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Playing It Forward Newsletter


MEET THE ROAD RECOVERY STAFF

Gene Bowen
Founder, Road Recovery

Gene is one of the lucky ones who have embraced recovery since 1992. Before entering treatment, he had been a tour manager for a variety of artists for ten years. After getting clean and sober, he understood how lucky he was to survive, so he set out to build an organization to educate young people about addiction and other adversities in the hopes of helping them find their way towards a healthy and happy future. He looked to publicize the many strengths and resources available from the music/entertainment industry and the mental health field. With the support of Sony Music Entertainment and Dreamworks Records, as well as mental health/substance abuse specialists, entertainment industry professionals who faced their own personal adversities, the ROAD RECOVERY FOUNDATION, a non-profit (501c) organization, was established in February 1998.

 

Tom Dudley
Singer, Songwriter and Producer

Tom Dudley

Tom has been in and around music his whole life. However, many of his own personal life struggles separated him from this passion for a time. Around 2000, he started singing again and was reconnected with music. In 2006, Tom started the Blues Buddha Band. Within the first five years, he self-produced and wrote three different projects for the band, including over twenty-five original songs and seven music videos. This on-going project works with many great local and international talents.

Tom found Road Recovery through a mutual friend in 2007, and has since been with Road Recovery’s Trax programs, mentoring in performance skills and songwriting. In 2009, Tom helped bring Road Recovery’s Trax program to Sing Sing Prison, by helping to organize and perform in a concert with the inmates. He still goes there on a regular basis trying to expand the program, and in 2012, began working on a possible documentary film about the Sing Sing Project.

"I went to a show and met with the staff, parents and kids. I felt an amazing amount of positive energy and love in that room. It was a perfect fit for my passion and purpose. I have seen many miracles since that day. Many of these young adults have shared their talents and stayed clean and sober in the process. Music is a healer and I am proud to be a part of those miracles. I can closely identify with their struggles and love seeing them face and overcome the fear of live performances."

 

Cameron Eve
Singer and Musician

Cameron has toured the U.S. and U.K. extensively with garage punk darlings, The Choke. She has shared stages with Buzzcocks, The Saints, The Dickies, and Beastie Boys. In 2012, Cameron completed her first solo album, with U.K. producer Tony Barber. She is a respected leader in her neighborhood and regularly oversees outreach activities for the community.

“Road Recovery is a program I would have loved as a youngster, but it wasn't available. Working with children in institutions for Road Recovery has been the best gig in town!”

 

Ryan Smith
Musician And Songwriter

Ryan is a young multi-faceted musician and song writer. He takes any and all opportunities to grow in music, whether performing, recording, writing or mentoring/teaching. Road Recovery has accepted Ryan as a staff mentor, allowing him to serve communities facing diversity through musical expression and creation. It is an excellent fit, satisfying Ryan's passion for music and serving those in need.

“I have chosen to participate in Road Recovery because it unites my two deepest passions – music and service. My love and experience with the recovery and mental health communities can be shared with kids who are starving for positive, exciting activity. What could be better than producing music driven workshops they can relate with, grow with and enjoy?”

 

Alec Morton
Musician

Alec has been playing music professionally in New York for over 25 years, most notably with Raging Slab from 1986 to 2002. He has been playing in Denis Leary's back-up band since 2002. In 2009, Alec also began playing with rock and soul band The Liza Colby Sound.

“I was introduced to Road Recovery through my friends Owen Comaskey and Adam Roth. Working with young people wrestling with addiction is as much an aid in my own recovery as it hopefully is in theirs. The program at Linden Hill has also been very powerful for me. The kids there are dealing with a lot of different issues, and it's great seeing music have the same positive effect on them that it's had on me.”

