Oakland Promise – Michael Franti

Last month I photographed the 2020 Oakland Promise “Party for the Promise” fundraiser. Michael Franti performed as part of the event that featured many bay area leaders who support education. Oakland Promise is a college scholarship program for “cradle to college.”

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Toward the end of Franti’s performance, his wife Sara joined him on stage. Michael Franti shared a story about how their engagement led to one of his more famous songs.

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As I remember the story, Michael and Sara were engaged on Valentine’s Day. Their engagement day went well, but they had some small life struggles the following day. When Michael woke up the next morning, he picked up the guitar, and begin humming a melody and signing the chorus to the song that would become “Life is better with you.”

It is a good message to share with the audience too.

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Michael mentioned that he makes an effort every morning to start his day by acknowledging his wife before engaging with the outside world. Even though he is tempted by his phone, he does better when he remains connected to the people around him. Life is better that way.

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I really enjoyed reconnecting with some old friends. Photographing a benefit concert is special, because I feel as though I am doing something important for the community. I also have the benefit of great access.

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When I woke up the next morning, I was still humming, “Life is better with you.” I have been singing the last two weeks while editing and reviewing photos. I have also made an intention to be more present when I wake up in the morning. It seems obvious, but what we put into our head matters.

 (bryan farley)

I tend to want simple solutions, and I suspect that other people want quick fixes too; however, big problems require effort. This should not diminish music, but elevate it. We need to learn how to work together and dance together. We need to know, that no matter how bad it gets, life is better with each other.

Stay connected my friends.

more photos of the fundraiser and concert

 

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