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PRODIGIOUS: Julian Lage plays the Healdsburg Jazz Festival this month, his first U.S. gig after an extensive European tour.

Compiled by Hannah Smith


Healdsburg Jazz Festival

The fest celebrates its 11th anniversary with a vast assortment of performances. Highlights include Julian Lage (May 29), “Stars of Brazil” and Falso Baiano (May 31), Rising Stars Concert (June 5) and Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir (June 7). May 29–June 7. Events are hosted at various locations in and around Healdsburg. $10–$100.

Marin Home Show & Benefit Jazz Fest

Eco-friendly alternatives for home and garden await at this year’s Marin Home Show. Stay for a showcase of music including Marin Middle School and High School bands (May 30) and Pride and Joy (May 31). May 30–31 at the Marin Civic Center Exhibit Hall and Fairgrounds, San Rafael. $8 for two days. 415.499.6900.

Larkspur Flower & Food Fest

Bloom with pride as local gardeners bring their best flora to show off to the community at the 20th annual celebration of good things to look at and good things to eat. Live music includes Marin Community Chorus and Rubber Soldiers. May 31 on Magnolia Avenue, downtown Larkspur. 415.924.3803.

Pacific Chamber Symphony

Led by Maestro Lawrence Kohl and performing pieces that include Beethoven’s Symphony no. 5, this performance is May 31. Napa Valley Opera House, 1030 Main St., Napa. $25–$30. 707.226.7372.

The Italian Street Painting Festival chalks another year up this June in San Rafael..


Mayflower Community Chorus

Marin community chorus performs their harmonies at the Showcase Theater in San Rafael June 4–6. Marin Center. 10 Avenue of the Flags, San Rafael. $5–$15. 415.499.6800.

DjangoFest Mill Valley

The great French-Belgian-Gypsy guitarist Django Reinhardt gets a four-day blowout of fans and players presenting concerts, workshops and, yes, “djam” sessions to honor his spirit and inimitable sound. June 4–7 at the 142 Throckmorton Theatre. 142 Throckmorton Ave., Mill Valley. 415.383.9600.

Auction Napa Valley

Having raised more than $85 million for local nonprofits since its inception in 1981, Auction Napa Valley is a crazy big way for wine lovers and deep pockets to enjoy a party. The event will be held June 4–7 this year and features all of the many different kinds of auctions, winery events, dinners, dress-up opportunities and fun that regular attendees count on. The main event is slated for June 6 at Meadowood. 707.963.3388.

Frank Caliendo

He’s been called a combination of Robin Williams and Jim Carrey, and his impressions and stories are sure to have people rolling in the aisles. Catch him June 5 at the Wells Fargo Center. 50 Mark West Springs Road, Santa Rosa. $20–$70. 707.546.3600.

Scooter Rosa

Three days of scooter madness benefit Big Brothers and Big Sisters of the North Bay June 5–7. Friday, block party and barbecue at sponsoring Revolution Moto (D Street between Fourth and Fifth streets, Santa Rosa). Saturday, Scooter Rosa Rally in Railroad Square. Sunday, Scooter ride. For details, call 707.523.2371.

Forestville Youth Park

The only privately owned public park in the country—owned, that is, by the citizens of Forestville, a town of magnetic interest to the travel section of the New York Times—turns 49 this year and celebrates with plenty of barbecue, community spirit, a parade, live music and a carnival. June 5–7. Carnival, Friday; festival, Saturday–Sunday. 7045 Mirabel Road, Forestville. Free.

15th Annual Pride Comedy Night

Sonoma County’s most popular pride event, the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Celebration features the riotous humor of comedians Alec Mapa and Marga Gomez on June 6. Don’t forget to stay for the Pride Dance after the show. Wells Fargo Center, 50 Mark West Springs Road, Santa Rosa. 8pm. $15–$40. 707.546.3600.

Russian River Rodeo

From cowboy breakfasts to horseshoe contests to rodeo riding, this two-day celebration of riding and roping is a family tradition. June 6-7 at Bill Parmenter Field, Duncans Mills. 707.865.9854.