 

Linda Mensch
Dancer and Teacher

Linda earned her B.A. in Dance from Bard College. She has performed with Spoke the Hub Dancing at Lincoln Center, Toby Armor and the Dinosaur Dance Co. In addition to working at the Center for Modern Dance Education for over thirty years and founding the Douglas Street Dance Festival, she has worked with Jaque D’amboise, Brooklyn Arts Exchange, Berkley Carroll and Gowanus Arts Exchange. She teaches movement for actors at the Lycian Performing Arts Theater in Sugarloaf, NY. Linda founded the Moving Company Modern Dance Center (www.movcodance.com) in Warwick, NY in 1996 and her dance performance company, Menschwerks, has performed throughout the New York City metropolitan area, Boston and the UK. Linda has worked with "at-risk" youth throughout her teaching career in many venues. She has been working with Road Recovery since its inception.

"Road Recovery has been the most challenging teaching job. It has taught me to see differently, teach in new ways and see unexpected moments which inspires beyond words."

 

Roman
Musician and Engineer

"You don't have to be in recovery to realize the importance of helping guide troubled youths to live more productive lives. Setting good examples through artistic avenues is what means the most to me. I am happy to be a part of this blessed process."

Roman started working with Road Recovery about seven years ago, recording the Crazy James song "Sweet Epiphany" at his Snakejam Recording Studios. He has attended the Berkley School of Music, New School Guitar Center and Hofstra University, earning degrees in music, film and television production.

Roman works with Road Recovery at the Graham School with a digital music production workshop. He also started the video production workshop at JBFCS, which teaches students about scripts, story lines, filming and editing. Students have really taken to this different artistic avenue of expression, which will hopefully continue in the future.

 

Parker Kindred
Drummer

Parker Kindred

A New York based drummer of sorts, Parker has worked with the likes of Jeff Buckley, Antony and the Johnsons, Joan As Police Woman, Adam Green and Luke Temple…to name just a few.

“I was introduced to Road Recovery back in 1998. When I wasn’t on tour, I was graciously asked to come in every once in a while to work and talk with some of the kids in Road Recovery’s Trax Programs. Over the past few years, I’ve been blessed to represent Road Recovery’s work inside various institutions for at-risk youth. It’s beautiful and joyous to see kids open up to new ideas, within themselves and others, and to see what the power of music can do to humans as a way to heal, build self confidence and trust. I feel fortunate, grateful and honored to be a part of this organization. Having been lucky to be someone who has come to terms with their own adversities with addiction, it's a wonderful message to bring and share.”

 

Lisa Armstrong
Drama

Lisa attended New York University, acquiring both her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre in 1994 and her Masters in Music Business in 2001. Throughout the 90's, she worked at major record labels while simultaneously working as an actor in New York City. In 1998, Lisa decided to take time off from her theatre pursuits and focus her energy into artist management. She now primarily works as a project and production manager, but still feels her heart is in the theatre. As a Road Recovery mentor and staff member, Lisa is able to combine her passions for music, theater and service in a way that reaches the most at-risk youth.

“My childhood was filled with violence, abuse, pain and confusion, so drugs and alcohol came at an early age for me. I spent the majority of my pre-teen and teen years in and out of institutions, battling with my adversities. Music was always an integral part of my personal identity, and theater was at the core of my childhood dreams. One of the real life changing influences I had was a high school drama teacher whom I met while in rehab. I was lucky to have experienced how powerful the arts can be at a time like that. I feel so privileged to be a part of the Road Recovery family, which is using that power to help other young people dealing with adversities.”

 

Charles McTavish

Charles has been involved with Road Recovery for over seven years. He has led workshops ranging from hip-hop production to songwriting, dance and percussion. Charles has a B.S. in Applied Psychology from NYU, and is currently enrolled in a post-baccalaureate program at Hunter College, focusing on the premedical sciences in an effort to go to medical school. His research interests include substance use disorders, bipolar disorders, and child/adolescent psychopathology.

