Performers for 10th Annual Awards Dinner

Liliana Herrera

Liliana Herrera

Liliana Herrera is a Chicana Soul singer/songwriter, voice over artist and cultural worker based in the Bay Area. Hailing from California’s borderlands, she evokes her bicultural roots treading across vast musical genres and stages. Her artistry aims to uplift the rich contributions of black, immigrant and indigenous communities through song and storytelling. Recent recordings include a collaboration with renowned Bay Area artists, fighting to free asylum-seeking children and families from cages: Our Children Are Sacred; Liliana’s debut EP: Late Night Taco Stand Music; and Norte del Rio (w/Cumbia-dub band, Candelaria). Stay connected @ liltunes.com


Martha Hawthorne

Martha Hawthorne

Bill Foss and Martha Hawthorne play Old Time and
Italian music. Together they have performed, toured, composed and recorded
with bands including Duo Pizzicato, the Loud Ladies Foot Patrol, the Earl Bros, the Stairwell Sisters and the Knuckle Knockers. They are members of SEIU 1021, CTA San Mateo County Educators, and the Traveling Musicians Union, Local 1000 AFM


Dave Welsh

Dave Welsh

Dave Welsh is a writer, musician, union leader and retired postal worker. He came to San Francisco in 1966 to work full time for Ramparts as reporter and senior editor. This was an explosive time for the people’s movement – especially for Black liberation and to end the US war in Vietnam – and like many others he got drawn into it. Later that would mean support for the Black Panther Party, solidarity with the grassroots movement in Haiti, being part of Pastors for Peace border challenges to break the blockade of Cuba, and in recent years, Occupy Oakland; the “Block the Boat” direct actions that stopped Israeli ships from using the port of Oakland; and the ongoing fight to jail killer cops and stop the police from killing our people. Dave got hired by the Post Office on May Day 1975. That was the day he joined the Letter Carriers union, which he served for many years as shop steward, local officer, and labor council delegate. Since the 1980s he’s been singing with the Freedom Song Network and Western Workers Labor Heritage Festival.


Candy Smallwood

A second generation San Franciscan, Candy grew up in the Bayview/Hunters Point area of San Francisco, in the Alice Griffith public housing development of the San Francisco Housing Authority. She is the second oldest of eight kids. Graduating from Phillip Burton High School in 2000, Candy is an alumnus of City College of San Francisco, San Francisco State University, and San Francisco Law School.

A housing warrior and advocate, Candy is also an artist. Playing music and writing political poetry, Candy believes art is one of the most important things that we can do for ourselves and our expression. For the past four years, Candy has been playing music with the Brass Liberation Orchestra, a political street brass band, that supports social justice causes and actions around the Bay Area. A lover of Jazz, Candy has also spent the past three years studying Jazz.

A story teller, Candy enjoys telling stories through her music, sharing her experiences, and her emotions. Music is in her blood. Local jazz legends – Mary Stallings and Margie Baker – are her relatives and have greatly influenced her love of music.


Francisco Herrera

Growing up in the border town of Calexico, California, Francisco Herrera always straddled two worlds. “My siblings and cousins and I used to sing rancheras and some mariachi at family parties, and when we got a little older we started some garage rock bands,” he recalls of his early musical exploits. But as he became more involved in the church and in particular with the Latin American school of Liberation Theology, Herrera began exploring ways to use music to further his goals of social justice. Herrera traveled extensively throughout Latin America working with community organizations even as he finished his four years at seminary school, all the while toting his guitar and whipping it out for events, actions, and church meetings. “Reflection, meditation, prayer, all those things are important. But they’re important so you can play a role here to make social change. De ahí nacen all those misas that have a social message.” He deftly weaves between English and Spanish as he explains the philosophy of Liberation Theology as he sits under portraits of his two heroes, Che Guevara and Monseñor Oscar Romero, the Salvadoran archbishop who was assassinated in 1980. Francisco Herrera’s most recent album, Honor Migrante, is full of songs that reflect his passion for social justice. The themes range from immigrant rights to globalization, and the music itself crosses genre borders from traditional-sounding norteño and corrido tunes to post-modern electro-cumbia and Latin Rock wet with soulful vocals, wailing electric guitars, and a ripping Fender-Rhodes solo. All these sounds are melded smoothly together by veteran super-producer Greg Landau (Maldita Vecindad, Susana Baca) who met Herrera in the late 1980s on the Nueva Cancion circuit. His cd is available in the donate tab of livingwage-sf.org


Elizabeth Esteva

Elizabeth Esteva

Elizabeth pictured on the right

Elizabeth was born in Tehuantepec, Oaxaca, in a beautiful little neighborhood called “Barrio Santa Cruz.” Elizabeth came to live in San Francisco in 1993. In 1996, she started singing together with her sister, to educate people about their culture. Besides Spanish, Elizabeth sings in Zapotec, one of the indigenous languages of Oaxaca. She performs songs that speak of the love of justice and change.


Diego Sardaneta

Diego Sardaneta is a composer and musician who was born and raised in Mexico. From an early age, Diego taught himself to play several instruments, primarily the drums and guitar. For years, he played drums with different groups in jazz festivals throughout Mexico. He now focuses on guitar, and he has written and composed many gypsy guitar melodies.