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Last of the red-hot mamas: Vocalist Lavay Smith brings her Red-Hot Skillet Lickers to Art in the Park in Julliard Park in Santa Rosa on Aug. 19.
Summer sizzles on North Bay arts scene
Edited by Greg Cahill and Patrick Sullivan
READY, SET, kawabunga! Like a smiling swimmer leaping from the high dive into the sparkling waters of your local swimming pool, we're taking another exuberant splash into the season of warm weather, cold drinks, and lazy days at the beach. As always, under this hot sun a thousand flowers bloom across the North Bay art scene. Music festivals, parades, art shows, dance performances, studio tours: they're all there, or at least quite a few of them, waiting for you to shake the sand from your swimsuit and point your feet toward fresh sources of fun.
So dive right in!
A rose by any other name is not so sweet as the North Bay's biggest city pours on the small-town charm. The 107-year-old Luther Burbank Rose Parade Festival, replete with 4,000 marchers in 120 units, kicks off May 19, at 10 a.m., with Clo the Cow as grand marshal. Among the participants will be floats, drill teams, bands, clowns, cars, and equestrians. The parade begins at 10 a.m. at Sonoma Avenue and E Street. Curbside viewing is available along the entire route: E Street, Third Street, and Santa Rosa Avenue. The event also offers an assortment of food, music, exhibits, an Italian street painting gallery, and other activities along First Street between Santa Rosa Avenue and D Street. Free. 707/542-7673.
Friday at Falkirk
The Falkirk Cultural Center kicks off its summer cultural series with a tribute to George Gershwin on May 25, from 8 to 11 p.m. On June 29, it's an evening of ragas from North India, and on July 27 listen in for the unmistakable sounds of flamenco. Local caterers craft goodies to complement the entertainment: you can't go wrong with curry and tapas! Falkirk Cultural Center, 1408 Mission Ave., San Rafael. $15 for general admission, $13 for Falkirk members. 415/485-3328.
Waterline Beach will be awash with great music during this benefit concert for the Guerneville School music program. Performers to strut the sand include blues guitarist Hamilton Loomis, singer/songwriter Tom Finn, outlaw rock and rollers Jeffrey Halford and the Healers, and "get-up-and-dance" R&B from Kathleen Cairns and Tattoo Blue. BYOB (bring your own barbecue), or buy some right there. May 27, starting at noon. Waterline Beach, 15025 River Blvd., Guerneville. $20 for general admission; free for children under 10. 707/869-0828.
In the groove: Famoudou Don Moye
Healdsburg Jazz Festival
Just cuz it's called "smooth jazz" doesn't mean it's easy to swallow. For those with more discriminating ears, there is the third annual Healdsburg Jazz Festival, which opens this year on May 30 with a gala dinner ($125) and a concert by Ray Drummond, Craig Handy, and Don Moye. On May 31 at 7 p.m., film archivist Mark Cantor shares a few sets from his collection of jazz on film at the Raven. Pianist Renée Rosnes and her trio touch down on June 1 at 7 and 9 p.m., while June 2 is a full day: Jerry Gonzalez and the Fort Apache Band and the Pete Escovedo Orchestra at 1 p.m. at Rodney Strong Vineyards ($25). Later that night the Raven hosts the Ray Drummond Quartet and "All the Magic," a musical and cinematic tribute to Lester Bowie ($25). On June 3 at 1 p.m., the Heath Brothers and the Billy Higgins Sextet take charge of the Geyser Peak Winery picnic area ($25). The festival winds down with a salute to drummer Billy Higgins. Tickets are available at Levin & Co. in Healdsburg. 707/433-8509.
For comfort and durability, factory-made quilts don't have a patch on the homemade variety. As quilt shows prove, homemade quilts have the decorative aspect covered, too. In June, the Moonlight Quilters of Sonoma County hosts a weekend showing of its members' work. June 2, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; June 3, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Veterans Bldg., 1351 Maple Ave., Santa Rosa. Free. 707/528-1671 . . . . Petaluma boasts the distinction of the largest outdoor quilt show in California, with over 700 samples of the breed decorating downtown. Aug. 11, from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Downtown Petaluma. Free. 707/769-0429.
