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[whitespace] Strings attached: Roy Rogers and Shana Morrison continue their collaboration for a show on Sept. 3 at the Sausalito Arts Festival.

Photograph by Susan Schelling


Fall into Fun

New season brings fresh faces and old favorites to North Bay art scene

By Greg Cahill, Shelley Lawrence, Patrick Sullivan, and Marina Wolf

DON'T BE AFRAID. That deep rumble you hear in the distance isn't the sound of approaching thunder--so everyone in Rio Nido can relax, at least for the moment. No, the only storm front headed our way is the deluge about to be unleashed upon the North Bay by the fall arts season. And make no mistake: the end of summer will bring a flood of activity to our area. Before you know it, we'll be up to our eyeballs in the arts, happily swimming through the high seas of culture with the likes of Marcel Marceau, basking on a river of notes at the Russian River Jazz Festival, and enjoying liquid of another kind at the 15th annual Something's Brewing beer tasting. Read all about it in our selective preview below, but just make sure you're back on dry land before your skin starts to prune up.

September

Sandra Bernhard
Alternately fierce and tender, the provocative comedian serves up sizzling standup and cabaret tunes in "I'm Still Here, Damn It!" Sept. 1 at 8 p.m. LBC, 50 Mark West Springs Road, Santa Rosa. $18.50-$25.50. 546-3600.

Sonoma Film Institute
Only an institution devoted to the life of the mind could build such a strong program of hard-to-find and provocative cinema. Indies, classics, foreign-language films: SFI has them all. The season opens Sept. 1-2 with The Mirror, an Iranian feature that follows a confident little girl through the streets of Tehran. Sonoma State University, Darwin Theatre, Darwin Hall, 1801 E. Cotati, Rohnert Park. $4.50/general; $4/seniors, non-SSU students, SFI members, and children under 12. 664-2606.

Jethro Tull
The legendary rockers land in Marin County after playing more than 2,500 concerts in 40 countries. Come listen to front man Ian Anderson, who introduced the flute into rock music, and be wowed. Sept. 1 at 8. Marin Center, Avenue of the Flags, San Rafael. Tickets are $28-$50. 415/499-6400.

Cajun Festival
Sonoma County and Louisiana swampland are nothing alike, but that has never stopped the Sebastopol Rotary Club from entering into some of the customs--boiling crawfish and dancing your boots off--with unabashed glee. The Iguanas, Gator Beat, and Crawdaddy lead the way with hot Cajun and zydeco dance music, while the feast goes on all day. Saturday, Sept. 2, noon to 7 p.m. Laguna Park, Morris St., Sebastopol. $7/general, $5/advance; children get in free. 823-3032.

Studio Discovery Tour
There is that feel of discovery to finding art in the country, like finding a jewel in the deep, dark woods. Consider this tour a treasure map to the goodies, displayed in studios by the 20-plus members of the North Coast Artists' Guild, who are doing wondrous things in sculpture, paintings, art furniture, and even video. Pick up tour maps at various locations in Gualala, Sept. 2-3 and 9-10, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. 884-1608.

Sausalito Art Festival
Walk the waterfront and absorb the art, if you can: with more than 20,000 works of art on display, the overload potential is high. But then there's food, wine, and music, too. Saturday's lineup includes Vivendo de Pão, Roy Rogers and Shana Morrison, and Jimmy Cliff. Sunday brings in Legion of Mary, the Tubes, and Irish folkies Greenhouse, while Monday's performers include Angela Strehli, the Tommy Castro Band, and zydeco from Tom Rigney and Flambeau. This year, the festival is offering free shuttle service from Santa Rosa, Petaluma, and Greenbrae. Sept. 2-3, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sept. 4, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sausalito waterfront. $15/general, $7/seniors, $5/youth; children under 5 get in free (but keep them out of the pottery aisle!). 546-BASS.

Jazz Jammin'
The name is long--the Traditional Ragtime and Dixieland Jazz Appreciation and Strutters Society--but the reason for being is short and sweet: good old-fashioned jazz. Members meet monthly for dancing, jam sessions, and frequent guest performances. The fall's first meeting is on Sunday, Sept. 3. Later programs: Oct. 1, Black Diamond Blue Five; Nov. 5, Jubilee Jazz Band. All concerts go from 1 to 5:30 p.m. Moose Lodge, 2350 Santa Rosa Ave., Santa Rosa. $8/general, $5/members. 526-1772.

