A Press Democrat Blog


Dan Taylor on the fine arts scene.

Healdsburg holds memorial for jazz great Charlie Haden

Healdsburg Jazz, sponsor of the town’s annual jazz festival, will present a special tribute Oct. 12 in memory of famed bassist Charlie Haden at the SHED Cafe in Healdsburg. Haden, who was honored with a two-day celebration at the 2013 Healdsburg Jazz Festival, died July 11 this year in Los Angeles at age 76. Haden had played the festival in Healdsburg five times since it started 16 years ago. “My relationship with Charlie was really long, and I was a… Read More »

Montgomery Village in Santa Rosa plans two free concert series

The Montgomery Village shopping center in Santa Rosa will open two free, live outdoor concert series this month, both running until early October in the center’s Village Court area. And before the two series start, the center opens the season May 18 with a “Veterans Appreciation Day,” 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. with live music by the Poyntlyss Sistars. Both music series feature bands that have built a following at nightclubs and concerts throughout Northern California. The Bay Area pop… Read More »

Dan Earl conducts his last four Santa Rosa Symphonic Chorus concerts

Popular local choral director Dan Earl might not be considered shy, but he certainly is retiring. Earl, now 71, retired in 2005 after 39 years of full-time teaching, 28 of them spent as a music teacher at Santa Rosa High School. And early next month, Earl will retire again, after 14 years as conductor of the Santa Rosa Symphonic Chorus, ending his tenure with his final four concerts with the ensemble. “Retire again? It’s not like this is something new… Read More »

Healdsburg Water Carnival canceled due to drought, other events still scheduled

Drought conditions in Northern California have had an impact on some popular annual river celebrations, including one cancellation, but others remain scheduled as planned. A quick update: The Healdsburg Water Carnival, popular in the early 1900s and resurrected from 2011 to 2013, will not be held this year because of the drought, according to Sonoma County Regional Parks. Last year’s event was held July 27. “The low flow due to the drought makes it unrealistic for us to create the… Read More »

Santa Rosa actor stars in new film ‘The Mendoza Line’

“The Mendoza Line,” a new independent film starring Santa Rosa comedian and actor Juan Carlos Arenas, will screen at 8 p.m. April 25 at the Roxy Stadium 14 in Santa Rosa. The screening will be followed by a question-and-answer session with Arenas and the film’s writer and director, Nathan Kaufman of Sacramento. In the film, Arenas plays Ricardo Perez, a hopeful minor-league baseball player who is in the United States without legal documentation. “This opens up the immigration issue in… Read More »

Billy Currington, Lifehouse headline 2014 Sonoma County Fair

Grammy-nominated country music star Billy Currington, the American rock band Lifehouse, young Australian pop star Cody Simpson and Radio Disney’s Coco Jones will be the headliners at this summer’s Sonoma County Fair. The fair, themed “Peace, Love and Fair” this year, opens July 24 and runs daily except Mondays through Aug. 10. Tickets for the fair’s headliner concerts in the Chris Beck Arena go on sale at 8:30 a.m. May 10 at the Santa Rosa fairgrounds box office. Online tickets… Read More »

Rock drummer Mickey Hart’s artwork on exhibit in Napa

Grammy Award-winning drummer Mickey Hart has never stopped experimenting, from his earlier days with The Grateful Dead to the present. Hart has collaborated with San Francisco choreographer Alonzo King, and with scientists across the country, who helped him translate brain waves, and light waves from space, into musical rhythms. Another of Hart’s experiments is featured in an art show titled “Art at the Edges of Sight,” on display through April 30 at Jamieson Ranch Vineyards, One Kirkland Ranch Road, Napa.… Read More »

John Lasseter honored by San Francisco Film Society

  John Lasseter of Sonoma, chief creative officer of Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios, will be honored at the annual San Francisco Film Society awards night gala May 1 at the Regency Center in San Francisco. Lasseter, creator of “Toy Story” and other animated hit films, will receive the George Gund III Craft of Cinema Award, named for the film society’s longtime  chairman of the board, who died last year. Other award winners to be honored include director Richard… Read More »

Santa Rosa artist included in Northwest Watercolor Society exhibit

Santa Rosa artist Hal Wright has been invited by the Northwest Watercolor Society to show one of his paintings at its 74th annual International Open Exhibition, running from April 19 to June 6 in Tacoma, Wash. Wright’s painting, “Bosc and D’Anjou Discover the Portal to Secret Valley,” was chosen for the exhibit at the American Art Company by the show’s juror, internationally recognized artist Donna Zagotta. “I’m happy to have Hal’s whimsical work in this annual show,” said Zagotta in… Read More »

Sonoma County artist Jack Stuppin spotlighted at San Jose art fair

As a pioneer of the Silicon Valley high-tech boom, who turned full-time painter decades ago, Jack Stuppin sees a fateful pattern in this bit of news: Stuppins’ colorful, imaginative Sonoma County landscapes will be shown April 10-13 at the Silicon Valley Contemporary and Fine Art Fair at the San Jose Convention Center. “It’s unique for me in this respect: I was one of the forefathers of Silicon Valley,” Stuppin said. “In 1966, I helped start a company called American Micro… Read More »