Marin Home Show and Jazz Fest
Time was when the sound of home improvement was a forklift drag-racing backwards and a thousand gangly young men in orange aprons saying, "What?" The Marin Home Show changes all that with a full cart of local jazz favorites, including Jules Broussard, the Royal Society Jazz Orchestra, and the Battle of the Bands high-school jazz band playoff. Listen in while you wander a maze of home improvement exhibits that'll make you want to bulldoze the house and start over. (Hey, you could always get the forklift racer to help.) June 2, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; June 3, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Marin Exhibit Hall and Fairgrounds, Marin Civic Center, Avenue of the Flags, San Rafael. $6 for general admission, $5 for seniors; free for children under 14. 415/472-3500.
Music on the Square
Something about the genteel shadiness of a well-kept public plaza makes good music even better, and the civic boosters of Healdsburg work that point so well with their free summer concert series, on Sundays, from 2 to 4 p.m. The series kicks off on June 3 with Cannonball, and from there ranges from American marches (June 10) to flamenco (Aug. 12). Take the central Healdsburg exit from Hwy. 101 and drive till you see contented people on the grass. That's the place. 707/433-3064.
Mondavi Winery Summer Festival
Robert Mondavi Winery's historic To-Kalon Vineyard will see its 32nd year of vibrant outdoor concerts this summer, starting with the Preservation Hall Jazz Band on June 30. Other performances include Cesaria Evora (July 7), the Buena Vista Social Club (July 13), Dan Fogelberg in a solo acoustic set (July 28), and smooth jazz with Brian Colbertson, Dave Koz, Michael McDonald, and Norman Brown (Aug 4). Seating begins at 5, concerts start at 7 p.m. $42-$70 for individual shows, with reserve seating for an additional $25. 888/769-5299.
African Marketplace & Film Exposé
The West Coast premiere of Black Survivors of the German Holocaust is but one of the cinematic offerings at this cultural confab, with showings scheduled for Friday evening and all day Saturday. If the kids won't sit still for the serious stuff, send them over for entertainment by the Prescott Children's Clown Troupe and storyteller Kellmar. The marketplace promises art, clothing, and traditional African cuisine. June 1-2. LBC, 50 Mark West Springs Road, Santa Rosa. $5 for general admission, $10 for a family pass; free for youth under 16. Call for times. 707/794-0729.
Cloverdale Heritage Days
The annual Black Bart Festival has been usurped by the Cloverdale Heritage Days. That's the bad news--for fans of the notorious outlaw at least, though we're sure the Chamber of Commerce is happier. The good news is that the cow-chip-throwing competition is still on. Other fun includes a display of gas-powered washing machines (which might be making a comeback), an open-air antique show, an art show, crafts, winetasting, food booths, a variety of live music--like rock and roll, country, jazz, opera arias, and easy listening. There's also entertainment like the Black Bart Gunfighters, a Civil War re-enactment, Pomo Indian dancing, bathtub races, clowns, an era fashion show and costume contest, a barbecue, a balloon jump, street dancing, break dancing, and much more. Phew! June 2. Races start at 8 a.m.; everything else runs from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. At the Grange Hall. Western dress is encouraged. And tell 'em Bart sent ya. Free. 707/894-4470.--.
Art at the Source
Get up close and personal with artists in their native habitats via Sebastopol Center for the Arts' annual tour of working art studios in the west county. Remember, please don't feed the artists while they're working! Free maps are provided at locations throughout the county (including the Sebastopol Center for the Arts and Copperfield's Books). June 2-3, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. A preview exhibit of work by participating artists is open through June 3 at the Sebastopol Center for the Arts, 6821 Laguna Park Way. 707/829-4797.
Sonoma Lavender Festival
Maybe it's not much in one of those dried-up balls of soap at your grandma's house. But the scent of lavender in the middle of a five-acre lavender farm is nothing to sneeze at. Farm tours, craft making, a taste of lavender cuisine, and U-cut blooms make this a sweet-smelling field trip. June 23-24, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sonoma Lavender Barn, 8537 Sonoma Hwy., Kenwood. Free. 707/833-1330.
