Ken Newman is a San Francisco-based Singer/Songwriter. He currently performs solo and with his band, “Berkeley Bronx,” (w/ Andrea Hensler and Mario Ornelas) Prior to that, he was lead singer and rhythm guitarist for the band, “Last Bastion.”
For the past six years, his earnings from music have all been donated to a variety of homeless charities; specifically, Compass Family Services, Larkin St. Youth Services, and Raphael House. More recently, he and a number of fellow musicians have been supporting a program called, “Blanket The Homeless.” Started with his friend, Bronica Blue, their mission is to package up emergency blankets, hand warmers, socks, first aid kits, and other items and distribute them to people living on the streets of San Francisco. Since October of 2016, thousands of these ‘care packages’ have been given out.
In late 2014, Ken became involved with a program called “Be Robin.” Started by Comedian, Margaret Cho, “Be Robin.” was a homeless outreach program that celebrated the memory and philanthropy of her dear friend, Robin Williams. The goal here was simple: to organize street performances, collect money and distribute it to the homeless. It started with a small crowd of people in the Haight Ashbury, gathering around Margaret and her friend and fellow performer, Gerri Lawlor. A simple sign on the ground said, “If you have, give, if you need, take” And people gave. A LOT.
Be Robin soon developed into a number of street shows at locations around San Francisco and then into larger events at The Oasis, The Condor, The Boom Boom Room, The Edge and other venues. Many talented local musicians like Roger Rocha, Bob Mould, Mia Simmans, Josh Zee, Ari Gorman, as well as promoter, Donna Merlino helped it go viral. And then, comedian and documentary fillmaker, Kurt Weitzmann immortalized it by creating the film, “Be Robin – The Movie” which is now winning awards at festivals throughout the country.
Ken is currently working on his album, “Fiasco,” produced by Scott Mickelson The plan is to release it in Spring of 2018. All proceeds from album sales and downloads will also support our homeless outreach programs …