Charles started volunteering with Road Recovery's JBFCS Ittleson Center program five years ago. The energy and personal rewards he experienced while working with the young kids in foster care blew him away. He was both sobered by the profoundly difficult life circumstances of these participants and deeply inspired by their resiliency, energy and spirit. Having studied psychology and participated in Road Recovery programs himself, he sees the profound psychotherapeutic benefits of positive peer effects coupled with the universal joy of music, in both theory and practice. Charles hopes to continue a career in the helping-professions (medicine) and sees Road Recovery as a truly exceptional example of an organization that focuses on real action in helping at-risk communities, such as those in foster care and those struggling with substance use disorders.

 

Martin Dominguez Ball
Musician and Visual Artist

martin

Born in Montevideo, Uruguay, Latin singer, songwriter and front man of “Larrama” Martin Dominguez Ball moved to New York in the mid-1980s. Martin has played and continues to play clubs through out New York City as well as festivals and venues north of the city. Martin is also a visual artist and an active member in the Latin community leading outreach programs through Projecto de Liderazgo Communitario.

“I love every thing that Road Recovery stands for, their eagerness to help young people is unmatched. Being part of Road Recovery is a beautiful thing”.

 

STATIC
Guitarist – Soundscape Artist

static

Guitarist and soundscape artist for over 20 years and member of the band Ours, STATIC has had the honor to be a part of many of Road Recovery’s benefit concerts, sharing the stage carrying the unified message and light of Road Recovery.

"I am truly honored to share the experience, strength, and hope that I have gained through the gifts felt from my own recovery. I am super excited and grateful to a part of the Road Recovery Team and given the opportunity to "play it forward".

 

Sierrah Blackwell
Logistical & Sponsor Support/Live Events

blackwellAs an Event Manager in the entertainment industry, Sierrah has extensive experience in live performance, managing event logistics, venue bookings, sponsorship, promotion, international touring, tour publicity and video shoots. As a passionate advocate for health and healing, Sierrah is also a Brand Manager in the natural products industry with extensive experience in sales, cultivating new business relationships, executing new product launches, creating in-store events, and education through the brands she represents.

"After leaving a Peter Frampton fundraising concert for Road Recovery many years ago, I was handed a RR postcard and could not pull myself off their website! Eventually I had the pleasure to meet the founders and after experiencing one of their recording sessions, I will never forget the look of awe and excitement in the eyes of four young teens working with RR creative staff! The love, support, and mentoring for these kids is truly inspirational!"

Jack Bookbinder
Co - Founder

Jack-Portrait-small

As the co-founder of Road Recovery, Jack Bookbinder understands the importance of doing service and giving back to young people, while receiving support himself in the process as a Diabetic Type II, after 20 years of experience in the music business as a manager and consultant to artists as diverse as Gregg Allman, Jeff Buckley, The Strokes, Ben Folds and many others. For Road Recovery, Bookbinder utilizes his experience of marketing artists through both grass roots methods and the Internet to help bring awareness, credibility and word-of-mouth endorsement for the non-profit organization, from New York City to Austin to as far as Beijing. As a musician and former member of two alternative rock bands, Bookbinder has also enjoyed jumping into the music workshops that Road Recovery provides youth engaging creativity that fills the void of their former lifestyles once riddled with personal adversities. After 13 years of service, Bookbinder looks forward to guiding the steady expansion of Road Recovery, yet retain that personal touch distinct to its programs that reach thousands facing addiction or other adversities, while receiving ever widening recognition within the entertainment industry and mental health field.

 

Adam Roth
Musician, Singer and Composer

Adam has been involved in music for over thirty years, as a guitarist in bands and a composer in television and films. In addition to composing the soundtrack for FX’s television hit "Rescue Me", he also writes, tours and performs music with the show’s star Denis Leary. Adam also plays in the rock and soul band The Liza Colby Sound.

“I became interested in Road Recovery through one of their staff members. As someone who has had to overcome certain things in my own life, I could totally relate to the kids who I am now working with. It's a great program!”

 

Knox Chandler
Musician, Producer and Writer

Knox has been a professional musician for over three decades. He has recorded, written, produced, arranged and toured with artists such as The Psychedelic Furs, REM, Depeche Mode, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Cyndi Lauper and many more. He also works in education and film.

