2010 RALPH J. GLEASON AWARD
Michael Franti knows all about the power of music. He knows how it can inspire, uplift and make people want to dance or cry. He felt it firsthand recently when he heard the children’s chorus at New York’s PS22 elementary school singing “I’m Alive (Life Sounds Like),” the celebratory first single from Franti’s tenth studio album, All People.
“It moved me to tears, to hear these kids singing, ‘Everybody wants me to be who they want me to be.’ That’s who I wrote ‘People’ for. To let them know, your mission in life should be to be yourself and to embrace the diversity of others.” It’s a rule the barefoot, 6-foot-6 San Francisco based singer-songwriter-guitarist and philanthropist has diligently followed over the past two decades, proactively creating and supporting numerous environmental, humanitarian and social causes.
The Ralph J. Gleason Award is in memory of music journalist Ralph J. Gleason, a major figure in the advancement of music in America in the 1960s, whose openness to new music and ideas transcended differences between generations and styles.