Los Lobos
The Latino rockers return to Sonoma County to deliver their unique mix of R&B, Tex Mex, and pure rock 'n' roll. Sept. 5 at 8 p.m. LBC, 50 Mark West Springs Road, Santa Rosa. $28.50. 546-3600.

Meet the Stars
The universe may be chaotic and random, but it is nothing if not awesome in its scope and explosive beauty. Get up close to the cosmic canvas at SRJC's planetarium shows, running every Friday and Saturday at 7 and 8:30 p.m., and Sundays at 1:30 and 3 p.m. "Ten Years of Hubble" opens the season on Sept. 8, with a look through the sky-directed eyes of the Hubble Space Telescope. Santa Rosa Junior College, Lark Hall, Room 2001, 1501 Mendocino Ave., Santa Rosa. $4/general, $2/students and seniors (no children under 5, please). 527-4371.

Operatic Education
Some music requires serious thought to get the full impact. That's the theory, at least, behind the lectures and discussions hosted by concerned North Bay opera buffs. Proceeds from the Sonoma County chapter of the San Francisco Opera Guild series benefit Opera à la Carte, bringing music to operatically impoverished schoolchildren throughout the county. The series begins Sept. 8, with a morning presentation on Verdi's Luisa Miller. Other lecture topics: Sept. 18 at 2 p.m., The Tsar's Bride; Sept. 21 at 7 p.m., The Ballad of Baby Doe; Oct. 2 at 10:30 a.m., Dead Man Walking; Nov. 2 at 7 p.m., Semele; Nov. 13 at 10:30 a.m., Der Rosenkavalier. Locations vary. Meals are often packaged with the lectures, with suggested donations ranging from $20 to $25, and reservations are required. 546-4379. . . . the Jarvis Conservatory in Napa raises the curtains on its lecture season on Sept. 11 at 7 p.m. Under the direction of maestro Hugo Rinaldi of the Marin Opera, students will cover a classic curriculum of La Bohème, Otello, Manon Lescaut, and Don Giovanni. All classes are held on Monday evenings, Sept. 11 through Oct. 16, at the Jarvis Conservatory, 1711 Main St., Napa. The course fee is $30--what a deal!--but early registration is recommended. 255-5445.

Napa Wine and Crafts Faire
Yet another point on the arts-and-crafts show circuit, made glorious by the sun and the promise of Napa Valley wines. Live music and fun for the kids, plus a beautiful drive. Go on. You deserve it. Sept. 9, 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. First Street, downtown Napa. Free to view; expect to pay for your food. 257-0322.

Rosalie Sorrels
The prominent country-folk singer-songwriter teams up with bluegrass great Mollie O'Brien for a CD-release party (they've both got new albums) that'll knock your socks off. Sept. 9 at 8 p.m. Community Center, 390 Morris St., Sebastopol. $17/reserved seats, $13/general advance, $15 at the door. 823-1511.

Bridge over troubled waters: Dee Dee Bridgewater performs Sept. 9 at the Russian River Jazz Festival.

Photograph by Philippe Pierangeli


Russian River Jazz Fest
Sometimes dreams do come true. A lot of local jazz fans grumbled about the smooth jazz (pronounced "pop") and chardonnay haze that had come to obscure this venerable event, which in the past has showcased the likes of bebop pioneer Dizzy Gillespie. The people spoke , and the programmers listened. The top acts featured at the annual festival--now in its 24th year at Johnson's Beach in Guerneville--are mostly rooted in straight-ahead jazz and are far more innovative than recent offerings. The Chick Corea Trio, vocalist Dee Dee Bridgewater, percussionist Poncho Sanchez, singer Kevin Mahogany, and the Mel Martin/Harold Jones 17-piece big band will shine on Saturday, Sept. 9. The Sunday, Sept. 10, lineup features saxophonist Branford Marsalis, trumpeter Roy Hargrove, vocalist Flora Purim and percussionist Airto, and the Omega Aires Gospel Singers. The gate opens at 10 a.m. Advance tickets are $40 each day, $70 for both. 869-3940.

