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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.

Marco Benevento & The Novelists 12/1 Chapel Benefit A Smashing Success

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Pianist/song-writer and sound-sculptor extraordinaire Marco Benevento and special guests Reed Mathis and Cochrane McMillan from Tea Leaf Green performed an outstanding concert to benefit Bread & Roses on Sunday December 1 at The Chapel, a stylish new music and restaurant venue on Valencia Street in San Francisco's Mission District.

The concert was a unique opportunity to hear Marco play -- in collaboration with Reed and Cochrane -- an inspired set of exuberant music with soaring instrumental melodies. A true highlight of the evening came when Marco invited any member of the audience to join him onstage in exchange for donating a dollar or two to Bread & Roses and piano teacher Holly Bowling responded.  A fan of Marco's for a long time, she came to the concert on her own and played Heart and Soul with him when she first sat down at the piano. The audience went wild when she then began to play with finesse a duet with him on his original song Atari. Click here to read the article "One Fan's Experience Sitting in with Marco Benevento" to hear what it was like first-hand. 

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Hard Rock Blues Brunch for Bread & Roses and Everybody Is A Star

Bread & Roses hosted a fun Blues Brunch at the Hard Rock Cafe (SF) on Sunday October 27th with Everybody Is A Star. All who were there enjoyed a delicious breakfast buffet and soul-satisfying, live music. With world-class harmonica player Mark Hummel's Blues Blowout, special guests Nick Gravenites and Ron Thompson thrilled all with their spirited blues playing.  Performances were also given by  Loren Moale, Eva Sapper and Jeannette Denny from Everybody is a Star.
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Thanks so much to Bob Boemer at the Hard Rock Cafe on Pier 39 for donating the use of his stylish venue dedicated to the celebration of Rock & Roll to support two extraordinary organizations that share a belief in the power of music to transform lives and lift the human spirit.

We also appreciated the support of Howard Sapper and his volunteers who helped organize a raffle. Hats off to former board member Mary Doan who helped Bread & Roses kickoff the concept of this special collaboration.

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Rita Moreno & "Broadway Under the Stars" Benefit Cabaret

Rita_DancingOn Saturday Oct. 12, an outstanding cabaret concert was given by Rita Moreno at Coventry Grove in Kensington, CA , to benefit Bread & Roses.  Stephan Stubbins with Leah Sprecher and Robert Petrarca from "Broadway Under the Stars" opened giving all a sense of the wonderful music they present each summer at Jack London State Park.

Generous host Danny Scher opened his home and lovely amphitheatre amidst the redwood trees for our afternoon event to support our ongoing program of live music in 600 annual concerts for isolated people around the Bay.  On the board of the Bill Graham Foundation, Danny has been a supporter since Bread & Roses early days when he helped with production for our benefit concerts at the Greek Theatre in Berkeley.

Rita Moreno's intimate cabaret-style show (with trio Russell Kassoff on piano, David Rokeach on drums and Andrew Higgins on bass) transported all in feeling to the coziest club on Broadway.    It was thrilling to hear Ms. Moreno unearth such gems as An Errand Girl for Rhythm, Smoky Joe's and Send Me. She performed songs like Honeysuckle Rose about different women's lives.  She told funny stories mixing in real experiences from her life as she introduced each piece.  Her scat singing was a revelation on songs like Brasil. She even sang an early holiday song from her first home in Puerto Rico.

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Music from Bread & Roses Lifts Spirits at San Rafael's REST Shelter Program

gmuldrow2Though many people in Marin County have resources, some who live here find themselves homeless during the cold and rainy season. It is our pleasure to serve our neighbors in need again this winter through REST a remarkable shelter program at a variety of churches in Marin County.

Bread & Roses Volunteer Host Dick Miner spoke movingly of a Bread & Roses show for The REST Program (Rotating Emergency Shelter Team).

"The homeless men who participate in the Marin County REST program received a very special gift from Gail Muldrow.  Gail played guitar and sang while the men ate dinner and prepared their sleeping arrangements.

She is a very soulful singer-songwriter and an amazingly gifted guitarist.  Gail quietly began the show with a lovely version of Neil Young’s Old Man Take A Look At My Life. The men, who were in line for food, stopped what they were doing and let the music move them.  Some came over and stood transfixed watching her play.

