You don’t have to be a polka fanatic to love the Cotati Accordion Festival. The musical extravaganza turns 26 this year and presents a weekend’s worth of musicians from all walks of life sharing in the joy of the accordion. This year’s honorary director is Lou Jacklich, who's spent a lifetime squeezing and strutting around the Bay Area. Artists lined up for the fest include Chinese sensation Jianan Tian, Finnish wonder Viivi Maria Saarenkylä and local favorites like the Vivants, Haute Flash Quartet and many others. Last year, the festival raised over $23,000 for local nonprofit groups, and this year they’re aiming even higher. Get your polka on Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 20–21, at La Plaza Park, Old Redwood Highway, Cotati. 9:30am–8pm both days. $19–$29. 707.664.0444.
Known as the “First Lady of Song,” jazz vocalist Ella Fitzgerald took the world by storm in the 1930s with an impeccably pure voice that earned her several chart-topping hits, more than a dozen Grammy awards and countless lifetime achievement recognitions. This weekend, Napa Valley performers Kellie Fuller and the Mike Greensill Quartet pay tribute to the queen of jazz with two performances titled ‘Ella I Sing’ that delve deep into Fitzgerald’s timeless songbook. Fuller’s engaging alto voice and Greensill’s masterful piano playfully celebrate Ella, with dinner and cocktails available at both shows, happening on Saturday, Aug. 20, at Silo’s Club, 530 Main St., Napa. 5:30pm and 8pm. $20–$23. Reservations recommended. 707.251.5833. silosnapa.com.
Since photography was invented in the 1800s, one of the most popular subjects has been the female figure. This month, a broad range of provocative, humorous and surreal images are displayed in the new art show, ‘Exposure: The Female Nude in Photography.’ Pulled from a private collection, the images span the late 19th century to today, and many have never been seen publicly. The exhibit also features some of the most prominent names in photography, including the pioneering Imogen Cunningham and the controversial Robert Mapplethorpe. Live music and refreshments accompany the photos when “Exposure” opens with a reception on Saturday, Aug. 13, at the Art Museum of Sonoma County, 425 Seventh St., Santa Rosa. 6pm. $15. 707.579.1500.
Formed by two Bay Area–based comedians Samson Koletkar and Abhay Nadkarni, the Desi Comedy Festival returns for another round of shows performed by dozens of comics who trace their ethnicities back to the diverse communities of South Asia, including Pakistan, Afghanistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka and India. Desi (pronounced “they see”) refers to the culture of South Asia and India’s subcontinent, and the shows boast comedians who can hilariously talk about their personal experiences and the ever-changing Zeitgeist of the region. This week, Crushers of Comedy host the Desi Festival on Saturday, Aug. 13, at Muscardini Cellars, 9380 Sonoma Hwy., Kenwood. 7pm. $20–$40. The comedy also happens on Tuesday, Aug. 16, at Throckmorton Theatre, 142 Throckmorton Ave., Mill Valley. 8pm. $20–$40. desicomedyfest.com.
The 2015 documentary The Breach is a fascinating look into the perils facing wild Alaskan salmon, once an abundant species that suffered from overfishing in the mid-20th century and is now under federal management. Filmmaker Mark Titus explores the history and still-tenuous relationship between salmon and human beings. This weekend, Titus appears in person to present the film for the inaugural Wild Perspectives event in Napa Valley. After the screening, Titus leads a discussion, followed by a salmon soiree, featuring fine wine, craft beer and salmon prepared by specialty purveyor La Saison. The Breach screens on Sunday, Aug. 14, at Cameo Cinemas, 1340 Main St., St. Helena. 2:30pm. $100. 707.963.9779.
Debuting last April, Sonoma County punk rock promoter Shock City, USA excels at ushering in nationally and internationally touring bands to Santa Rosa. This month, Shock City welcomes Barcelona post-punk band Belgrado, currently touring in support of their excellent new record, Obraz. Belgrado combines vintage bass and drum riffs, à la Joy Division, with the ethereal vocals of lead singer Patrycja Proniewska for a cool sound that’s straight out of 1979. Supporting Belgrado is Chain of Flowers, hailing from the U.K. and boasting densely packed punk and sublime shoegaze songwriting. Oakland’s melodic punks Silent Era and Sonoma County rockers Service fill out the bill on Monday, Aug. 15, at the Beach Warehouse, Santa Rosa. 7pm. $10. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for address.
Comprising veteran metal heads who’ve played in Sonoma County bands since the ’80s, Hellbender brings an old-school vibe to their brand of hardcore thrash metal, tearing up stages throughout the North Bay since forming in Petaluma in 2011. This month, the band unleashes its sophomore release, Falling Down, with a concert hosted by the Sonoma County Metal and Hardcore group. Joining Hellbender is longtime Healdsburg metal outfit Skitzo, still fronted by local regurgitating legend Lance Ozanix. Also on the bill are speed metal band Trecelence, doom metal band Oden Sun and others. Hellbender get heavy on Friday, Aug. 5, at the Arlene Francis Center, 99 Sixth St., Santa Rosa. 7:30pm. $13. 707.528.3009.
This weekend, a leisurely stroll through downtown Napa will help save lives when Napa Humane hosts Walk for Animals, benefiting dogs and cats looking for permanent homes in Napa Valley, as well as the families who adopt them. Starting and ending at the Oxbow Commons, this walk along the riverfront is open to humans and canines alike with goodie bags and prizes on hand. You can walk solo or join a team to win bonus awards. Afterwards, live music, contests and family activities keep the fun moving forward. You can register onsite before the walk begins on Sunday, Aug. 7, at Oxbow Commons, McKinstry St., Napa. 7:30am. $35–$45 and up. 707.255.8118.
Formed in 1977 and still touring today, X is a band that encompasses everything good and weird about punk rock in Los Angeles. Now, cofounder and songwriter John Doe dishes on the scene in a new book, ‘Under the Big Black Sun: A Personal History of L.A. Punk.’ Written with longtime friend and music aficionado Tom DeSavia, the book traces a punk movement born out of country music and Hollywood seediness, and features additional entries by X band mate Exene Cervenka, Black Flag frontman Henry Rollins and others. John Doe discusses and signs copies of the book on Sunday, Aug. 7, at Diesel Bookstore, 2419 Larkspur Landing Circle, Larkspur. 3pm. 415.785.8177.
Since forming in late 2014, the Alexander Valley Film Society has been engaging audiences in northern Sonoma County with culturally rich film screenings and programs, including an ongoing commitment to content by and for the LGBT community. This month, the society launches its latest film series, ‘Out in Alexander Valley: Celebrating LGBT Stories,’ with a screening of the 2015 Canadian film Closet Monster. Bold and assured in its storytelling, Closet Monster follows a creative teenager as he attempts to break free of his traumatic past and constricting environment. The film screens on Monday, Aug. 8, at the Clover Theater, 121 E. First St., Cloverdale. 7pm. 707.894.6347.