In Memory – Jon Fromer
Jon Fromer, noted activist, television producer, educator, and musician, died Wednesday night after a long battle with cancer. Jon’s touching and captivating musical style was an inspiration to thousands of engrossed listeners, each one who felt a personal connection to Fromer’s songs of social justice and freedom. His music delved into themes of community, social movements, and activism, through lenses of compassion, fraternity, and love. He was always a leader in community and social activism, and was a ubiquitous presence at marches, protests, and picket lines, often leading a crowd in an inspirational song for peace and justice, and in 2011 received the Joe Hill Artist Lifetime Achievement Award from the Labor Heritage Foundation.
Jon was also an accomplished television producer, winning multiple Emmy awards (11 local and one national) with KRON and KQED Television, producing advertising-free programming for children among other shows. As a young man he taught music at Presidio Hill School in San Francisco, and also worked with the Encuentro del Canto Popular for many years, organizing a day of children’s music and performance programming for many years. Jon always carried himself with dignity and compassion, and his warm spirit will live on. ¡Jon Fromer presente!
Some testimonials from the community:
There is deep sadness among many of us for the loss of Jon Fromer, a wonderful human being. He has left a deep emptiness in our hearts. My deepest sympathy go out to Mary and his family. I had the honor of working with him in the Encuentro Collective and I always remember him with a smile and open heart; as he contributed one of his many talents to make our work easier and successful. He was admired by all of us for his commitment to social justice and his great capacity to love his fellow human being. I am honored to have known you Jon Fromer and I will miss you.
– Alma Rendon
Growing up in the Bay Area, specifically the Mission district, I have been surrounded by social activists and community leaders. People come and go, but there are a handful of people like Jon Fromer who I grew up admiring and respecting beyond words. Jon was no doubt an angel who practiced what he preached. In my younger years I knew him as “Donald Duck” and even as an adult whenever I saw him I would ask him to speak to me in his Donald Duck voice. He was always smiling and ready to greet you with a huge hug. Jon was a one in a trillion and I feel incredibly blessed to have shared some time with him in this world. I hope to see you again Jon.
– Jasmin Aguirre-Rendon
Jon Fromer was an enormous influence on my life. He taught me and my brother, Greg Landau, to sing and play the guitar, and Greg went on to be nominated for seven Grammys. He and the Fromer family always provided examples of how to lead with grace and compassion in this world.
– Valerie Landau
Jon was a beloved member of the Encuentro family. He was extremely dedicated to our mission of preserving and presenting a Latino musical tradition that speaks to our struggles against injustices and our desire for social change. His unbridled energy and enthusiasm helped us to produce a festival that not only showcases local Latino talent, but one that has become a cultural gem of San Francisco. Jon could always be counted to help when there was more work to be done. He was truly inspiring to all of us who worked on El Encuentro. No doubt, Jon will be sorely missed as a talented musician and crusader of civil and human rights, but as a respected friend who touched our hearts with his songs and his deeds. ¡Jon Fromer, Presente!
– Juan Gonzales
Cards or contributions can be sent to:
28 Morning Sun Avenue
Mill Valley, CA 94941
(Jon asked that you continue to sing and struggle for social justice.)