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Bank of the West Community Impact Philanthropy Award Benefits Bread & Roses

Bread & Roses was one of nine nonprofits to be given an award at the Bank of the West's Fourth Annual Philanthropy Awards.  As a finalist for a Community Impact Award, we received $10,000 during the bank’s award ceremony on October 22 in San Francisco. We are especially proud to have received this grant as we understand we were one of 300 nonprofit organizations across the bank's western region to be considered for the award.

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Roy Rogers & Carlos Reyes at the Fenix; Outstanding Music in Exciting New Benefit Concert Series

How often does one have the chance to hear one of America's top slide guitarists in concert with an electrifying Paraguayan harpist and violinist while enjoying a delicious brunch with friends in a stylish and intimate club with spectacular sound?   While at the same time providing an opportunity to support hope and healing through live music for our neighbors who are most in need?
Better_Merl_and_RoyOn Sunday Sept. 8 at the beautiful Fenix music club & restaurant in San Rafael, extraordinary slide guitarist Roy Rogers and violinist/harpist Carlos Reyes put on a thrilling brunch-time concert for 120 lucky fans to benefit Bread & Roses and the Ritter Center. Thanks to former Bread & Roses board member Merl Saunders, Jr. executive director of the Fenix, and Laura van Galen , the club's CEO, for their generosity in providing this beautiful new cabaret-style venue with state-of-the-art sound.

Roy Rogers with Merl Saunders, Jr. at the benefit brunch. Photo by Marian Hubler, Courtesy of Bread & Roses.

 

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'Rock The Ages' at Whistlestop: Health Benefits For Seniors Through Choral Singing

There's been a lot in the media recently about the health benefits of choral singing for those who are older.   The "Rock the Ages" chorus at The Redwoods in Mill Valley performed an inspiring and poignant concert for Bread & Roses at Whistlestop's regular lunch program for seniorsin San Rafael recently. Many benefits were received not only by the audience, but especially by those who were singing.

Chorus member Dave, who kicked off the concert with a solo on Coldplay's "Yellow," said "I like singing in the chorus as it gives everyone a feeling of happiness."

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Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir Performs at San Quentin's Day of Peace

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Just Say Yes! Monthly Shows for Children’s Musician Gary Lapow

Gary Lapow

Sounds of laughter, lots of smiles and much singing along can always be heard when musician Gary Lapow does one of his monthly shows for Bread & Roses. About a third of our Bay Area program -- close to 200 shows every year -- are given for pre-school and elementary children, as well as other youth in a variety of places like low-income day care centers, special needs schools, family shelters, teen rehabs and juvenile detention facilities.

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New Volunteer Host Helena Pappas Shares First-time Bread & Roses Show Story

"Volunteers are the backbone of our organization," said the late Mimi Fariña, Bread & Roses founder.  Our show hosts, in particular, represent our organization on-site at over half of our institutional performances allowing our small staff to produce 600 Bay Area concerts annually.  

More volunteers are always needed to host our programs, particularly in San Francisco, the East Bay and on the Peninsula.  Hosts greet the performers, help with set-up, liaison with facility staff, act as emcee and report on the effectiveness of our shows.

New host Helena Pappas, is a classically trained pianist and attorney from San Francisco. After her first Bread & Roses show at the VA Medical Center in San Francisco, she recalled some of the audience reactions that day and her experience of the deep healing and joy that music can bring.

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“The JAM” Annual Volunteer Recognition Event Celebrates B&R Volunteers

 

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Marin County Teen Sensation Matt Jaffe Pledges Proceeds from 6/27 Concert to Bread & Roses

 

mattjBread & Roses volunteer performer Matt Jaffe, with his band The Distractions, will be performing at 142 Throckmorton Theatre in Mill Valley on Thursday June 27 at 8 pm. Opening the evening will be special guests False Priest. A portion of the show’s proceeds will benefit Bread and Roses.

