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 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."
Introduced to Road Recovery by a friend, she knew the first time she talked to the kids at Road Recovery this was the work she was meant to do. After a series of events in her life, mainly the sudden death of her big brother, she felt the time had come to give back. Bringing over 18 years of marketing and advertising experience, a passion for music and an understanding of the healing effects music has on so many, including herself and her family, along with the many challenges and adversities she has faced and overcome, she knew Road Recovery was the right fit at the right time. Her vision for Road Recovery, started with the new slogan that "PLAYING IT FORWARD", is truly what we are doing with these kids.
She has worked as a top media consultant at companies such as Yellowbook USA, Citysearch.com , Clearchannel Broadcasting, Citadel Broadcasting, AT&T Online Interactive (Yellowpages.com) and Supermedia, plus creating media plans as a private consultant to law firms, restaurants, schools and more. Rebecca brings a great knowledge in print, online marketing, social media, radio, television, direct marketing and CRM. Rebecca is honored to be part of such a great organization with so many talented people.
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.
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 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.”
"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."
"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.
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 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 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.
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 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 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 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 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.”
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 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."
I met Road Recovery founder Gene Bowen during my time as a manager at Arlene's Grocery, a New York Venue where I worked with Road Recovery booking their events and benefits. Since leaving that position in 2004, I have been working with Road Recovery. I was approached Gene Bowen to work mentoring teens recently out of rehab. I have been a musician since the age of 18 and, at the time I met Gene, I had been in recovery for over 10 years. I was honored to do this service, because I had seen at close hand the great work Road Recovery was doing.
Since the start of my involvement, I have helped produce over 20 performances at Linden Hill, Ittleson and the Graham School, working with the kids to create and perform their songs and music, as well as learning life skills.
The work I do with Road Recovery is not something I ever dreamed I would do. It enables us to plant the seed of recovery at an impressionable age through music and arts.
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 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 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 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.
THE ROAD RECOVERY FOUNDATION, a registered New York-based not-for-profit 501(C)(3) organization, was established in February 1998 with generous financial support of Sony Music Entertainment and Dreamworks Records.
Road Recovery and its Programs DO NOT provide medical care or maintain protected health information for its participants, who must be under the care of their own private treatment team.
All music selections composed by Road Recovery program participants & staff. © ® RoadRecovery Publishing Co. Road Recovery photos Courtesy of: Tracy Ketcher (www.tracyketcher.com)