More beer, more beer, MO-O-O-ORE beer! I can't remember where I've heard that song, but it wouldn't be out of place at this year's Beerfest. The 10th annual event benefiting Face to Face's HIV and AIDS programs gathers together more than 35 of Northern California's microbreweries, plus food purveyors that go way beyond typical pub grub. Live music from the Uncle Wiggly Band adds a rockin' tone to the festivities. Rain or shine, be there and be thirsty! June 16, from 1 to 5 p.m. Luther Burbank Center's mall and courtyard, 50 Mark West Springs Road, Santa Rosa. $24 in advance (available at Face to Face and some local breweries, or through BASS) and $28 at the door. 707/887-7031.
Valley of the Moon Arts & Artisans Show
Enjoy a weekend of fine arts and crafts, jazz, and good food at the Valley of the Moon Art Association's 40th annual art and craft show. More than 100 Northern Californian artists will display and sell their work during the event. June 2 and 3, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sonoma Plaza. Free. 707/453-1656.
Dry Creek Vineyard Summer Celebration
Indulge your senses with a variety of wine and food samplings. On offer are current wines, barrel tastings, and library selections, plus gourmet products from purveyors such as Flying Goat Coffee, Howler Sorbet & Gelato, and DaVero Olive Oil. Visitors will learn to blend their own meritage from the winery's year 2000 red-wine barrel samples. The event also features live music and dancing. June 2, noon to 5 p.m. 3770 Lambert Bridge Road, Healdsburg. $35 in advance (if purchased by May 21), $40 at the door. 707/433-1000.
Trance dance: Lost at Last
Health and Harmony Festival
More well-being and all-around "like, wow, man" than you can shake a stick at (not that you would, because that wouldn't be harmonious), this two-day festival throws down a nonstop stage of music from around the world and our own backyards. The more serious-minded festival-goers can check out ecology, health, and industrial hemp pavilions, while women are always welcome in the goddess temple. June 9-10, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. The music lineup includes (June 9) Babatunde Olatunji, Spearhead, Lost at Last, and the Venusians; and (June 10) Judy Mowatt, Pride & Joy, and Dr. Loco. Sonoma County Fairgrounds, 1350 Bennett Valley Road, Santa Rosa. $15 for adults in advance ($8 for seniors and youths ages 10-16), $18 for adults at the door ($10 for seniors and teens 10-16), and $25 for both days; free for kids under 10. 707/575-9355.
Art al fresco: A North Bay best-kept secret
Italian Street Painting Festival
Before there were graffiti, there were madonnari: The work of Italian chalk artists whose addictively ephemeral art goes back to the 16th century. Of course, you can't see street painting in a museum, so we're lucky to have this festival covering the pavement of downtown San Rafael every summer. Watch the pros, and try it yourself! June 9, from 9 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.; June 10, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Fifth and A streets in San Rafael. Free. 415/457-4878.
Duncans Mills Festival of the Arts
You can tell visitors to this humble hamlet by whether they stand looking at the sign and mutter something about missing apostrophes. But it's not so bad to be a visitor during Duncans Mills' annual arts, crafts, and family fun fair. In addition to winetasting, arts and crafts, and two stages of entertainment from such musicians as Blues Burners, ESQ, and Tee Fee, you also get a rubber duck race. Could you be the next lucky duck? June 16, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; June 17, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. $5 for adults, $4 for seniors, and free for children under 12. 707/824-8404.