Art in the Park
Now there's a happy thought: art in nature. No matter how often it's done, the Petaluma Arts Association does it one better in an intimate exhibit surrounded by beautiful Victorian ambiance and music radiating from the turn-of-the-century (that's last century) gazebo. Sept. 9-10, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Walnut Park, between Fourth Street and Petaluma Boulevard at D Street, Petaluma. Free. 763-2308.

Waterfront Jazz
Set up the lawn chair and put on your hat for a sunny day of nothin' but jazz on the banks of the Petaluma River. Youth bands swing in from 10 a.m. to noon; then the Peter Welker All-Star Band takes the stage with instrumental talent from eight famous bands. Sept. 9, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Foundry Wharf Green, Second and H streets, Petaluma. $10/advance, $12/general; free to children under 13. 769-0429.

A Divine Madness
Local filmmaker Robert Pickett taps the intense intersection of life and art for his newest feature film, in which a community theater runs through the paces in a production of Anton Chekhov's The Cherry Orchard. Can you get too far into a character's skin? You be the judge at the film's world premiere. Sept. 10 at 1 p.m., followed by Q&A and a champagne reception. No-host bar opens at noon. McNear's Mystic Theater, 21 Petaluma Blvd. N., Petaluma. $15. 569-8206, ext. 3.


Making progress: Rebeca Mauleón.


Progressive Festival
It's a day in the park for progressive causes, with antiwar activist Daniel Ellsberg (famous for releasing the Pentagon Papers to the press, thereby helping to end the Vietnam War) heading up the impressive list of speakers. Info tables abound, and Rebeca Mauleón and Darryl Cherney add a musical touch to the proceedings. Sept. 10 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Walnut Park, Petaluma Boulevard South and D Street, Petaluma. Free. 763-8134.

California Small Works
What can you fit into a cubic foot? That's the question posed to artists through SMOVA's annual tribute to tiny works, in an exhibit that opens on Sept. 11 and runs through Dec. 10. None of these works would be allowed on a roller coaster: exhibit requirements stipulate measurements of no more than 12"x12"x12", and that includes the base and/or frame. What a relief to know that in art, at least, size doesn't matter. (Artists: Ship your own entry by Sept. 7, or hand-deliver it Sept. 9-10; call for prospectus.) Luther Burbank Center, SMOVA, 50 Mark West Springs Road, Santa Rosa. 527-0297.

Harry Belafonte
The world went bananas when this sunny singer hit the airwaves with calypso back in the '50s. Well, the Caribbean charisma is still going strong, with the added support of African and Third World rhythms. Sept. 14 at 8 p.m. Marin Center, Avenue of the Flags, San Rafael. $28-$42. 415/472-3500.

Something's Brewing
More than 20 specialty breweries from across Northern California come together to pour a river of finely made beer down our grateful throats at the 15th annual Something's Brewing beer tasting. The event, which benefits the Sonoma County Museum, also features samples of local food and, in a very responsible move, cab rides home. Sept. 15, 5:30 to 8 p.m. $28/door, $25/advance. 579-1500.


On the ball: Sebastopol artist Daniel Oberti's Spheres (#1) is among the many works featured at Art for Life, an auction benefiting the AIDS charity Face to Face.


Art for Life
Where common decency and uncommonly good art meet: that's the Art for Life Exhibit and Auction, which has been leading the fundraising fight against AIDS for a dozen years now. More than 250 artists will chip in, with works ranging from traditional paintings to weird-ass recycled sculpture, to be auctioned off for funding AIDS programs in the county. Preview the offerings for free Sept. 13-15, and then come to the auction on Sept. 16 at 3:30 p.m., for wining, dining, and a musical contribution from the Ben Hill Quartet. Friedman Center, 4676 Mayette Ave., Santa Rosa. $50. 544-1851.

Sonoma County Book Fair
Local literati hit it big with a gathering of authors whose works are worthy of any reader's bookshelf. Greg Sarris (Grand Avenue and Watermelon Nights) and Gerald Haslam (The Great Central Valley and Condor Dreams) head the lineup, and they'll be joined by Jean Hegland (Into the Forest), Jonah Raskin, and Sonoma County Poet Laureate Don Emblen. If you're a wannabe, check out the publishing panels. Sept. 16, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Old Courthouse Square, downtown Santa Rosa. Free. 579-2787.