Eat, drink, be merry to support an excellent cause, as the 18th annual Beerfest to benefit Face to Face floods the outdoor areas of the Wells Fargo Center. Tickets include all food and beer tastings and a souvenir glass. The 35-plus brewers are a veritable who’s who of Northern California artisans, and the retro Dead vibe of the Thugz adds spice for the ears. June 6 from 1pm to 5pm. 50 Mark West Springs Road, Santa Rosa. Twenty-one and over (alcohol ’til 4:30pm). $35–$40. 707.546.3600.

Love2Dance Spring Performance: Bust a Move

Some 200 local performers from the Love2Dance studio in Novato will perform hits from the ’80s and ’90s, including dance genres like hip-hop, ballet, jazz, tap and break dancing. June 6 at Marin Center’s Veterans Memorial Auditorium. Marin Center, 10 Avenue of the Flags, San Rafael. $18–$24. 415.499.6800.

Art at the Source

The studios of 123 artists in western Sonoma County are open to the public during two weekends, June 6–7 and 13–14. Come and look behind the scenes, meet the artists and snap up some great deals. Maps can be found at or at the Sebastopol Center for the Arts, 6780 Depot St., Sebastopol. Free. 707.829.4797.

Brandi Carlile

Alt-folk rock singer and songwriter returns to wow audiences with her unique voice and sound on June 9 at the Lincoln Theater. 100 California Drive, Yountville. $26–$36. 707.944.1300.

‘Seriously Compromised’

This is the finale of the staged readings put on by the Playwright’s Lab, a play development program at 142 Throckmorton Theatre. Seriously Compromised is about a psychology professor who studies deception, only to find out she is being deceived by someone close to her. June 11. 142 Throckmorton Ave., Mill Valley. $15 suggested donation. 415.383.9600.

Battle of the Bands: Napa

The Napa Valley Opera House hosts this local band battle on June 12 at 7pm. Cafe Theatre, Napa. $10. 1030 Main St., Napa. 707.226.7372.

In a Cloud of Glass

Performance artist Sha Sha Higby explores the sculptural art of costume and puppetry dance with body sculptures that she creates and moves in for the show. June 12 at 142 Throckmorton Theatre. 142 Throckmorton Ave., Mill Valley. $10–$22. 415.383.9600.

Harmony Festival

Celebrating its 31st anniversary as an evolutionary, green music festival, this year’s Harmony Fest brings a smokin’ lineup that includes Michael Franti and Spearhead, India.Arie, Cake, ALO, Balkan Beat Box, DJ Gaudi and such speakers as Caroline Casey, Starhawk and Daniel Pinchbeck, to name but a few. Plus, the de rigueur goddess area, fun kids’ stuff, sustainable learning and even mini-mega ramp skate-boarding. Rock it, camp it, twirl it, dance it, grind it and trance it June 12–14, Sonoma County Fairgrounds, 1350 Bennett Valley Road, Santa Rosa. $10–$300; deluxe packages, more.

Napa Valley Comedy Night

Big Brothers and Big Sisters of the North Bay raise funds for their youth program with a comedy night on June 13. Not only will there be laughs, but there is food, wine and a silent auction as well. Napa Valley Opera House, 1030 Main St., Napa. $55–$65. 707.226.7372.

Novato Festival of Art, Wine & Music

Two-day live music fest features area crafters, good things to eat and drink including a wine garden, and live music on two stages. Musical highlights include Tommy Castro (June 13) and Poor Man’s Whiskey followed by Wonder Bread 5 (June 14). Children’s area complete with petting zoo, bounce house and pony and train rides. Saturday–Sunday, June 13–14. Old Town Novato, on Grant, between Redwood Boulevard and Seventh Street. Free. 415.897.1164.

Fairfax Festival

Never one to say no to a party, Fairfax celebrates its 32nd festival, a gentle riot of live music, great food and nice folks. Look also for the Fairfax Ecofest within the fest, as well as organic goods, art, music, kids’ area, flea market and, yes, more. Parade, 10am on June 13. Festival, June 13–14 from noon. Downtown Fairfax. Free.

