A Press Democrat Blog


Dan Taylor on the fine arts scene.

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 »

Mario Cantone of ‘Sex and the City’ plays May 9 at Wells Fargo Center

Actor, comedian and singer Mario Cantone, best-known as flamboyant wedding planner Anthony Marantino on the HBO series “Sex in the City,” will perform May 9 at Wells Fargo Center for the Arts. Cantone will be backed by musical quartet for the cabaret-style style show, to be presented in the center’s main theater. His stage credits include the Tony-nominated, one-man show “Laugh Whore,” Terrence McNally’s award-winning dramatic comedy “Love! Valor! Compassion!” on Broadway, and Shakespeare’s “The Tempest” at the Public Theater… Read More »

Healdsburg SHED hosts ‘Strum’ dance and music show

The UPside Dance Company will present  “Strum,” a music and dance peformance with an original score by composer Mark Growden, at 8 p.m. Saturday  (April 5) and 2 and 8 p.m. Sunday (April 6) at the Healdsburg SHED, 25 North St. Healdsburg. Co-directed by Kate Ahumada and Tanya Tolmasoff, the piece will be performed by the UPside dancers and by Growden’s quartet and the Calling All Choir. Tickets, priced from $15 to $20, are available at www.upsidedance.com or at the… Read More »

Sonoma County’s Midnight Sun Massive band auditions for NBC’s ‘America’s Got Talent’

The veteran Sonoma County reggae and Caribbean music band Midnight Sun Massive will travel to Los Angeles to audition Saturday (Feb. 8)  for the NBC  television series America’s Got Talent. The band, formerly named Midnight Sun. was founded 25 years ago in Cotati by Milo Karobi and Andre Russell, who are still the group’s leaders. The band mixes mixes Reggae with the Caribbean styles of dancehall, ska, soca and calypso. Midnight Sun Massive remains the number-one Reggae band on the… Read More »

Tickets go on sale for Country Summer music fest in Santa Rosa

Tickets go on sale Saturday, Jan. 18, for the Country Summer music festival running June 13-14 at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds. The show stars Hunter Hayes, 2014 Grammy nominee for best country solo performance, and four-time Grammy nominee Joe Nichols. The line-up also includes Darius Rucker, former lead singer for Hootie and the Blowfish, the Eli Young Band and singer-songwriter Dustin Lynch. Country Summer is being produced by Impact Entertainment and Sonoma Media Group, the owner of Froggy 92.9 FM… Read More »

Healdsburg Jazz Festival line-up announced

The lineup for this summer’s Healdsburg Jazz Festival will include “Celebration of the Blues,” a two-day mini-festival May 31-June 1 at Santa Rosa’s Jackson Theater. The festival within a festival will star blues harmonica virtuoso Charlie Musselwhite of Geyserville and jazz saxophonist Joshua Redman. The overall Healdsburg Jazz Festival, which runs from May 30 to June 8 at venues in and around Healdsburg, will feature jazz bassist Ron Carter and his quartet, the Marcus Shelby Orchestra and the Healdsburg Jazz… Read More »

Shotgun Harlot opens for Ratt at Phoenix Theatre

When the Los Angeles heavy metal band, Ratt, plays Wednesday, Jan. 22, at Petaluma’s Phoenix Theatre, the players are going to get some local support. The Sonoma County rock quintet Shotgun Harlot, which recently released its debut CD, “Crescent Moon,” will open the show at 8 p.m. at the theater, 201 Washington St. Ratt, originally known as Mickey Ratt, had hits in the ‘80s with “Round and Round”’ and “Lay It Down.” Admission: $33. Information: 762-3565, thephoenixtheater.com.    

Rapper Gift of Gab performs at Chrome Lotus

Big-name rappers performing in Santa Rosa aren’t all that common, so Friday’s (Jan. 10) appearance by Gift of Gab is worth noting. Under the stage name Gift of Gab, Timothy Parker of Oakland is half of the Bay Area hip-hop duo Blackalicious, with DJ Chief Xcel. On addition to three albums with Blackalicious, Gift of Gab has recorded two solo albums and the 2008 all-star album, Mighty Underdogs. He will perform at 10 p.m. at the Chrome Lotus, 501 Mendocino… Read More »