Glendi
This is the family reunion you've always wanted to have, with sweaty, good-natured dancing that no one will criticize and savory ethnic food, from Russian to Eritrean, that everyone will like (none of Uncle Pete's weird coleslaw, either). Once again, Annoush 'Ellas and Edessa provide the foot-stomping music at St. Mary's Orthodox Church's 12th annual community party. If you go to this, don't plan anything for the rest of the weekend. Sept. 16, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Sept. 17, noon to 6 p.m. 90 Mountain View Ave., Santa Rosa Ave., Santa Rosa $5/adults; children under 12 get in free. 584-9491.

River Appreciation Festival
Let us pause and give thanks for the Russian River. . . . All right, now on to the hikes, barbecue, and educational yet fun activities that have made this festival a popular fall event. Proceeds benefit the Sonoma County Environmental Center, Friends of the Russian River, and the Russian River Environmental Forum. Sept. 16 from 3 to 6 p.m. $35. Sponsorships are available, and reservations strongly recommended. 578-0595.

Mill Valley Fall Arts Festival
Art, just art, and lots of it, along with a mellow lineup of jazz, blues, and folk music, makes the 44th annual festival a worthwhile stop for any art groupies. Take it easy, though: the Christmas arts and crafts fairs are just around the corner, and you've got to build your stamina up slowly. Sept. 16-17 from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Old Mill Park, Mill Valley (shuttle buses run continuously from Tamalpais High School), $5; children under 12 admitted free. 415/381-0525.

Poetry Walk
Tread warily on the streets of Petaluma this day, because poetry is on the loose. Of course, if that's what you like, then go for it. Susan Brown, Ron Salisbury, Diane di Prima, and Jonah Raskin are among the readers at locations all around downtown, starting at Deaf Dog Cafe (134 Petaluma Blvd.) at noon. Sept. 17, noon to 6 p.m. Free. 763-4271.

Jewish Films
More than almost anything else in the 20th century, film helped shape how minority communities viewed themselves, confronting and creating identity and culture. This fall the Jewish Community Agency of Sonoma County brings together five definitive works, along with guest speakers. The festival opens on Sept. 21 with Kadosh and continues through Dec. 14. The other films are The Harmonists, A Walk on the Moon, The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg, and Yana's Friends. Rialto Cinemas Lakeside (551 Summerfield Road, Santa Rosa) and Sebastiani Theatre (476 First St. E., Sonoma). $7.50/general, $5/students under 18, and $32.50 for series pass. 528-4222.

Golf with Alan Shepard
There may be more to life than golf, but golf can tell you everything you need to know about life in this lighthearted stroll through 18 holes of comedic self-searching. Sept. 21-Oct. 8; Thursdays at 7:30 p.m., Fridays-Saturdays at 8 p.m., Sundays at 2:30 p.m. Spreckels Performing Arts Center, 5409 Snyder Lane, Rohnert Park. $16/general, $13/youth and seniors, $11/Thursdays. 588-3430.


Band land: The Old Blind Dogs.


Celtic Festival
Heigh ho and torry-lorry-lor: the Sebastopol Celtic Festival is back for another crowd-pleasing weekend of total-immersion Celtic culture, Sept. 22-24. Music and dance are the big draw, of course, and the schedule is too packed to list everything here. The opening concert features the Karan Casey Trio and Martin Hayes and Dennis Cahill. Saturday brings John Whelan, Mary Jane Lamond, Beginish, and Orla and the Gasmen during the day, and Alasdair Fraser and Dervish at night. On Sunday, give a little listen to the Old Blind Dogs, Crasdant, and Mary Mclaughlin. Ask also about workshops in flute, step-dance, Gaelic voice, bagpipe, fiddle, and more. Community Center and Laguna Youth Park, 390 Morris St., Sebastopol. $78/reserved full-festival pass, $68/general full-festival pass, $20-$25/Friday night, $23-$28/Saturday night, $17/Saturday or Sunday afternoon. Day workshops open to seniors and youth at reduced prices. Passes can be purchased in Sebastopol at Copperfield's Music and at the Community Center. 829-7067.