Italian Street Painting Festival

Some 60,000 people come to downtown San Rafael to marvel at this celebration featuring hundreds of madonnari—or street painters—using the pavement as their canvas. Look for two stages of entertainment and plenty of food. Italian Street Painting Festival, June 13–14, Fifth Avenue and A Street in downtown San Rafael. Free.

The Wallflowers

These ’90s darlings are back on tour to celebrate the release of a greatest hits album. Come hear favorites like “One Headlight” and “6th Avenue Heartache” on June 18 at the Napa Valley Opera House, 1030 Main St., Napa. $85. 707.226.7372.

Summer Solstice Celebration

Mark year’s midway point with plenty of live music of the dub variety as well as an appearance by mycological miracle man Paul Stamets, all to benefit the Redwood Empire Food Bank. June 20-21 at the Sebastopol Community Center, 390 Morris St. $35-$60. 707.548.4074.

Cotati Jazz Festival

Get set for some food, music and fun at the 29th annual Cotati Jazz Festival. The festival will be “Chasing the Blues” this year with salutes to bands whose musical inspirations are more blues-inspired. This all-day event is entirely free and encompasses every musical and nonmusical venue in downtown Cotati. Performers booked for La Plaza park include Natasha James, Jason Bodlovich & Bluesgrease, Mz. Dee and others. Check individual venues for their bookings. June 20.

Solar Sonoma County 2009

Learn how to harness power of the sun while having a sizzling good time with food and drink booths, plenty of good-natured information, live music, kids events and more. June 20 at the Finley Center, 2060 W. College Ave., Santa Rosa. 707.284.9799.

Marin Art Festival

“The lawn party for the arts” features over 250 artists by the Lagoon in the Marin Civic Center in a two-day outdoor art party that includes international food, live music, fine wine and brews, and the ubiquitous more. In addition to the paintings, jewelry, sculptures, etc., patrons can enjoy a wide variety of food including a taste from all over the globe with Cajun, Greek and French fare. Enjoy the food and stay to stroll the pavilions and listen to the jazz quartets. June 20–21, Lagoon Park, at the Marin Center, Avenue of the Flags, San Rafael. $10; under 14, free. 415.388.0151.

Summer Nights

Osher Marin JCC makes a hot summer buzz with concerts and family nights throughout the summer. The concert slate features the David Grisman Quintet (June 20), Tito y Su Son de Cuba (July 18), Geno Delafose and His French Rockin’ Boogie (Aug.1), Vagabond Opera (Aug. 8) and African Groove Night (Aug. 15). The family slate kicks off with a cappella group Til Dawn with a showing of The Princess Bride (June 27), the Let’s Go Green educational group paired with The Muppet Movie (July 11) and the California Lion Dance Team performing before Kung Fu Panda (July 25). 200 N. San Pedro Road, San Rafael. Concert subscription, $80; family night package, $25. 415.444.8000.

Sonoma-Marin Fair

How do you know it’s summer? When the world’s ugliest dogs appear and 100 tons of metal collide in the destruction derby, that’s how. This year’s theme of “Saddle Up for Fun” runs June 24–28 and includes horse shows and demons and a new science exhibit. Entertainers include Josh Gracin (June 24), Night Ranger (June 25), Charlie Daniels Band (June 26) and Bret Michaels (June 27). Sonoma-Marin Fair, Petaluma Fairgrounds, two blocks west of East Washington Exit, Petaluma. Noon to midnight. $10–$15.

Kate Wolf Memorial Music Festival

A fantastic lineup hails this festival’s 14th year honoring the work of the late singer-songwriter Kate Wolf. Artist highlights include performances by Shawn Colvin, Patty Griffin, Emmylou Harris and many more. Plan to camp. June 26–28. Black Oak Ranch, Laytonville. Full festival pass, including three nights camping, is $165–$175; $200 at the door. Daily tickets available. Under six, free.

Rodney Strong Concert Series

The 19th annual KJZY Summer Concert Series, set in the sunny grasslands behind the Rodney Strong winery, kicks off its 50-year anniversary with Peter White and Mindi Abair (June 27). Next up are the Rippingtons and Craig Chaquico (July 11), then Guitars & Saxes 2009, featuring Euge Groove, Jeff Golub, Jeff Lorber and Jessy J (Aug. 8), the KRUSH Presents: Susan Tedeschi and JJ Grey & Mofro (Aug. 22) and ending with headliners Daryl Hall and John Oates (Sept.7). Rodney Strong Vineyards, 11455 Old Redwood Hwy., Healdsburg. $45–$110. 707.869.1595.

