volunteers– Maureen Donnelly & John Martinez
 
Outstanding Professional Services – W.I.G.T.  
Above and Beyond – Susan Gilardi
 
 
 
30 Year Volunteer:
Grady Knowles 20 Year Performers:
Wendy DeWitt, Tom Ekkens, Joan Getz, Michael Lee, Richard Nathan, Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir, Si Perkoff, Joanne Shwed, Otte Tobiassen, Linda Wiggins
15 Year Performers:
Calaveras, Phil Campbell, Oakland Jazz Choir, Diane Ferlatte, ‘Til Dawn 15 Year Volunteers:
Skip Brown, Michael Norelli
10 Year Performers:
Garrin Benfield, Mark Bunnell , Suzanne Ciani, Danny Creed, Kat Fitzgerald, Ross Gualco, Lick Wilmerding Jazz Combo, Swing Society, Vukani Mawethu Choir, Deborah Winters
10 Year Volunteers:
Andrew de Lory, Mary Alice Kirincic, Lloyd Minthorne, Clyde Niesen

 

 

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Bread & Roses Volunteers Celebrate at "The JAM"

The JAM!  Bread & Roses celebrates its volunteers at the annual recognition event.

 

On a recent sunny Sunday in August we gathered at the home of board member Toby Nady.   Over 350 different individual performers and groups volunteer for Bread & Roses at any given time. Once a year we come together to honor everyone's contributions of time and talent throughout the year.  Over 600 programs of live music and the performing arts are presented on a continuing basis to those who are isolated. Thanks to all who volunteer!

 

Group Photo by Ken Friedman, Courtesy of Bread & Roses
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Asheba at Children’s Learning Center in Alameda

“Kids Become Super Heroes with Asheba at Children’s Learning Center”

 

A native of Trinidad, Asheba is a singer-songwriter/guitarist who performs Caribbean music for children.  The following story by Carmen Coleman is about a recent show he did for Bread & Roses at Children's Learning Center, a special needs school in Alameda.

It was costume week at Children’s Learning Center and the day that Asheba performed there, May 7, just happened to be “Super Hero” day.  To stay in the spirit of “Super Heroes” and to capitalize on the energy buzz the kids embodied in these costumes, Asheba masterfully created a song -- on the spot, mind you -- about super heroes.  The song was interactive and loads of fun for the kids.

Asheba asked a profound question for the kids to ponder, “What is a super hero?”  After he asked the question, he got a variety of different answers. They were all sincere, honest and the kids were all honored in their responses. Asheba added an additional definition to their consciousness. “Teachers in school are super heroes because they love you enough to help you learn.  Also, someone who stops you from getting hurt could be a super hero and most importantly, you can be a super hero for some.”  One kid said,  “I never thought of a super hero in that way but that is cool.”

 

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Our "Music Therapy" in Marin Magazine

Thanks to Executive Editor Jim Wood & our friends at Marin Magazine for the nice piece in the August issue in their "FYI: Causes" section about Bread & Roses mission to provide hope and healing through live music.  Marin Magazine staff attended several recent Bread & Roses programs at the Manzanita Child Development Center in Marin City,  The Cedars in Ross and the Canal Family Support Center in San Rafael.  Kudos also to performers Ira Marlowe (singer-songwriter/guitarist), San Domenico's Virtuoso program (classical music) and Johnny Kearns (magician/clown/juggler).   Your support means so much...  

Marin Magazine: Music Therapy

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Happy Hour Fundraiser at The Tavern at Lark Creek

Bread & Roses enjoyed yet another fantastic event, a special Happy Hour Fundraiser at The Tavern at Lark Creek in Larkspur.  We were thrilled with the number of people who turned out and are so grateful for this collaboration with The Tavern.

crowd in  the redwoods

The setting was ideal... a balmy, summer evening in a beautiful venue with seating and service indoors and out; live music played from an outdoor stage among the redwood grove by our very own Kurt Huget and Jesse Lee Kincaid; refreshing drinks - custom recipes designed especially for Bread & Roses - mixed and served by our board members and staff; and best of all, a huge turnout of happy hour revelers, including so many of our supporters and friends old and new!

We want to thank all of you who turned out and helped to make this such a festive, successful event!  We look forward to doing it all again... same time next year?

Tucky  Pogue, Susan Gilardi, Sudha Pennathurmusic  stage

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Rita Abrams honored for "Mill Valley" song 40th anniversary

Bread & Roses friend Rita Abrams is in the news for the 40th Anniversary of the recording of her "Mill Valley" song! Judy Herman, one of the third graders who originally sang with her said "She was all about music and dance and joy" and we couldn't agree more...