"I have been involved with Road Recovery because of my affection for those children of great talent, who suffer from the daily affliction of adversity. I identify and can share my hope, in this process of healing, through the gift of music."

 

Jeremy Sklarsky
Engineer and Producer

jeremy thumb

Jeremy is a talented engineer and producer, who has worked at Threshold Recording Studios since 2006. Since 2010, he has been their chief engineer and in-house producer. Jeremy produced Freelance Whales’ debut album, “Weathervanes”, garnering both critical and popular acclaim. His production credits also include Foreigner, Denis Leary, the New York Times Popcast, and scores of independent artists.

Jeremy earned a B.A. in American History from Rutgers University and studied music technology at New York University. He lives in Brooklyn and enjoys good BBQ, seltzer water and Harry Potter books 4 through 7.

"I've had such an amazing experience working with the various Road Recovery programs. As an audio engineer and producer working in the studio every day, it can be easy to forget the kind of impact music can have on a person's life and growth. Road Recovery gives me the chance to give back while doing what I love."

 

Jay Rodriguez
Artist, Composer, Musician and Teacher

Jay is a two-time Grammy nominated artist, as well as a composer, saxophonist, flautist and teacher. He has worked with a who's who of the music world, such as Tito Puente, Gil Evans, Groove Collective, Elvis Costello and many more.

“He could be breathy and insinuating on a ballad, brawny and extroverted in an up-tempo..." - Jon Pareles NY Times

“I have been working with Road Recovery since 1998. That was the very beginning of the mentorship program. It has been as healing for me as it has been for all involved. Action speaks louder than words. Gene and Jack have been a great inspiration to me! I feel Gene and I believe in the same thing – that we can all make a difference, and blind faith and action can truly open lives.”

 

Elisa Street
Musician and Dancer

Working with Road Recovery has given me the opportunity to feel as though I make a difference. I am able to do the things I love: drum, dance and work with young people. In working with the rest of the Road Recovery staff, we become a consistent dynamic energy that helps with self-esteem, confidence and self expression. This culminates into great performances they never forget and are able to share with friends and family.

 

Mark Boquist
Musician and Chef

Mark has been drumming in bands, making records, and touring as a sideman from coast-to-coast for three decades. Now based in New York, he continues to have strong ties to the Minneapolis and Seattle music scenes of the 1980s and ‘90s. Initially self-taught and trained, Boquist has been studying with master drum teacher Sam Ulano since 1998. His band, Empire Beats (empirebeatsnyc.com), featuring the powerful and dynamic singer Camille Atkinson, regularly plays around the New York City area and beyond. He also works as a private chef.

“As a musician, my goal has always been to affect people via music, just as other peoples' music affected me. As I’ve gone through adversities, music has served me like nothing else; it’s brought me through joy, pain, confusion and success. From the stage and recordings, communicating with and affecting people is kind of an abstract act of faith. But with Road Recovery, I get opportunities to work hands-on with a wide variety of kids as they express themselves and utilize the power and comfort of making music. And while I get to see so much progress from week to week as these kids grow through adolescence – probably the most awkward time of anybody’s life -- it’s definitely a process of give and take. These kids have no idea how much they help me from day to day."

 

Scott Young
Recording Engineer: Former Chief Engineer at Avatar Studios in New York City

scottyoung

"I'm both honored and humbled to be asked by Road Recovery to join their amazing team and the opportunity to work with such incredible young people."

 

Susan Campanaro
Dance

Susan Campanaro

Susan has been performing professionally as a dancer, actress, entertainer and singer for over 25 years. At 18, she traveled the U. S. and Asia as a dancer with the Ta Fantastika Black Light Theatre of Prague. After coming to New York, she got a job with the off-Broadway hit “Tony n’ Tina’s Wedding”. In her over 20 years with the show, she has performed in each of the female roles and has traveled with the show throughout the U.S. and Japan, as both an actress and a director. She has also appeared in commercials, television and film. As a nightlife entertainer, Susan created the character “Lavinia Draper”, who performs weekly in Manhattan and during the summer in Fire Island.