Jazz diva: Elaine Lucia
Cotati Jazz Festival
This pleasant low-key institution has earned a reputation as "the biggest little mainstream jazz festival in the North Bay." This year marks the fest's 21st anniversary with bebop combos, vocalists, trios, quartets, and quintets enlivening a half dozen downtown cafes, saloons, and coffee shops. Scheduled performers include (on Saturday) gut-bucket blues singer Brenda Boykin (worth the price of admission alone), the Eddie and Madeline Duran Quartet, Mark Levine's Latin Quartet, vocalist Nate Pruitt with the George Marsh Quintet, and the Ed Kelley Quintet; and (on Sunday) pianist Dick Conte (of the now-defunct KJAZ-FM), trumpeter Peter Welker and his sextet, and Chuck Sher's One World Latin band, jazz vocalist Elaine Lucia and her quartet, and Adam Theis and the Cannonball Quintet. June 16-17, from 1 to 6 p.m. at various locations in downtown Cotati, including the Inn of the Beginning and Tradewinds. $15 for one day and $25 for both (available only at the bandstand in La Plaza Park during the event). 707/584-2222.
Country favorite: Lee Ann Womack
Carnival midway, yadda, yadda. Arts and crafts, of course. Main-stage performers include Mark Chesnutt (June 20), Norton Buffalo (June 21), Gallagher (June 22), Lee Ann Womack (June 23), and the Dogstar Band with Keanu Reeves (June 24) . . . so what else? No, wait, that's pretty cool. But let's not kid ourselves here. The real reason to visit this old-time country fair is, in fact, the "World's Ugliest Dog" contest. Is it objectifying unattractive canines, or just plain weird? You be the judge. June 20-24, from noon to 10 p.m. 175 Fairgrounds Drive, Petaluma. $7 for adults, $3 for juniors, and free for kids under 6. 707/283-FAIR.
Blues deluxe: Keb' Mo'
Russian River Blues Festival
This year's yowza lineup of topnotch blues starts off on June 23 under the header "The Blues Is a Woman," with ample proof in the form of performers Lady Bianca, Shemekia Copeland, Deborah Coleman, Etta James and the Roots Band, and Rosie Ledet and the Zydeco Playboys. June 24 brings in Keb' Mo', Lucky Peterson, Roomful of Blues, Sy Klopps, the Persuasions, and Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown and Gate's Express. The music starts at 11 a.m. both days. Winetasting, gourmet food, and snacks will be available. Weather, like the blues, runs from cool to sizzling, so layer up and lie back. Johnson's Beach in Guerneville. $40 for one day and $75 for both days, with discounts for advance purchase. 510/655-9471.
Talking trash takes on a whole new meaning at Oh, Rapture, it's Scrapture, Garbage Reincarnation's 15th annual junk-art scrapture competition. In addition to sculpture made from items normally dumped in the bin, the event features live entertainment from local musicians. Aspiring artists are invited to participate, but you must register by noon. June 30, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. La Plaza Park, Old Redwood Highway and West Sierra Avenue, downtown Cotati. Free. 707/584-8666.
Ramblin' on: Ramblin' Jack
Kate Wolf Memorial Music Festival
They've moved this three-day folk-fest from Sebastopol up to Wavy Gravy's ranch in Mendocino County. Camping is now an option, too. But the purpose--honoring the late singer-songwriter Kate Wolf--remains the same, and the performers are still as distinguished as musicians can be. Artists onstage June 29, starting at 1 p.m., include Ramblin' Jack Elliott, Chris Webster and Nina Gerber, and Alisa Fineman and Kimball Hurd. On June 30, beginning at 11 a.m., sit back for performances by Arlo Guthrie, Lucy Kaplansky, the Cache Valley Drifters, and others. On July 1, starting at 10 a.m., Richie Havens, Nickel Creek, Utah Phillips, and many others will take the stage. Black Oak Ranch, Laytonville. $87 for an adult's full pass, $70 for a Saturday-Sunday pass, $20-$37 for a single-day pass, with discounts for kids and seniors. Camping is extra, but it's still worth it to not have to drive back. 707/823-1511 or 707/829-7067.