Our founder Mimi Fariña was from Mill Valley. Based in Corte Madera since 2000, Bread & Roses' office was located in Mill Valley for 17 years across from the Depot above Strawbridge's stationery store on Throckmorton Ave.  We fondly remember our time in Mill Valley  "where people aren't afraid to smile and stop and talk to you awhile..."  (lyrics from Rita's "Mill Valley" song...) For more information about Rita, see http://www.ritaabrams.com 

You can read more in a front page article by Joel Selvin in today's SF Chronicle (8/9/2010), "40-year reunion of 'Mill Valley' third-graders," and on Michael Krasney's recent Forum on KQED: 'Mill Valley,' 40 Years On.
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Alexis Forchette at Center Point RWC, San Rafael - 8/19/2009 - Photos by Peter Merts

Volunteer teen performer, Alexis Forchette, is a talented singer-songwriter/guitarist from Los Gatos who has done many programs for Bread & Roses audiences including Center Point RWC, a rehab facility for women in San Rafael, CA. 


Please note these photos are to promote the mission of Bread & Roses and are not to be modified or used for commercial purposes. Use by permission only - contact info@breadandroses.org

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Epworth Music & Arts Ministry Presents Benefit on Friday June 18

Eve DeckerThe Epworth Music & Arts Ministry will present a concert to benefit its ministry & Bread & Roses on Friday June 18 at 7 pm.  Suggested donation for tickets is $15.  Tickets available at the door at 6 pm. Performers include Bread & Roses volunteer Eve Decker (in photo on left)  along with Anne Weiss, Dave Smallen, Ghosts of Electricity, Lissy Walker, Brazen Squirrels & The Albany All-Stars.  The Epworth Music & Arts Ministry is part of Epworth United Methodist Church, 1953 Hopkins Street in Berkeley.  Bread & Roses brings hope and healing through live music to people in institutions in eight counties throughout the Bay Area. We bring programs to the Center for Elders Independence, Harrison House and New Bridge in Berkeley.

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Remembering famed Rock Photographer Jim Marshall for his generosity to Bread & Roses

This article by Carla Selvin reminded us of Jim Marshall's generous gifts of his photography to Bread & Roses through the years from the Greek Theatre shows in Berkeley to more recent gifts of photographs of our founder Mimi Farina and her sister Joan Baez. His great talent and indomitable spirit will be missed. (Photo of Mimi Farina (top) & Joan Baez in Monterey in the 60's by Jim Marshall.  Courtesy of Bread & Roses) 

Memorial For Legendary Photographer Jim Marshall Monday

Hanging in the living room of Jim Marshall's Castro flat is a photograph of Obama standing in the White House, pointing to a picture of John Coltrane on the wall. Marshall took that Coltrane photo more than 40 years ago in San Francisco Chronicle columnist Ralph J Gleason's living room. Underneath the image of Obama is inscribed, " To Jim--I'm a big fan of yours and John's. Best, Barack Obama."

Marshall, who died in his sleep last month in New York at the age of 74, is the greatest music photographer of all time. A San Francisco native, he took indelible images of Bob Dylan, Miles Davis, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, and countless others over a career that produced more than 400 album cover photographs. He was also an oddball, to say the least. He wore a firearm as often as he wore his camera--and even though he threatened everyone in his way, he only shot people's photographs. He talked tough and was often drunk and disorderly, but he had a soft center. He specialized in verbal abuse towards those around him, but he was also a deeply sentimental and loving man, a side he unsuccessfully tried to disguise.

A hand-picked collection of his work, titled Trust, was released last year from Omnibus Press, featuring rare glimpses of his color work. In it you find some of Marshall's many masterpieces: Grace Slick and Janis Joplin pretending to be lovers. Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash sharing a secret on the set of The Johnny Cash Show. Coltrane leaving his home at sunset on his way to a gig. Shel Silverstein rocking out in a studio in Sausalito. Through Marshall's lens, these entertainers were caught in the act of being themselves.

Marshall's photographs are recognized around the world--Dylan kicking a tire, Hendrix burning his guitar, Joplin with a bottle of Southern Comfort in her dressing room. He claimed his shot of Cash flipping off the warden was the most bootlegged photograph in history. No photographer will ever have a career to match Marshall's. He was always in the right place at the right time to document rock and roll history, capturing a variety of musicians from all walks of life.

