The Book

In 2004, Dr. Bernard Gonzalez was asked by writers, Ron Sansoe and Jim McCarthy, of the book "Voices of Latin Rock" to produce an event for the release of this book that chronicles the amazing tale of the music that rose from the tumultuous political movements in the Bay Area of the 60's that produced such groups as Santana, Malo, Sapo and many more. Jeff Trager, who has been in the music scene and industry since the 60's has also come on the board as one of the producers of the benefit since it's inception.

Originally the writers were not interested in making a profit on the event and just requested that an event be produced to bring the book out. Dr. Gonzalez suggested to combine the effort with an awareness for autism campaign. The initial event on November 18, 2004 at Bimbo's Club in San Francisco's North Beach, was a complete success in bringing out the book, bringing out the musicians who are the subject of the book but also bringing autism awareness to the general public.

With the success of the initial event, the audience soon was requesting another show for the following year, which was produced November 17, 2005 and was even more successful than the first. Five shows in all have been produced. This year will mark the 6th Year Anniversary Show at the place where it all began, Bimbo's 365 Club.

The shows have created a formula of bringing up and coming acts to perform along with honoring the musicians of the past and present represented in the book, in combination with the cause of austism awareness. The marriage of these have brought together what is now the annual event known as The Voices of Latin Rock Awareness for Autism Benefit.

The funds produced by these events provide funds for schools in the bay area dealing with autism on a daily basis due to the increase of incidents of autism over the recent past. When the first event began, the numbers were 1 in 166 births. Today the numbers have risen to 1 in 150 births. Due to the success of these events, the organization Alex Speaks Foundation has been formed and continues to work to bring autism awareness to the general public.