Randy Newman
Lately he's been branching out into movie soundtracks, from Pleasantville to Babe: Pig in the City. But the pop tunesmith has always known what his listeners really like: short people, rednecks, and just sailing away. Sept. 23 at 7:15 p.m. Osher Marin Jewish Community Center, 200 N. San Pedro Road, San Rafael. $35/general, $30/JCC members. 415/479-2000.

Puppet Festival
Here's animation at its original, low-tech finest: limp objects brought to life with just the twitch of a string. Parasol Puppets and Coad Canada Puppets share the program in two performances, and puppet masters from both companies lead a backstage workshop for all ages. Performances are on Sept. 29 at 7 p.m. and Sept. 30 at 3:30 p.m.; workshop is from 1 to 2:30 p.m. on Sept. 30. Jarvis Conservatory, 1711 Main St., Napa. $20/general, $10/children 12 and under; $5 for workshop admission. 255-5445.

Camera Art 2
Fifty Sonoma County photographers show their views through the shutter, with techniques ranging from most traditional black-and-white photography to digital and experimental forms, at Silver Stone Gallery's popular festival of photography. Sept. 23-24. Montgomery Village Shopping Center, Santa Rosa. Call for exhibit hours. 541-7117.

Ladysmith Black Mambazo
The talented Zulu choir, best known for its backup vocal work on Paul Simon's "Graceland," brings precise, expressive harmonies to Marin County for the seventh time. Sept. 24 at 3. Marin Center, Avenue of the Flags, San Rafael. $18-$28. 415/499-6400.

Junior College Arts and Lectures
Not only does the JC offer college-level courses at an unbeatable low fee, but their lectures are usually free, which means that anyone with a mind to learn, can. The semester starts with a reading of Buddha poetry on Sept. 25, a slide show and discussion on art and subconscious thought on Oct. 2, and a didjeridu performance and lecture on Oct. 16. And that's just the first three weeks! Most sessions take place at the Santa Rosa campus at noon in the Newman Auditorium; selected lectures are repeated at 7:30 on the same day in the Mahoney Library on the Petaluma campus. Call today for your copy of the Fall Community Education catalog to check out the whole semester of possibilities. 527-4371.

[line]

A Brand-New Start: New seats, a new cultural arts series--the Luther Burbank Center is raising the curtain on the future.

High-Tech Hall: Santa Rosa Symphony readies for move to state-of-the-art music center.

Vintage Gem: Napa begins renovations on the Margaret Biever Mondavi Opera House Theater.

Author Appearances: Noted contemporary writers are slated to swing through the North Bay in the coming months.

[line]

October

B.R. Cohn Music Fest
It's handy to be the manager of the Doobie Brothers. That way it's really easy to book them for your festival. Sharing the bill are Little Feat and the Sy Klopps Blues Band, featuring Neal Schon and Terry Hagerty. Oct. 1, starting at noon. B.R. Cohn Winery, 15140 Sonoma Hwy. 12, Glen Ellen (parking at the Sonoma Developmental Center). $50/door, $45/advance; and leave your picnic at home. 800/330-4064.

Harvest Fair
No one could forget the agricultural heritage of Sonoma County, but the Harvest Fair is nonetheless a welcome refresher course on the wine, food, farms, and art that have made the county what it is today. Events include a tasting of the wine-contest entries, an art show and sale, displays of everything from apples to animals, and of course the World Championship Grape Stomp. Now that's entertainment! Oct. 6-8. Sonoma County Fairgrounds, 1350 Bennett Valley Road, Santa Rosa. $5/adults, $2/children ages 7-12; advance tickets $2; winetasting tickets available for purchase. 545-4203.

Sculpture Jam III
Watch as teams of live-action superheroes take on huge chunks of inanimate objects and wrestle 3-D art out them! Hmm . . . is a sculpture smackdown on the way? The Sebastopol Center for the Arts brings back its popular in-situ sculpture event. Recall that last year's event resulted in the controversial piece of sculpture dubbed The Door to Hell by critics, and given that this year's theme is "Totems, Shrines, and Icons," we'd advise you to be prepared for anything. Oct. 5 from 6 to 8 p.m.; Oct. 6 and 7, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Live music, demos, and refreshments all come with admission, which is free. 829-4797.