She has been teaching dance, singing and acting to children with the after school program Manhattan Youth since 2000. Working with children brings her as much joy as performing. She feels fortunate to be a member of the Road Recovery staff because “to inspire young adults to embrace their talent through dance and music is a gift and creates healing. I had opportunities as a child, but no discipline and structure, so I had my struggles. Road Recovery allows me to give back and in return it’s really a gift for me."

 

Ilya Mandel, MA, LMSW
Clinical Liaison

Ilya Mandel

Ilya is a New York City based consultant, who specializes in addiction. His mission is to support the staff and participants of Road Recovery’s programs. He utilizes education, information and in the field clinical experience obtained through his years of training and employment in the area of chemical dependency treatment and practice of social work. Attracted by the sense of integrity among the program’s staff akin to his own, Ilya’s been with Road Recovery since 2004.

“I was instantly engaged by the innovative, 'outside the box' spirit of Road Recovery. Road Recovery is a unique way to help young people, tapping into creativity and building a sober community. It is a labor of love and a feel good endeavor.”

 

Rachel Sander
Dance

Rachel Sander studied Dance and Psychology at Sarah Lawrence College, where she earned her BA in 2013. She plans on attending graduate school for social work. For years, Rachel has worked in various capacities to promote healing through the arts. She began working with Road Recovery in 2010. In 2011, she ran week weekly writing workshops for male inmates at Valhalla Correctional Facility. In 2012, she worked with a NGO in Southern India that offered arts and vocational training to mentally ill patients.

Rachel has danced with the Moving Company Modern Dance Center in Warwick, NY since 1998. Having performed and choreographed since she was a child, Rachel has been fortunate enough to work and study with a number of talented choreographers, such as Linda Mensch, Patty Cook, Nina White, Sara Rudner, Claire Porter, Marta Renzi, Emily Devine, Peggy Gould, Merceditas Manago-Alexander, Peter Kyle and Gwen Welliver.

"It is said that dance is the language of the soul. Sometimes our bodies can tell the stories that our words cannot. It has been incredibly inspiring to work with Road Recovery and help dancers tell their stories with their bodies. Dance is not only something fun and relaxing, but a powerful tool of expression that allows us a certain type of freedom. My years working with Road Recovery dance students has further proven to me how much we can move others with movement."

 

Glen Carter
Drummer and Artist

Glen Carter

Glen is a drummer, visual artist, sculptor and drum maker, with a love of working with other dedicated artists to produce works for public display or performance. Since 2001, he has worked with Road Recovery in various performances, teaching and support team production capacities.

Glen earned a B.A. in Liberal Arts and Sciences from Bard College. He is a member of the Orange County Healing Arts Group and has painted mural works for the Warwick Parks Department in Warwick, NY. He has been a guest artist at the Moving Company Modern Dance Center, Bard College and the Pine Island Elementary School. He has also been a valuable production team member for both the Warwick Arts Festival and Pleasantville Music Festival.

 

Michael Alago
A&R

alagoMichael Alago has worn a variety of hats in the music industry over the past three decades: A&R executive, producer, photographer and writer. Since signing Metallica to Elektra Records in 1984, he’s worked with iconic artists such as Nina Simone, Johnny Rotten, Rob Zombie and Cyndi Lauper. Michael’s photographs and poetry have published and exhibited worldwide. A documentary about his life entitled; Who The Fuck Is That Guy? Is currently in production.

"My heart is wide open and I am grateful to work with the young people at Road Recovery. I have learned to live in love and not fear and if i can pass my experience , strength and hope on to them, then I am a happy camper. :-) "

 

Simon Kirke
Drummer, Musician, Singer (Free, Bad Company)

simonkirk

"I love working with the young participants in Road Recovery’s programs. I am in awe of how they are getting their lives back on track at such an early age. And working with them also allows me to give back to an organization that has helped me in so many ways!"