San Anselmo Art & Wine Festival

Over 60,000 folks converge on downtown San Anselmo each year—hungry, thirsty, craft-starved folks. As usual, a section of the fest will include over 200 artists and their various works. There will also be food booths, wine, merchant marketplace and a kids’ area. The theme this year is “Beach Party,” thoroughly honored through surf bands and volleyball, all hanging 10 June 27–28. San Anselmo Avenue between Bolinas and Tamalpais streets. 10am–6pm. 415.454.2510.

Mondavi Summer Music Festival

The B-52’s (June 27) kick off the annual summer fest, held outdoors on the lawn behind the sculpture-filled Mondavi Winery. Next up is the traditional holiday sounds of the Preservation Hall Jazz Band and fireworks after the show (July 4), followed by Ozomatli (July 11), Natalie Cole with the Napa Valley Symphony (July 18), KC and the Sunshine Band (July 25) and Smokey Robinson (Aug. 1). Highway 29, Oakville. $60–$225. 888.RMWJAZZ.

Jim Canepa Mill Valley Wine & Gourmet Food Tasting

Some 70 vintners from our wine country, as well as from Europe and the Pacific Northwest, and some 40 food providers converge on the parking lot behind the Depot Bookstore to pour out and serve up the good stuff. Purveyors purveying! Everyone’s happy. June 28. Mill Valley Downtown Plaza, 1 Miller Ave. Mill Valley. $40–$50 range. 415.388.9700.

Live from the Middle Reach

C. Donatiello Winery kicks off another summer of great free sounds in an intimate outdoor setting at their stellar tasting grounds. Bring a picnic and buy a cult bottle to enjoy Maria Taylor (June 28), the Hellhounds (July 5), Fred Odell (July 12), Jason Damato (July 19), Summer Mencher and White Noise( July 26), Big Papa and the TCB (Aug. 2), Barba Shassus (Aug. 9), Alma Desnuda (Aug. 16), Allison Scull and Victor Martin (Aug. 23), Buddy Sounds and Company (Aug. 30), Chris O’Brien (Sept. 6) and more. Series continues through Sept. 27. 4035 Westside Road, Healdsburg. 800.497.3376.


Marin County Fair

“Cool Green Fun” is the theme of the 64th Marin County Fair, and there will be competitions like bike decorating and growing green photography. As always, the music and the fine art are stellar, and fireworks end every night. Look for Creedence Clearwater Revisited (July 1), the Motels and also Berlin (July 2), Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and then the Wailers (July 3), Hot Buttered Rum and headliners Sha Na Na (July 4), and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band and Los Lobos (July 5). July 1–5. Marin County Fairgrounds, adjacent to the Marin Center, Avenue of the Flags, San Rafael. $12–$14; under four, free; July 1, 12 and under, free. 415.499.6400.

Marin Shakespeare Company

Stellar, professional outdoor theater is this year marked by action, music and comedy in such offerings as Twelfth Night or All You Need Is Love, The Importance of Being Earnest and Julius Caesar. Runs Friday–Sunday from July 3–Sept.27. Forest Meadows Amphitheatre, Grand Avenue, Dominican University of California, San Rafael. $10–$60. 415.499.4488.

B.R. Cohn Winery Charity Car Classic

This free event takes place Saturday, July 4, and features a classic car exhibit that includes a 1934 Henry Ford Five-Window Coupe and a 1946 Ford Woody Wagon. These cars and many more will also be in the Sonoma July 4 parade early Saturday. The event will also have fantastic food from Johnny Garlic’s kitchen and B.R. Cohn Wines, and live music from the winery insiders the Rich Little Band as well as the Whiskey Thieves, and an auction and raffle. Proceeds benefit Memorial Hospice and Hospice of Petaluma. 15000 Hwy. 12 in Glen Ellen. 1800.330.4064.