A true San Francisco character and brilliant artist, Marshall had no children and leaves no family--but he will be remembered by his friends and associates in a memorial Monday night, May 17, at the Great American Music Hall.

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Enriching Lives Through Music (ELM) - Essence Story

The "Enriching Lives Through Music (ELM)" student ensemble delighted the residents of the Aldersly Garden Retirement Community in San Rafael with a recent musical performance for Bread & Roses. It is a community based music program for elementary school students who have a talent and passion for music.  Using voice, recorders and xylophones and with the help of three teachers, the students presented a program of music from various countries.
Soloists and different-sized groups of musicians performed, sometimes accompanied by their leader, Jane Kramer, on guitar and sometimes by clapping or rhythm instruments. The musicians all proudly wore their green or yellow tee shirts with the "ELM" logo on them.


The students came with soprano, alto and base xylophones as well as soprano and alto recorders. They sang a song in Spanish and played an Irish song, among others. In their last song each recorder represented a different instrument, like a trumpet, which made an interesting piece. Everybody came forward for the finale. These budding musicians "did themselves proud!"
The audience loved hearing the students perform and meeting them after the show. It is always a treat for them to have young people perform and do it so well. It was a most enjoyable afternoon for all.
Story by Volunteer Host Sally Peter

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Nancy Cassidy - Performer Testimonial

This past year I've been honored to play for Bread and Roses at hospitals and preschools, and had a particularly touching gig yesterday at UCSF Children's Hospital. A man was there the whole time holding his two-year-old son and started doing hand motions. When he sang "the daddy on the bus says 'I love you'"...it was so sweet and tender. Another little boy in his tykes car beeped his horn to "Wheels on the Bus." His mom said how happy he was to be in the room singing as he had been kept in bed for two weeks earlier.

On April 21st I'll be returning for the third time to the Tenderloin Childcare Center in SF.  If any of you wonderful musicians are ever interested in performing for groups of all ages who are living/staying in institutions, please give Bread and Roses a call...they are looking for performers and facilitators and your life will be the better for it.  
Nancy Cassidy, Volunteer Performer

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A Bread & Roses Essence Story

Volunteer hosts introduce our performers and write stories describing the effect of Bread & Roses programs on our institutional audiences. We bring hope and healing through live music and other performance art to isolated people throughout the San Francisco Bay Area in over 600 concerts every year. We are always recruiting more volunteers — and especially need more performers for diverse youth audiences. We appreciate your support and referrals. Click here for online volunteer application or to donate.

What: Bread & Roses Program - January 29, 2010
Who: Derique at Transition Learning Center, San Pablo
Where: Volunteer Host & Story by Henry Kaiser

Derique

Derique performed at an outreach event for Bread & Roses at the Bay Area Discovery Museum.  A volunteer performer for almost ten years, Derique has done over 15 programs for youth who are isolated in Bay Area institutions.  

At first it was just a cold gym with a grey tile floor and a harsh winter light shining in from high side windows. Derique, the performer, explained, “I’ll be presenting happy and thought provoking material, all related to the irresistible movement of the Hambone rhythm.” Then the sound system was powered up and the Hambone music started, filling the large space with warmth and energy. The mostly high school age students started to file in. Feet started tapping and bodies rocked softly back and forth as the growing audience waited for the show to begin.

We are in San Pablo, a tough neighborhood, at a school especially staffed to serve students from disadvantaged backgrounds and with a wide variety of learning disabilities, speech pathology, and other challenges. The audience is calm, neatly dressed, but eagerly attentive. A small candle burns on the table next to the sound system: a member of the school was murdered a week ago, and the funeral is today. Otherwise the audience would be twice as large.

The show starts when Derique does some fancy dance moves involving a fast rhythm of foot taps, claps, hand slaps, as he explains “Every culture has its unique way of celebrating its joy and expressing its cultural heritage and affinity. This is what I bring forward in my art. It’s about creativity in body drumming and percussion, but it’s also about cultural history and hope. It comes from slavery, and the heritage of making something out of nothing”. More taps, shuffles, claps, pops and slaps in an ever-widening variety of rhythms. “When we create,” Derique continues, “we draw from our ancestors.” He is one minute into the show, and already the audience is totally engaged in the art and history of Hambone.