The San Francisco Comedy Competition
The stars of tomorrow often shine first in this famed comedy free-for-all, which features a semifinal round in Sonoma County. Fair warning: this event always sells out early. Oct. 6 at 8 p.m. LBC, 50 Mark West Springs Road, Santa Rosa. $24.50 or $26.50. 546-3600.

Festival Fantasia
Billed as a Middle Eastern extravaganza, this seventh annual installment of dance and music seems to be venturing further afield for its performers: this year's roster includes a Brazilian dance workshop and a drumming class with Vince Delgado that covers mambo to baladi and back. But with more than 100 belly dancers on tap, along with ethnic foods, live music, and open-dance-floor times, the Middle East emphasis is still going strong. Saturday, Oct. 7, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Sunday, Oct. 8, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Community Center, 390 Morris St., Sebastopol. $10/advance, $12/door, $5/teens; children under 12 admitted free. 824-0533.


It's alive! Sculptor T. Barny opens his studios during ARTrails, the annual tour that takes you behind the scenes of artistic creation in Sonoma County.


ARTrails
If there were no map for this open-studio tour, no signs on the street posts, no flyers at the coffee shops, you'd still be able to find your way around by putting your nose to the ground and following the aroma of well-done art. In its 15th year, the tour has more than 130 artists around the county cleaning up their lairs and putting out their best work. Oct. 14-15 and 21-22, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Pick up a full-color catalog at locations around the county and hit the trail: it's free! 579-2787.

Notable talent: Jeffrey Kahane.

Santa Rosa Symphony
Under the skilled direction of Jeffrey Kahane, the Santa Rosa Symphony has taken on a three-season theme, presenting the symphonic highlights of the 20th century. Last year it was the early part of the century. This season, Kahane and company move into the middle third of the 1900s, with a season opener on Oct. 14-16 that features Prokofiev's stirring Fifth Symphony, along with Chopin's Piano Concerto No. 1, with pianist William Wolfram, and the world premiere of Kenneth Frazelle's newest commissioned work. Concert times vary, as do ticket prices for the seven-concert series. Prices for individual shows run from $19 to $39. . . . And don't forget a little something for the young'uns in the symphony's Discovery Series, mini-concerts at symphony rehearsals, followed by a Q&A session with Kahane. Concerts are on selected Saturday afternoons at 3:15 p.m. On Oct. 14, listen as "The 20th Century Meets the 21st." Luther Burbank Center, 50 Mark West Springs Road, Santa Rosa. Tickets for the series are $42/adults, $30/youth; individual tickets are $7.50/adults, $5.50/ youth. 546-8742.

Headlands Center for the Arts
The generals probably turned in their graves when they saw what's become of their old stomping grounds. The Fort Barry buildings on the headlands of Sausalito are now the Headlands Center for the Arts, a thriving collective of visual, verbal, and performing artists who get a little crazy from time to time. Like the fall open house, on Oct. 15 from noon to 5 p.m. (admission and inspiration are free). Or the Mystery Ball 2000 fundraiser, with extravagant art installations and performances, costumes, and a dinner/dance. Oct. 28 at 7 p.m. Reservations are required by Oct. 25. Admission to the ball is $85-$125 per person, with some artist discount tickets available for $35. 415/331-2787.

Marcel Marceau
The world's most famous mime brings his legendary act to Sonoma County as part of the Luther Burbank Center's new Wine Country Great Performances series. Oct. 19 at 8 p.m. LBC, 50 Mark West Springs Road, Santa Rosa. $35-$45. 546-3600.

Savage Jazz Dance Company
This fleet-footed company from Oakland returns for another evening of high-energy dance to the greats of jazz: Davis, Mingus, and Monk. The acclaimed Marcus Shelby Orchestra supports two world premiere pieces by director Reginald Ray-Savage. Oct. 20-21 at 8 p.m.; Oct. 22 at 2:30 p.m. Spreckels Performing Arts Center, 5409 Snyder Lane, Rohnert Park. $22/general, $19/youth and seniors. 588-3430.

