Musician Michael Franti may be on tour these days but that doesn’t mean the Bay Area native is too busy to pop home for good causes. He joined GLIDE for its Annual Holiday Jam: Love Matters on Dec. 3 at the Warfield Theatre, and on Dec. 7 he was in Berkeley for the unveiling of the new Claremont Club & Spa, a Fairmont Hotel.
GLIDE’s spirited evening of spoken word, storytelling and live music featured not only Franti, who performed at the top of the show as Michael Franti Acoustic Duo featuring the Glide Ensemble and Change Band, but also inspiring performances by Valerie Simpson, Justin Vivian Bond and Youth Speaks.
“Tonight, we celebrate our shared humanity with music, poetry and joy,” said Reverend Cecil Williams, GLIDE Co-Founder and Minister of Liberation. “On this evening, we honor those who share their compassion, acceptance and love in order to make a difference. Together, we cast light upon the difficult and shadowed roads to justice and inspire one another to discover new depths and heights in this continuing journey called community. We explore what matters and together, we learn LOVE MATTERS.”
“We are powered by unconditional love and acceptance,” said Janice Mirikitani, GLIDE Co-Founder and Founding President. “We thank our generous supporters for allowing us to fulfill this mission day in and day out. Your unconditional support opens doors of opportunity for all who reach out to us.”
Benefiting Mo’s Kitchen and GLIDE’s programs, Love Matters was emceed by Bay Area radio host and San Francisco Giants announcer Dr. Renel Brooks-Moon. The evening’s honorary co-chairs included Richard C. Blum, Senator Dianne Feinstein, The Honorable Willie L. Brown, Jr., Angela Y. Davis, Ambassador James C. Hormel and Michael P. Nguyen and Congresswoman Barbara Lee.
Fairmont Unveils New Claremont Club & Spa
Photo Credit: Fairmont Hotels
A few days later across The Bay, Franti was on the scene when Fairmont officially welcomed the new Claremont Club & Spa to its family with a lively celebration. Members of Bay Area Fairmont Hotels and Resorts presented a check to Franti for his Do It For the Love Foundation, which aims to bring hope and joy through the power of music into the lives of people all over the world.
Attendees had a chance to tour the renovated property, which was built in 1915 and is and ideally nestled at the base of the Claremont Canyon Regional Preserve, overlooking scenic San Francisco Bay. The Claremont offers 276 handsomely-restored guestrooms and suites, an impressive club and spa, and an unparalleled dining portfolio that will soon include two-Michelin starred chef ‘s Dominique Crenn‘s Antoinette, a French Brasserie expected to open in early 2016. Fairmont’s parent company, FRHI Hotels & Resorts purchased the Claremont in 2014 in partnership with California financier Richard C. Blum and his family. Following a multi-million dollar capital investment project, which updated the hotel’s facilities and enhanced its castle-like architecture, the majestic hotel sits in the Berkeley and Oakland Hills and is now poised to continue its rich legacy into the next millennia as a Fairmont hotel.
“Fairmont Hotels & Resorts has long been a pioneer when it comes to operating many of the world’s most beautiful landmarks, full of rich history and cultural significance. For a century, Claremont Club & Spa has been welcoming guests as one of northern California’s most revered hotels, so it has been an honor for Fairmont to take on this heritage hotel’s restoration and reintroduction as a Fairmont property,” says Kevin Frid, president, Americas, FRHI Hotels & Resorts. “Growth continues to be one of our top priorities, so we are extremely excited to be adding an asset as attractive as the Claremont to the Fairmont family.”
Photo Credit: Fairmont Hotels