An Evening with Joan Baez

It has been 50 years since Baez made her debut at the 1959 Newport Folk Festival, and she’s still got it with her newest album, Day After Tomorrow, the first in five years. July 6 at Napa Valley Opera House, 1030 Main St., Napa. $50. 707.226.7372.

Summer Sing-Along: ‘Mamma Mia!’

If you were too shy to sing along when you were at the movies, here is your chance to belt out all those ABBA songs with others at the Napa Valley Opera House on July 10. There will even be subtitles in case you forget the words. $12. 1030 Main St., Napa. 707.226.7372.

San Rafael Twilight Criterium

Downtown San Rafael is transformed into a bike racetrack as pros take over the main downtown streets. An expo on Fourth Street and plenty of kids’ stuff, too. July 11.

Tears for Fears

The band that gave us “Shout” is back with a new album and will be stopping by the Wells Fargo Center to perform some of their pop magic. July 14. 50 Mark West Spring Road, Santa Rosa. $30–$70. 707.546.3600.

Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons

Frankie Valli’s amazing falsetto is well known because of songs like “Sherry” and “Walk Like a Man.” On July 17, his glass-shattering voice will shake the Wells Fargo Center. 50 Mark West Spring Road, Santa Rosa. $40–$100. 707.546.3600.

Alex de Grassi, Michael Manring & Jeff Titus

On July 18, these world-class players will give the audience a night of solo and combined performances on the steel string guitar, bass guitar and the 24-string harp sympitar. 142 Throckmorton Theatre. 142 Throckmorton Ave., Mill Valley. $20–$30. 415.383.9600.

Fourth Annual Festival del Sole

An astounding success in fine music, the Festival del Sole is back with a flourish July 18–25. The slate runs from violinist Sarah Chang to pianist Conrad Tao, to the Philharmonic Orchestra of the Americas, Anoushirvan Rohani and much, much more. $35–$125. At various venues. For complete details, go to

Catalan Festival

The fastest trip to Barcelona possible, the annual festival at Gloria Ferrer features live flamenco guitarists and dancers, the winery’s own sparkling wine and tastings from many Spanish-influenced eateries, along with cooking demonstrations. July 18–19. Gloria Ferrer Champagne Caves, 23555 Carneros Hwy., Sonoma. $37–$45; under five, free. 707.996.7256.

KWMR Fifth Annual Far West Fest

This annual green music festival that benefits local nonprofits takes place on July 25 and boasts two stages with acts like Lyrics Born and Sean Hayes. There will also be a zone for the kids and a “Think Local First” area that brings nonprofits and the community together. Love Field, 11191 Sir Francis Drake Blvd., Point Reyes Station.

Sonoma County Fair

The fair runs July 28–Aug. 9 this year with the theme “The Fair Before Time,” offering more horse racing, rodeos, destruction derbies, Farmers Day and plenty of live music. Look for the Wailing Souls (July 30), Village People (Aug. 6) and the always popular Blues Festival (Aug. 1). “The Garden Time Forgot” is the flower-show theme, kicking off with a preview on July 26.

Reggae Rising

Begun as the replacement concert for the annual Reggae on the River fest, Rising has come into its own. Look for Lutan Fyah, Rootz Underground, Messenjah Selah, Norrisman, Dezarie, Gentleman and the Far East Band and other stellar performers. July 31–Aug.2. Dimmick Ranch and French’s Camp, north of Piercy, Humboldt.

Use an accordion? Go to Cotati in August.


Madeleine Peyroux

Close your eyes and she’s like Billie. Open them and she’s something else entirely. Jazz stylist brings her mild sweet sound to the Wells Fargo Center on Aug. 5. 50 Mark West Springs Road, Santa Rosa. $39.75–$69.75. 707.546.3600.

Huey Lewis & the News

North Bay boy-made-good-enough-to-now-mostly-golf, Lewis and his News can still make the heart of rock ‘n’ roll . . . beat. Aug. 13 at the Wells Fargo Center. 50 Mark West Springs Road, Santa Rosa. $99.75 (that’s not $100). 707.546.3600.