This is an especially poignant concert for Bread & Roses.  Now 18, Matt has been performing for our institutional audiences for over five years -- His concerts for youth audiences have been particularly inspiring. Teens in residential rehab facilities like Our Common Ground in Redwood City and Sonoma Juvenile are working to express their creativity in positive ways and Matt has been an outstanding role model for them.

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Art to Heart: Bread & Roses' 2013 Spring Benefit

 

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Moonalice Celebrates Sixth Birthday with Delancey Street Concert

MoonaliceHappy Sixth Birthday Moonalice! Bread & Roses was honored that the band chose to celebrate its six-year anniversary by performing a high energy concert for the residents of Delancey Street Foundation in San Francisco on Tuesday May 7th.

With a spectacular light show as backdrop, and a beautiful poster by David Singer especially designed for the occasion, this over-the-top concert had everyone 'feeling the love.'

The audience was on its feet for the latter part of the show singing along to such classic tunes as the Beatles "Revolution" and Roger McNamee's lively version of Bing Crosby's 1913 classic hit "Brother Can You Spare a Dime?"

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Wishing Her Well: Joan Baez, Sr. Joins the Heavenly Band

Joan Baez Sr.

Joan Chandos Baez Senior passed away shortly after her 100th birthday party on Saturday, April 20, 2013 at 11:40 PM in her home in Woodside, California.

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'Singing Surgeon' Eases Stress by Mixing Music and Medicine

Dr. Laura Esserman

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Huey Lewis Wins ProAm Golf Event; Bread & Roses Is Charity of Choice

Longtime Bread & Roses supporter and performer Huey Lewis played a great game of golf during the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am Celebrity Challenge and won $10,000 for Bread & Roses! Huey and his golf partner Jake Owens "rolled in an arching 40-footer on the 18th green on Wednesday, February 6, 2013 to win a 12-man 'chip-off and earned $20,000 for two charities of choice in the biggest moment of the five-hole celebrity tournament at Pebble Beach Golf Links" according to the Monterey Herald.

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From left: Charles Kelley, Jake Owen, Huey Lewis and Ray Romano sing "America, the Beautiful" after finishing the $100,000 celebrity charity shoot-out golf match at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am in Pebble Beach, Calif. on Wed, Feb. 6, 2013. (LiPo Ching/Mercury News Staff)

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Happy Valentine's Day to Our Heart of Marin Nominees Alan Thomas & Sally Peter

newnew_heart_of_marinWe appreciate the many contributions of all our volunteers throughout the Bay Area who help us share their gifts on a daily basis with those who need music most. Once a year, we have the opportunity to recognize several volunteers through the Heart of Marin Award Ceremony that is held each January at the Marin Civic Center.   At this year's event on January 10, we celebrated our nominees for 2012, pianist Alan Thomas and host Sally Peter.

 

About Alan Thomas

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"Follow Me Down, Portraits of Louisiana Prison Musicians"; Bread & Roses in post film Q & A on 1/12

The film "Follow Me Down, Portraits of Louisiana Prison Musicians" will be shown at Intersection for the Arts, 925 Mission Street, Suite 109 in San Francisco on Sat., Jan. 12, 2013 at 7 pm as a benefit for the William James Association Prison Arts Project. Bread & Roses Program Director Carolyn Gauthier will participate in the Q & A after the film with other panelists.

 

TRAILER - Follow Me Down: Portraits of Louisiana Prison Musicians (2012) from Ben Harbert on Vimeo.

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Highlights of Our Holiday Shows December 2012!

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The Second Annual Bread & Roses Holiday Chorus at The Redwoods 
(Photo by Lisa Starbird)

It was truly a heart-warming and collaborative experience to see audiences singing along with the Bread & Roses Holiday Chorus at four different facilities: The Blind & Vision Impaired of Marin, The Redwoods in Mill Valley, Laguna Honda Hospital in San Francisco and New Bridge Foundation in Berkeley.  A diverse group of singers came together including children from Young Performers International (who sang the Hannukah Song in several languages), professional vocalists like Debbie Cucalon and Linda Kosut, Bread & Roses donors, hosts and other volunteers as well as members of the Unity of Marin Choir. The chorus, conducted by Carolyn Gauthier (pictured above) and Marian Hubler, was accompanied with great spirit by Alan Thomas on piano.

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