San Diego Union Tribune: Songs of Freedom

Editor’s Note: Movement Media has helped facilitate Dr. Bronner’s support of Jail Guitar Doors, which includes a pledge to donate $100,000 in 2017 and again in 2018 to help the group scale their programming and staff capacity. Coincidentally, Jail Guitar Doors held their 100th prison intervention, detailed below in this San Diego Union-Tribune article, in Dr. Bronner’s hometown of San Diego, CA. Dr. Bronner’s leadership attended the event. 

By Peter Rowe, San Diego Union-Tribune

Wayne Kramer’s songs seemed to touch everyone in his Otay Mesa audience this week. It didn’t matter if they were male, female or transgender; black, white or brown; bank robber, burglar or murderer.

“Part of our mission is to put a human face on prisoners,” said Kramer, 69, a veteran rocker and co-founder of Jail Guitar Doors, a nonprofit that brings live music to inmates.

“They are not just numbers or crimes or bed spaces.”

Friday’s visit to Donovan state prison was the 100th behind-bars presentation in the nine-year history of Jail Guitar Doors. About once a month, Kramer and several musician friends visit a prison or county jail, perform maybe a half dozen songs, then leave a dozen Fender acoustic guitars.

Kramer encourages prisoners to sign up for guitar classes and enlists local musicians to teach the 10-week course.

At Donovan, Kramer’s visit drew an SRO crowd to the gym in Echo Yard, a new facility for 792 inmates, most of whom have been imprisoned for decades.