Thursday, January 17, 2013

Jan. 19-20: Chris Botti at the Napa Valley Opera House

Posted By on Thu, Jan 17, 2013 at 12:52 PM

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Chris Botti is a hunk. If they made a “Sexy Men of Jazz” calendar, he would certainly be Mr. December. Just ask Katie Couric! But beyond his all-American looks, the jazz trumpeter actually possesses serious chops. Studying with Woody Shaw and Bill Adam at Indiana University before moving to New York in the ’80s, he then went the pop route, forming creative partnerships with Paul Simon, Sting and Joni Mitchell, snagging many Grammy nominations along the way. Though he’s able to hold his own at the Village Vanguard, on his latest album Botti continues to blend pop and jazz, performing “romantic melodies” with the likes of Vince Gill, Herbie Hancock, Mark Knopfler and Andrea Bocelli. He blows on Saturday, Jan. 19, and Sunday, Jan. 20, at the Napa Valley Opera House. 1030 Main St., Napa. 8pm and 7pm. $80—$90. 707.226.7372.

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Jan. 17: Battle of the Baristas Final Showdown at Taylor Maid

Posted By on Thu, Jan 17, 2013 at 12:50 PM

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I spent years behind coffeehouse counters, steaming up foamy lattes with glum despair before learning how to make a proper coffee drink. It took training by a boss who viewed coffee as an art form to change my ways. Under her tutelage, I learned the exact temperature at which milk caramelizes, how to make a superb espresso shot (tiger stripes, people), and the way to pour freshly steamed milk so as to produce crema-licious rosettes. I’m now as obsessed with a well-made cappuccino as the 30 Oliver’s Market baristas who’ve trained with Taylor Maid Farms for the past three months in preparation for the ultimate challenge. Bask in their knowledge and skill at the Battle of the Baristas Final Showdown on Thursday, Jan. 17, at Taylor Maid Farms. 7190 Keating Ave., Sebastopol. 6pm. 707.634.7129.

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Thursday, January 10, 2013

Jan. 12-14: Santa Rosa Symphony at the Green Music Center

Posted By on Thu, Jan 10, 2013 at 12:43 PM

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Guest conductor Carl St. Clair, Pacific Symphony’s music director for 23 years, continues Santa Rosa Symphony’s transformation into the Green Music Center’s resident orchestra with the dawning of a new year. The program features work by Beethoven and Mendelssohn, in addition to Berlioz’s “Le Carnaval Romain” and Ottorino Respighi’s Symphonic Poem for Orchestra. For those with less cash in pocket, don’t despair—the symphony isn’t out of reach. On Saturday, Jan. 12, at 2pm, check out the Discovery Open Rehearsal for just $8—$12. The show might stop if, say, a cello sounds out of tune, but then again, it’s all about the journey and not the destination, right? The Santa Rosa Symphony performs Saturday—Monday, Jan. 12—14, at the Green Music Center. 1801 East Cotati Ave., Rohnert Park. Saturday and Monday at 8pm; Sunday at 2pm. $20—$75. 866.955.6040.

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Jan. 12: Wake the Dead at the Dance Palace in Point Reyes

Posted By on Thu, Jan 10, 2013 at 12:40 PM

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Sir Tristram, friend of the devil, fr’over the black muddy river, had passencore rearrived from St. Stephen on this side the scraggy isthmus of Europe Minor to wielderfight his penisolate war: nor had topsawyer’s rocks by the stream Garcia exaggerated themselse to Uncle John’s band while they went doublin their mumper all the time: nor avoice from afire bellowsed Ripple Ripple to tauftauf thuartpeatrick: not yet, though venissoon after, had a kidscad buttened a bland old sugar magnolia: not yet, though all’s fair in vanessy, were sosie sesthers wroth with a touch of grey. Wake the Dead, a Celtic all-star Grateful Dead jam band, seinn mandolins and fiddles on Saturday, Jan. 12, at the Dance Palace. 503 B St., Pt. Reyes Station. 8pm. $10—$20. 415.663.1075.

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Jan. 12: Celebrity Autobiography at Wells Fargo Center

Posted By on Thu, Jan 10, 2013 at 12:36 PM

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If you’ve ever read Motley Crüe’s The Dirt, you know the power of a properly awful autobiography. Writers Eugene Pack and Dayle Reyfel saw gold in these stories, and created Celebrity Autobiography, a monthly reading series that features comedians reading straight from tell-alls by Hollywood characters like Elizabeth Taylor, Madonna, Vanna White, Hedy Lamarr, Britney Spears and Zsa Zsa Gabor. The series has run for three years in New York City, receiving acclaim from the New Yorker and New York Times, and it now comes to Sonoma County for the first time. Featured readers include original SNL cast member Laraine Newman, Jonathan Silverman (Weekend at Bernie’s, anyone?) and Fred Willard, who we hope will be remembered more for his hilarious turn in Best in Show than for being arrested under suspicion of masturbating at Hollywood’s Tiki Adult Theater. Celebrity Autobiography spins words into laughs on Saturday, Jan. 12, at the Wells Fargo Center. 50 Mark West Springs Road, Santa Rosa. 8pm. $40—$59. 707.546.3600.