Healdsburg Guitar Festival

Luthier madness sets in Aug. 14–16, when hundreds of custom guitars will be displayed, workshops and composing will take place along with concerts. $12-$22. Wells Fargo Center, 50 Mark West Springs Road, Santa Rosa.

Napa Valley Art Festival

This art exhibit and sale features over 300 paintings from 42 artists finds guests sipping on Napa Valley wines and other delicacies while listening to live music. Aug. 15 at V Marketplace (formerly Vintage 1870). 6325 Washington St., Yountville.

San Rafael Food & Wine Festival

The Mission City of Marin plays host to the third annual San Rafael Food and Wine Festival this August at Falkirk Cultural Center. Regional wineries will be there as well as the local brew folks and plenty of food purveyors. What would wine be without art and music? A lonely drunk, indeed. Plan for Aug. 15 at the Falkirk Cultural Center, 1408 Mission Ave., San Rafael. $15, five tastes. 800.310.6563.

Solar & Good Living Festival

Now in its 14th year, SolFest combines fun with being eco-friendly. Speakers-performers have yet to be announced, but Saturday night’s Moondance is always a freaky pleasure. Aug. 15–16, at Real Goods Solar Living Institute, Hopland. $25–$45. 707.744.2017.

Elvis Costello & the Sugarcanes

Costello shows us his bluegrass side with a show promoting his new album Secret, Profane, and Sugarcane. Aug. 21 at the Wells Fargo Center, 50 Mark West Springs Road, Santa Rosa. $30–$90. 707.546.3600.

Taste of Railroad Square

Don’t lick that brick! Rather, get tastes from many restaurants in the old town area to benefit the Sixth Street Playhouse. Aug. 22. Corner of Fourth and Wilson streets. $35. 707.523.4187.

Cotati Accordion Festival

The Golden State Accordion Club kicks off this year’s two-day tribute to the squeezebox. Both days are full of performers beginning at 10am and going until 8pm. Featured acts on Saturday include the Great Morgani, the Golden State Accordion Club Band, the Hurricane, Amber Lee and the Anomalies, Alex Meixner, Hugh Morrison, Limpopo, Simka, Dick Contino, Grammy-nominated Polka Freakout, Vagabond Opera and Brian Jack and the Zydeco Gamblers. On Sunday, look for the Golden State Accordion Club Band, Mike Moratta, the Internationals, the Great Morgani, the Georges Lammam Ensemble, Joe Domitrowich, Dick Contino, the Polka Freakout, Vagabond Opera and Limpopo. Aug. 22–23. La Plaza Park, Cotati. $15–$25; under 15, free. 707.664.0444.

Diana Krall

Her latest album, Quiet Nights, uses Brazil as a theme and is sure to captivate audiences. Ths jazz diva performs just four days after her husband on Aug. 25 at the Wells Fargo Center, and we’ll just wantonly spread the rumor that we heard that they have a house here somewhere. Hmmm. Hmmm. 50 Mark West Springs Road, Santa Rosa. $40–$100. 707.546.3600.

Seafood Art & Wine Festival

Bodega Bay celebrates for the 15th time with seafood deluxe and music. This event showcases the best of California’s wineries and breweries, artists and craftspeople and benefits Stewards of the Coasts and Redwoods and the Bodega Volunteer Fire Department. Aug. 29–30 at Watts Ranch, 16855 Bodega Hwy., just east of the town of Bodega. $8–$12; under 12, free. No dogs this year. 707.824.8717.


Sheryl Crow

English teacher turned rocker brings her Grammy-winning songs to town. Sept. 1 at the Wells Fargo Center. 50 Mark West Springs Road, Santa Rosa. $69.75–$89.75. 707.546.3600.

Sonoma County Showcase

Three-day foodie lovefest, Sept. 4–6, features the Taste of Sonoma County (Sept. 5) at MacMurray Ranch, various winery lunches and dinners (Sept. 4–5), and Sonoma Valley Wine Auction (Sept. 6). For details and tickets, go to

Napa Riverfest

Now in its 17th year of celebrating the river. Sept. 6, along the waterfront, downtown Napa. 707.254.8520. 

Lindsay Pyle contributed to this article.