Measure for Measure: Vance Smith and Brian Farrell
Sonoma Valley Shakespeare Festival
Once more into the breach, dear friends, for another summer of Shakespeare in the outdoors is upon us. This year's festival offers three plays in revolving repertory: a comedy, a history, and something completely different. Twelfth Night plays on June 30, July 1-2, 22-23, and 28; Aug. 13 and 18; and Sept. 2. Henry V plays on July 14, 16, and 21; Aug. 19-20; and Sept. 3 and 8. Good Night, Desdemona plays on July 7-9 and 28-30; Aug. 19-20; and Sept. 3 and 8. Gundlach Bundschu Winery, 2000 Denmark St., Sonoma. $20 for adults and $18 for seniors and children; free for kids 2 and under. 707/584-1700.
Marin County Fair
Lots of high-tech here, with website, multimedia, and creatures-and-models competitions edging out the pie-baking contests and greased-pig runs of more traditional county fairs. But there's still plenty of room between the 31st annual Marin County National Festival of Short Films and the fifth and final Toilet Art Contest for fairgoers of all aesthetic persuasions. Fireworks nightly. June 30-July 4. The music lineup includes: (Saturday) the Persuasions and Night Ranger; (Sunday) the Marin County Blues Festival; (Monday) Don McLean; (Tuesday) Chubby Checker & the Wildcats; and (Wednesday) the Preservation Hall Jazz Band and Hiroshima. The cost of music events is included in the price of admission to the fair. Marin Center, Avenue of the Flags, San Rafael. $10 for adults, $8 for seniors and children 4-12; free for kids under 4. 415/499-6400.
Sonoma Valley Poetry Festival
For several weeks from June 30 to July 29, poetry breaks its chains and comes roaring out on to the streets of the town of Sonoma at various locations. 707/280-4696.
Summer Concert Series
As the afternoon heat gives way to a cooler evening ambiance, lying back to some outdoor smooth jazz on the lawn of Rodney Strong Vineyards might be just the ticket. On July 1, mellow out to Rick Braun and Acoustic Alchemy. July 21, take in Keiko Matsui. Aug. 18 is David Sanborn's night, and the series ends on Sept. 15 with a performance by Peter White and Spyro Gyra. Afternoon showtimes vary. 11455 Old Redwood Hwy., Healdsburg. $30 for general lawn seating; $35 for Golden Circle chair seating. 707/433-0919.
Art in the Park
Catch another summer of free outdoor music and theater furnished by the city of Santa Rosa starting in July. This year's roundup includes Oneye N Oneyemachi (July 8), Blusion (July 15), Ballet California (July 22), Greenhouse (Aug. 5), the Tommy Thomsen Band (Aug. 12), and Lavay Smith and her Red-Hot Skillet Lickers (Aug. 19). Shows begin at 5 p.m. at Juilliard Park, 211 Santa Rosa Ave., Santa Rosa. All performances are free, as is the piece of grass you plop your seat on. 707/543-3737.
Napa Valley Shakespeare Festival
In spite of the name, it's not all about the Bard at Napa's summer theater extravaganza. Though the season does kick off with outdoor performances of Twelfth Night (beginning July 6) and Richard III (beginning July 13), the players will also present Tom Stoppard's The Real Inspector Hound (beginning Aug. 10) and Thornton Wilder's Our Town (beginning Sept. 14). The first two shows run at Rutherford Grove Winery, and the second two at the St. Helena School Theatre. Showtimes vary, so call for details. $18 for general admission, $14 for students and seniors. 707/251-WILL.
Sonoma County Fair
They've got your goats, they've found your flowers, they'll round up all the rodeo you can stand. And the span of talent the fair is putting onstage is bewildering in its diversity: Elvis impersonators (July 28), Mickey Rooney (July 31), and the Village People (Aug. 3). The Blues Festival is a great bet on Aug. 4, especially considering fair admission gets you into the theater free. July 24-Aug. 6, from noon to midnight. Sonoma County Fairgrounds, 1350 Bennett Valley Road, Santa Rosa. $5 for general admission, with discounts available for seniors and children. 707/545-4200.
