A Press Democrat Blog


Dan Taylor on the fine arts scene.

Axis Dance Company of Oakland to perform in Santa Rosa and Rohnert Park

Sonoma County’s contemporary dance fans have two chances to see local performances by the internationally recognized Axis Dance Company of Oakland. Axis, known for choreography that integrates dancers both with and without physical disabilities, will perform at 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 16, at the Glaser Center, 547 Mendocino Ave., Santa Rosa. The performance will be followed by a question-and-answer session with Axis dancers, and a workshop class with dancer Bernadette Alverio of the Studio Gray dance studio in Santa Rosa.… Read More »

Jazz pianist Noam Lemish returns for Sonoma County concerts

Jazz pianist Noam Lemish, born in Israel and educated at Sonoma State University, now lives in Toronto, but he’s coming back to see us this month. The Sonoma Valley Jazz Society will present the Noam Lemish Trio, including bassist Jim Kerwin and drummer George Marsh, from 7 to 10 p.m. July 12 at the Plaza Bistro, 460 First St. E., Sonoma. No cover charge. Information: 707-996-4466, 707-373-0700, sonomomavalleyjazzsociety.org. And Lemish will revisit Sonoma State University, again joining Marsh, who is… Read More »

Massive Monkees break dance crew performs at SSU

Massive Monkees, a high-energy break dance crew, performs Monday, April 29, on the Sonoma State University campus in Rohnert Park. Formed in Seattle in 1999, the Massive Monkees were on the fourth season of the MTV show “America’s Best Dance Crew” in 2009. In 2012 they won the international b-boy competition “R-16 Korea” in South Korea, becoming the first American crew to win in the history of the competition. The show starts at 7 p.m. in the Person Theater. Admission… Read More »

Diane Schuur performance at SSU canceled

The appearance of jazz legend Diane Schuur with the United States Air Force Commanders Jazz Ensemble on April 13 at Sonoma State University has been canceled due to budget cuts to the Department of Defense as a result of sequestration, an SSU spokesman said. The 7:30 p.m. concert in Weill Hall will still take place with the Commanders Jazz Ensemble. The concert is currently sold out. Tickets will be honored at the door. Persons holding tickets that they do not… Read More »

SSU announces Diane Schuur concert in April

Sonoma State University has announced its spring concert series, including a performance by jazz singer Diane Schuur. Backed by the USAF Commanders Jazz Ensemble, Schuur will perform at 7:30 p.m. April 13 in the Green Music Center’s Weill Hall on the Rohnert Park campus. The concert is free, but tickets will be required. Those tickets are available at (707) 664-2353 or http:/www.sonoma.edu/music/performances. The season also includes the Baker’s Dozen Subscription Series of 13 concerts, opening Feb. 4 with the Navarro… Read More »

Famed bronze sculpture installed at Green Music Center

Sonoma State University’s outdoor art collection got a boost today (Thursday, Aug. 23) with the installation of the late Berkeley sculptor Stephen De Staebler’s “Winged Figure Ascending, 2011” near the new Green Music Center box office. The bronze statue is on loan to SSU from the artist’s estate for the next two years. Other pieces on campus include “Bar Note Bench,” by Sonoma Mountain sculptor Robert Ellison, which stands just outside the center’s education wing. It was donated by Jean… Read More »

Bill Maher comes to SSU on Oct. 20

TV host, author and humorist Bill Maher will perform Oct. 20 in the new 1,400-seat Weill Hall on the Sonoma State University campus in Rohnert Park. Tickets go on sale online at 10 a.m. Friday, July 27, for $49.75, $69.75 and $89.75 at www.rbpconcerts.com and www.ticketmaster.com. Phone: (831) 420-5260. Advance pre-sale starts at 10 a.m. Thursday, July 26. Password: rbpconcerts. Maher also will appear Oct. 21 at Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium in Santa Cruz. Both shows are produced by Rick… Read More »

SSU teacher critiques Oscar nominations

Christina Baker, an assistant professor in the American Multi-cultural Studies department at Sonoma State University, found a teachable moment in this year’s Academy Award nominations. In 1940, Hattie McDaniel became the first African American to win an Oscar, as best supporting actress as the mammy in “Gone With the Wind.” And this year, Viola Davis is nominated for best actress, and Octavia Spencer for best supporting actress, both in “The Help,” in which they play maids who take care of… Read More »

Bill Vartnaw named Sonoma County Poet Laureate

Petaluma native Bill Vartnaw has been named Sonoma Couty’s seventh poet laureate, and will be honored at 3 p.m.  Jan. 29 at the county’s Santa Rosa Central Library, Third and B Streets. Vartnaw has been writing poetry for more than 35 years. He founded Taurean Horn Press in 1974, and has published 14 books, including his own “In Concern: For Angels,” in 1984. The poet laureate is chosen by a committee including representatives from every Sonoma County supervisor district, Sonoma… Read More »

Abstract art show opens at Sonoma State

If you feel sometimes that the modern world is driving you to distraction, perhaps you ought to try driving  yourself to abstraction as an antidote. Drive down to the Sonoma State Unversity Art Gallery on campus in Rohnert Park to see “Absence/Presence: Contemporary Abstraction,” the new exhibit opening  Thursday, Nov. 3. The show features paintings, drawings, sculpture, prints and photographs created over the past decades by 21 regional, national and internationally recognized artists. The show runs through Dec. 11. Hours… Read More »