“Hambone is about faith and beautiful spirit,” says Derique. He describes slave owners who prohibited the practice of drumming which had been brought from Africa. The slaves reacted by inventing the Hambone art form as a replacement way to capture the rhythm. “Hambone is about leadership, perseverance, resilience, wisdom, faith and oneness.” He explains a dance step called ‘Patenjuba’ which is based on ancient African drumbeats and relates this to present day rap, breakdance and other popular modern day forms that come from Hambone. All are asked to stand, and he quickly teaches a variety of stomps, claps, slaps and movements in counter point rhythms to various parts of the audience. Everyone is grinning and laughing. As variations are added, the rhythms become infectious and irresistible. Then he encourages eight volunteers to come into the center of the circle of chairs and they are taught to do a complicated dance while their friends cheer them on. Derique turns on a video of a professional Hambone dance group from South Africa doing Gumboot Dance. The dance has roots with slave workers a mile underground in the noisy and wet gold and diamond mines, working the rock face with the water cannon. All they had were visual cues for communication, and out of this an art form was born – beauty springing from misery and oppression, as people found a way to tap into the irrepressible happiness inside them that could not be stifled. Derique concludes: “Tap into your own happiness. It’s inside you. You feel it, it makes you move and dance. It’s there! Bring it Out! Live it!”

Where did 60 minutes go? Wow! I have never seen a more compelling and effective integration of art and message. This is an audience that seemed to hunger for this message. After the show, one staff member said, “See that boy over there? He’s seven, and he’s already seen three murders in 2010. Every morning when these kids come to class I say ‘thank goodness, they’ve survived another night’. They need this so much. Thank you, Bread & Roses.”

*Photos by Peter Merts.

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Teatro ZinZanni's 10th Anniversary

Celebrating 10 years in San Francisco, Teatro ZinZanni a not-for-profit theatre arts organization, is dedicated to invigorating broad and diverse live audiences through creative arts of all disciplines. Teatro ZinZanni is one of the only places in the world where more than a dozen international performers of the highest caliber are featured nightly. The show has joined the ranks of famed European clubs such as the Wintergarten and the Tigerpalast as a world-class showcase for the increasingly rare arts of the cirque. We are proud to celebrate our continued partnership with Bread & Roses and our shared goal of uplifting audiences through the arts.

 

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Music Therapy for Alzheimer's Patients

Bread & Roses brings hope and healing through live music. As this article from the Wall Street Journal suggests - music therapy holds a key for unlocking healing potential in Alzheimer's patients. We can attest to the healing quality of music for all of our audiences that listen to a Bread & Roses show. Click here to read the full article.

Here is a snippet of the Wall Street Journal article:

"Caregivers have observed for decades that Alzheimer's patients can still remember and sing songs long after they've stopped recognizing names and faces. Many hospitals and nursing homes use music as recreation, since it brings patients pleasure. But beyond the entertainment value, there's growing evidence that listening to music can also help stimulate seemingly lost memories and even help restore some cognitive function."

"'What I believe is happening is that by engaging very basic mechanisms of emotions and listening, music is stimulating dormant areas of the brain that haven't been accessible due to degenerative disease,' says Concetta Tomaino, executive director of the Institute for Music and Neurologic Function, a nonprofit organization founded at Beth Abraham in 1995."

"Dr. Tomaino, who has studied the therapeutic effects of music for more than 30 years, is spearheading a new program to provide iPods loaded with customized playlists to help spread the benefits of music therapy to Alzheimer's patients even at home. "If someone loved opera or classical or jazz or religious music, or if they sang and danced when the family got together, we can recreate that music and help them relive those experiences," she says."

Photo by Peter Merts

 

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Mill Valley Market Rings Up Gifts for Bread & Roses

 

Bread & Roses is grateful to be a beneficiary of Mill Valley Market's SHOP & GIVE donation program. With the SHOP & GIVE program, we receive a donation every time you shop at the market and mention Bread & Roses to the cashier. That's it! No hidden fees or deductions. The full amount of your qualified donation will directly benefit our programs. Please help us this season by participating in this wonderful SHOP & GIVE program.

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In Memory of Norton Buffalo

Our good friend Norton Buffalo succumbed to lung cancer on Oct. 30th. He was a one-of-a-kind performer: a brilliant musician and a funny guy. He was blessed with boundless energy, good humor, and inspiration, which he readily shared with everyone he met.

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The Real "Balloon Boy" Supports Bread & Roses

"Dan Nowell is a high-powered Corte Madera businessman these days, but on one morning 45 years ago, he was a high-flying boy defying death in the skies above Southern Marin."  (MarinIJ.com)

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New Logo

We hope that you like our updated image which is introduced by a new rose logo.

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