Sax appeal: Jazz great Joe Lovano
Festival on the Green
This second annual summer music festival, which is co-produced by Sonoma State University and the Santa Rosa Symphony, boasts four days of splashy events spread through July and August. On July 4, at 4 p.m., "Independence Day on the Green" features music by Hot Lips and the Fingertips. Then, at 7:30 p.m., the Santa Rosa Symphony offers an evening pops concert of patriotic music, followed by a fireworks show. On July 27-29, the festival presents a free Youth Festival Weekend with special guest Knabenmusik Meersburg. On Aug. 11, at 6:30 p.m., violinist Nurit Pacht joins symphony conductor Jeffery Kahane for an evening of Tchaikovsky. On Aug. 12, at 5 p.m., Grammy-winning jazz saxophonist Joe Lovano leads his nonet. It all goes down at the campus lakes at Sonoma State University, 1801 E. Cotati Ave., Rohnert Park. Ticket prices start at $28 and vary for each event unless otherwise stated. 707/546-8742.
Kenwood Pillow Fights
Mix together pillows, mud, and a bunch of feisty entrants clinging to a pole-spanning Los Guilicos Creek, and you've got the recipe for an instant crowd pleaser. The feathers fly again as the 35th annual Kenwood Pillow Fighting Championships get under way this Independence Day. Other attractions are the Kenwood hometown parade, 3K and 4K foot races, live music with the California Cowboys and the Gig Jung Band, and games for kids of all ages. You must be at least 14 to enter the pillow fights. Pillows and mud are supplied. July 4: races start at 7:30 a.m.; pillow fights make the feathers fly from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Plaza Park, on Warm Springs Road, Kenwood. $4; free for kids under 12. 833-2440.
Marin Shakespeare Company Summer Season
Most people want to kick back in summer, but the Marin Shakespeare Company just goes into high gear: this summer's offerings start with two comedies in rotating repertory, Shakespeare's As You Like It (beginning July 6) and the 18th-century Italian farce, The Servant of Two Masters (beginning July 13). Both run through Aug. 19. For something completely different, the company takes on Hamlet, starting Aug. 31 and running through Sept. 29. Friday and Saturday shows are at 8 p.m.; Sunday matinees start at 4. Forest Meadows Amphitheatre, Dominican University, San Rafael. $20 for general admission, with discounts available for students and seniors. 415/499-1108.
Sonoma County Showcase of Wine & Food
This is food and wine appreciation boot camp: three days, July 12-14, of tours; tastings; dinners with winemakers; lunches with grape growers; an elegant barrel auction; the ever-popular Taste of Sonoma County, featuring pavilions of possibilities for your palate; and a concert under the stars with the San Francisco Symphony, followed by fireworks and a country swing dance with Asleep at the Wheel. Hey, are you strong enough for this?! (More to the point, is your wallet strong enough?) Tickets are expensive, but the cause is good: Redwood Empire Food Bank and Share Our Strength. 707/586-3795.
Wine Country Film Festival
The 15th annual celebration of international and independent films finds this cinematic extravaganza sprawling across the North Bay, hosting big-name tributes and two galas under the stars, and screening films at select theaters and vineyards in both Sonoma (including the Old Winery Ruins at the Jack London State Park in Glen Ellen) and Napa counties. Details about titles and special events will be available closer to the event. July 19 to Aug. 12 at various times and locations. 707/996-2536.
Sonoma Salute to the Arts
This 16th annual celebration is billed as an ultra-premium food, wine, and art extravaganza. The theme is "Life Is a Cabaret" There'll be prizes for the most convincing Liza Minnelli and Joel Grey impersonators. The opening celebration is July 27 at 6 p.m. (Buena Vista Winery, end of Old Winery Road, Sonoma; $75). The haps continue July 28-29 in Sonoma Plaza, with food and wine tasting from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and music and art from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The fourth annual auction is July 28, from 6 to 10 p.m. $150 for the gala opening, auction, and tasting package; everything else is free. 707/938-1133.
Native American artists and craftspeople show their pride at this third annual gathering of tribes from all over Northern California and the country. Music and dancing, jewelry and leather crafts, plus Indian foodstuffs to sample, make this a day for visitors to experience a culture that still survives. Aug. 4-5, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Petaluma Adobe, 3325 Adobe Road, Petaluma. $1. 707/769-0429.