Santa Rosa Community Concerts
In an age of skyrocketing ticket prices, great music at accessible prices is a rare treat. Fortunately, this community-based music organization is truly committed to bringing the classics to the masses, kicking off its season on Oct. 1 at 7:30 p.m. with the St. Petersburg String Quartet and American pianist Justin Blasdale. On Oct. 29 at 3 p.m., the American Boychoir thrills with rich sound from impossibly high-pitched voices. Other performers include tenor Rodrick Dixon, violinist Philip Quint, a London piano duo, and the Firebird Balalaika Ensemble. Luther Burbank Center, 50 Mark West Springs Road, Santa Rosa. $17.50/general, $60/series, $25/series for students. 546-1152.

Chamber Music
Notable talents perform music in intimate settings at several different venues around the North Bay. The Redwood Arts Council's 20th season starts Sept. 30 with the critically acclaimed St. Peterburg String Quartet at the United Methodist Church, 5090 N. Main St., in Sebastopol, and continues with a performance by violinist Monica Huggett and guitarist Richard Savino on Oct. 20 at the Occidental Community Church, Second and Church streets, Occidental. 874-1124. . . . Russian River Chamber Music starts its season on Sept. 23 with a performance by the Oakland-based American Baroque, and then, on Oct. 21, catch the Shanghai String Quartet--both events at the Federated Church, 1100 University St., Healdsburg. 524-8700. . . . Santa Rosa Junior College presents two fall performances: on Sept. 22, catch pianist Eric Zivian, violinist Ian Swensen, and celloist Jean-Michel Fonteneau. Pianist Brian Ganz performs works by Chopin, Beethoven, and Andrew Simpson on Oct. 6 and 8 at SRJC's Randolph Newman Auditorium, 1501 Mendocino Ave., Santa Rosa. 527-4249. . . . The Navarro Trio performs piano works by Beethoven and Smetana on Oct. 29 at Sonoma State University's Sunday Chamber Music Series in Ives Concert Hall, 1801 E. Cotati Drive, Rohnert Park. 664-2353.

November

Ethnic Arts Showcase
Music and dance from around the world get the spotlight here, with performers tackling traditions from the Middle East (Dance Journey), Brazil (Carnaval Spirit), Africa (Sandor and Okili), the British Isles (Katie Hendrickson), and Turkey (Kajira Djouhmana). Expect the food and crafts to add to the whirlwind experience. Nov. 3 at 8 p.m.; doors open at 7 p.m. Community Center, 390 Morris St., Sebastopol. $12/door, $10/advance. 824-0533.

Red and the Red Hots
These sizzling swingmeisters have performed with Dolly and Cher, but they've got heat enough of their own to power through the best of Duke Ellington and Count Basie, as well as their own original numbers. Nov. 4 at 8 p.m. Spreckels Performing Arts Center, 5409 Snyder Lane, Rohnert Park. $19/general, $16/youth and seniors. 588-3430.

David Benoit
The contemporary jazz artist pays homage to Charles Schulz and the characters from the cartoonist's Peanuts comic strip with "Here's to you, Charlie Brown: 50 Great Years!" Nov. 10 at 8 p.m. $26-$36. 546-3600.

Ives Quartet
It's known internationally for bold interpretations of classical and contemporary composers, but for Sonoma County this fall, the quartet is going for the all-American angle, with Arthur Foote's romantic Quartet No. 1, Antonín Dvorák's Op. 96, "The American," and Quartet No. 2, composed for the quartet by Eric Sawyer. Nov. 11 at 8 p.m. Spreckels Performing Arts Center, 5409 Snyder Lane, Rohnert Park. $22/general, $19/youth and seniors. 588-3430.

Festival of Harps
A cast of international performers brings these angelic instruments down to earth at the 11th annual celebration of stringed things, including Celtic and classical instruments, the Chinese konghou harp, the Latin-style harp of Paraguay, and a full stage of the Bay Area Youth Harp Ensemble. Nov. 18 at 8 p.m. Spreckels Performing Arts Center, 5409 Snyder Lane, Rohnert Park. $20/general, $17/youth and seniors. 588-3430.

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From the August 24-30, 2000 issue of the Sonoma County Independent.

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