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Jan. 11: Kronos Quartet at Napa Valley Opera House

Posted By on Thu, Jan 10, 2013 at 12:33 PM

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Known for their surprising, often genre-bending programs, the Kronos Quartet hit Napa this week opening with “Aheym (Homeward),” written specifically for the avant-garde classical quartet by Bryce Dessner, guitarist and songwriter for the National. What follows is a journey through the farthest bounds of tradition and experimentalism, with pieces by Laurie Anderson (“Flow”), Mexico’s Café Tacuba (“12/12”) and the Prelude from Tristan und Isolde by Wagner. After intermission, the group tackles “La Sidounak Sayyada, or I’ll Prevent the Hunters from Hunting You,” by Omar Souleyman, Syria’s premiere wedding singer. Not afraid of pairing like with unlike, Kronos follows Souleyman with “Flugufrelsarinn” by Icelandic masters-of-the-soaring-melody Sigur Rós. The Kronos Quartet play on Friday, Jan. 11, at the Napa Valley Opera House. 1030 Main Street, Napa. 8pm. $40-$45. 707.226.7372.

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Thursday, January 3, 2013

Jan 8: 'Soul Food Junkies' at the Rialto Cinemas Community Cinema Film Series

Posted By on Thu, Jan 3, 2013 at 11:15 AM

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Barbecued ribs, black-eyed peas, sweet potato pie, macaroni and cheese, collard greens, fried chicken—the incredible variety of delicious soul food dishes only begins here. We’re talking serious comfort food, and a menu that lies at the heart of African-American cultural identity. But the Southern-based diet, called a “slave diet” by the Nation of Islam, has also been blamed for the high rates of heart disease and stroke among African Americans in the United States due to unhealthy ingredients and a deep, abiding love for the power of the frying pan. ‘Soul Food Junkies,’ a new documentary by Byron Hurt, addresses the health effects of the soul food diet and the way it connects to the socioeconomics of the modern American diet. The program is part of the Rialto Cinemas’ free Community Cinema film series; a discussion panel follows the film, featuring Evelyn Cheatham of Worth Our Weight, James Cason of the SRJC Culinary Institute and Nancy Rogers of the Red Rose Cafe. Upcoming films in the series include The Powerbroker, a film about National Urban League leader Whitney M. Young Jr. (Feb. 12), Wonder Woman! The Untold Story of American Superheroines, which explores how pop culture’s representations of powerful women reflect societal anxieties about women’s liberation (March 12). Soul Food Junkies screens Tuesday, Jan. 8, at Rialto Cinemas. 6868 McKinley St., Sebastopol. 7pm. Free. 707.525.4840.

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Jan. 5: The Manzarek-Rogers Band at the Napa Valley Opera House

Posted By on Thu, Jan 3, 2013 at 11:12 AM

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Before the arrival of Ray Manzarek, organs were pretty much limited to either the church or to jazz greats like Richard “Groove” Holmes. Lacking a bassist, Manzarek busted out the Fender Rhodes and the Vox Continental combo with his new band the Doors, and another chapter in rock music history was opened. Nearly 50 years later, the legendary Napa-based keyboardist is still at it, playing with local bands in the area, occasionally showing up to for video cameos with young punk bands in abandoned warehouses, and recording albums with slide blues guitarist Roy Rogers; their 2011 album Translucent Blues mixes the best sounds from Rogers’ Delta Rhythm Kings years, overlaid with Manzarek’s signature keyboard sounds. The resulting blues, jazz and rock hybrid is something that could only be created by these two forces. The Manzarek-Rogers Band gets with the blues on Saturday, Jan. 5, at the Napa Valley Opera House. 1030 Main St., Napa. 8pm. $20—$25. 707.226.7372.

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Jan. 4: Beso Negro at Hopmonk Tavern in Sebastopol

Posted By on Thu, Jan 3, 2013 at 11:08 AM

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On a warm summer night, a woman goes to a literary reading, where she’s introduced to a flaxen-haired poet. The poet has left his home in the woods for a night out on the town, and seems immediately enamored of her. After the reading, they go to a nearby restaurant, where they feast on Spanish tapas and drink glass after glass of red wine. The poet never leaves her side, whispering into her ear; she has become the center of his universe. A band takes the stage. They break into soul-swelling Gypsy swing imbued with the ghost of Django Reinhardt but completely at home in the 21st century. The poet and the woman dance for hours. That night, she dreams of a lost kiss as the poet’s face recedes into darkness, back to his woods, never to be seen again. Beso Negro whips up a romantic frenzy with the Highway Poets on Friday, Jan. 4, at Hopmonk Tavern. 230 Petaluma Ave., Sebastopol. 8:30pm. $10—$13. 707.829.7300.

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