In chorus: Chanticleer
Petaluma Summer Music Festival
There's something for everyone this year as the Cinnabar Theater hosts the best in local entertainment, with performers offering everything from a special Chanticleer children's event to Celtic music to Chinese rhythms. Tickle your funny bone at a presentation of Mavra, Igor Stravinsky's comic operetta. Be dazzled by the ballet opera The Nightingale. Hear music from some of the world's greatest composers during the Candlelight Concerts. Enjoy four concerts in two of Petaluma's finest vintage Victorian showcase homes during Music in the Mansions. Aug. 4-25, at various times. Locations vary, but many performances take place at the Cinnabar Theater, 3333 Petaluma Blvd. N., Petaluma. Prices vary. 707/763-8920.
Snortin' Norton: Blues harpist Norton Buffalo
Napa Town and Country Fair
Now 71 years old, the fair is taking this year to celebrate Party Gras. A preview gala and winetasting kick things off Aug. 7. Meanwhile, this eclectic five-day fair, Aug. 8-12, features kids' activities, a destruction derby, a horse show, and music galore (including the Mills Brothers, Coasters, Spencer Davis, and Norton Buffalo). 575 Third St. (between Silverado Trail and Soscol Avenue), Napa. $7 for adults, $4 for juniors and seniors, and free for kids under 5. 707/253-4900.
Healdsburg Guitar Festival
This acclaimed international event--held every other year--offers seven concerts, player workshops, guitar-maker seminars, and sales by nearly 100 top luthiers over a five-day period, Aug. 15-19. This year's lineup spans a wide range of styles and features the California Guitar Trio, Cosy Sheridan, Meridian Green, Del Rey, Pop Rocks, Preston Reed, Geoff Stewart, Rico Stover, David Serva, Dorian Michael, David Jacobs-Strain, William Coulter, and Roy Rogers and the Delta Rhythm Kings. Villa Chanticleer Annex, 1248 N. Fitch Mountain Road, Healdsburg, and other locations. Ticket prices vary. Call for times. 707/433-1823, ext. 18.
Bodega Bay Seafood, Art, & Wine Festival
This festival on the ocean offers lots to keep you busy, including arts and crafts exhibits, wine and beer tasting (at extra cost), live entertainment, puppets, pony rides, wetland tours, seafood specialties, and lots of salty air. Aug. 25, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Aug. 26, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Chanslor Ranch, 1 mile north of Bodega Bay on Hwy. 1 (follow the signs). $6 for adults, $5 for seniors, and free to kids under 12. 707/824-8404.
Rich rewards: Folk legend Richie Havens
Sausalito Arts Festival
The works of 270 artists from around the world (selected from 1,200 entries) are the centerpiece of this huge three-day event over Labor Day Weekend (Sept. 1-3) on the shores of San Francisco Bay. Hundreds of craft booths, a children's theater, gourmet food, fine wines, and premium beers are available. Add to that top-name entertainment, including Richie Havens and John Hammond (both on Sept. 1) and Dave Mason and the Bacon Brothers (both on Sept. 3). $15 for general admission, $7 for seniors, $5 for juniors (ages 5-12). 415/705-5555.
Organ meat: Jazz great Jimmy Smith
Russian River Jazz Festival
It's all about sun, sand, and sound on the banks of the lazy Russian River when the Russian River Jazz Festival returns to Johnson's Beach in Guerneville Sept. 8-9 for a weekend of straight-ahead, smooth, and soul jazz. The lineup this year includes (Sept. 8) Bobby Caldwell, the Bob James Trio, the Pete Escovedo Latin Jazz Orchestra, the Bobby Hutcherson Quartet, and Dan Hicks and the Hot Licks; and (Sept. 9) Dr. John, Jimmy Smith Quartet, and Pat Martino, featuring Joey DeFrancesco. Tickets are $35-$80 for a one- or two-day pass.707/869-3940.
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From the May 17-23, 2001 issue of the Northern California Bohemian.
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