Sausalito Art Festival Sept. 1-3. The Sausalito Art Festival combines breathtaking views with endless entertainment. The celebration begins with the festival's Summer of Love kickoff (Sept. 1), featuring pianist Tom Constanten and rock bands Moon Alice, It's a Big Bad Beautiful Day, Quicksilver Messenger Service and Jefferson Starship. The mood changes the next day with (Sept. 2), R&B artist Vonda Shepard, gospel group Blind Boys of Alabama, '80s cover band Tainted Love, rock band Brite-Robinson, bluegrass group Buxter Hootin, jazz artist Pamela Rose and Cajun faves Flambeau. Country group New Riders of the Purple Sage and the Marshall Tucker Band finish the fest (Sept. 3). 2400 Bridgeway, Ste. 220, Sausalito. $5-$20; under 6, free. 415.331.3757. www.sausalitoartfestival.org.
Napa River Festival Sept. 2. Help protect and celebrate the Napa River with performances by the Napa Valley Symphony, gourmet food, fine wine and more. Napa Valley Expo, 575 Third St., Napa. Free. 707.254.8520. www.friendsofthenapariver.org.
Cajun & Zydeco Fest Sept. 8. All ages will enjoy the dancing bon temps of Chubby Carrier, Nathan and the Zydeco Cha Chas, Andre Thierry and the ever-popular Gator Beat Band at this 12th annual fundraiser by the Rotary Club of Sebastopol. Food includes Louisiana gumbo, red beans and rice, boiled crawfish and crawfish étouffée. Sebastopol Community Center, 390 Morris St. $20; under 12, free. 707.824.2550. www.rotarycajun.com.
Think Green World Music Festival Sept. 8. Harry Best and Shabang, the Caribbean Allstars, the West African Highlife Band and Mambo This! perform to promote environmental awareness from a solar-powered stage. With workshops, exhibitions and even ballet. Skyline Wilderness Park, 2201 Imola Ave., Napa. 10:30am to 7pm. $20. www.thinkgreen-worldmusicfestival.com.
Benny Carter Tribute Sept. 8. Saxophonist Mel Martin honors his longtime musical partnership with the alto sax great in a special jazz tribute. Warren Auditorium, SSU, 1801 E. Cotati Ave., Rohnert Park. $8-$12. 707.664.2235. www.sonoma.edu.performingarts.
Russian River Jazz Festival Sept. 8-9. Under new management, the festival goes lite but keeps some stalwart jazz artists to satisfy art lovers from all over. Featured artists include Chaka Khan, Boney James and Poncho Sanchez (Sept. 8). The next day's lineup includes Norman Brown's Summer Storm, Christian Scott and Lavay Smith (Sept. 9). Johnson's Beach, Guerneville. $48-$173. 707.869.1595. www.russianriverfestivals.com/jazz.
Ghosts of Olompali Sept. 8-9, 15-16, 22-23. Promoters who created the original Renaissance Pleasure Faire and the Dickens Christmas Faire go local this time, with a living history celebration of California's history, circa 1840-1880, held outdoors at the Olompali State Historic Park. Experience the Gold Rush, meet General Vallejo, visit China Camp, flag down a Bear Flagger and learn a more than a little about homesteading at this first annual event. As with the other fairs, come dressed to be a part of the proceedings. Many games and opportunities for children to have a richer experience are found on the website. Olompali State Historic Park, Highway 101 north of Novato, south of Petaluma. $12-$25. www.timegames.org.
The Temptations & the Four Tops Sept. 9. Motown legends the Temptations and the Four Tops unite to make sweet, soulful music together in their only Bay Area concert. Reminisce with hits like "My Girl" and "I Can't Help Myself (Sugar Pie Honey Bunch) " at the Marin Center, 10 Avenue of the Flags, San Rafael. $35-$95. 415.499.6800.
Pink Martini Sept. 10. Portland-based "little orchestra" mixes language with cinema with shrieks with music with outrage with fun. Very arty for us folks, this. Wells Fargo Center, 50 Mark West Springs Road, Santa Rosa. $15.50-$39. 707.546.3600.
SF International Comedy Competition Sept. 12. Worldly wits square off for a shot at $30,000 and a fairly high-profile catapult toward fame. Previous contestants include Dana Carvey, Robin Williams and Carlos Alazraqui of Reno 911. Rounds run Sept. 12-Oct. 6. North Bay appearances include Sept. 13 at SSU; Sept. 14 and 21 at the Marin Center; Sept. 28 at the Wells Fargo Center and final rounds Oct. 3 at 142 Throckmorton in Mill Valley and Oct. 5 at the Napa Valley Opera House. www.sanfranciscocomedycompetition.com.
Lewis Black Sept. 14. Angry satirical comic who cut his back teeth with Jon Stewart has plenty of material given to him each day by the Bush administration. He brings his new revue, Red, White and Screwed straight to the top of his lungs. Wells Fargo Center, 50 Mark West Springs Road, Santa Rosa. $47.50-$57.50. 707.546.3600.
Sonoma Word Sept. 14-Oct. 26. Multi-date, multi-venue Sonoma County-wide celebration of the written word tackles an amazingly diverse schedule of events, beginning with a celebration of the Beat generation. Other highlights include Lilith Rogers' one-woman show, Crossing Nature: Rachel Carson (Sept. 20), the Crosswalks of Poetry and Prose lit walk on the Russian River (Sept. 29), the "Stretching Borders" poetry evening with Chester Aaron and others in Occidental (Oct. 17) and the collaborative work, The Village of Speechless Understanding, conceived by Elizabeth Herron, Corlene Van Sluizer and others (Oct. 21). www.sonomaword.com.
Rita Moreno Sept. 14-15. Multiple award winner and West Side Story star leaves New York's Café Carlyle to bring her cabaret revue Little Tributes on the road. Will she start the show by screaming "Hey, you guys!," her tagline from The Electric Company? Napa Valley Opera House, 1030 Main St., Napa. $40-$45. 707.226.7372. www.nvoh.org.
Sonoma County Book Festival Sept. 15. This year marks the eighth year the festival has celebrated books and the people who love them. Features include book-signings by authors and poets, literary discussions and musical performances. Highlights include presentations by cookbook maven Mollie Katzen, novelist and Believer editor Vendela Vida, sci-fi and mystery panels, a travel writing workshop featuring Tim Cahill and more. Events located in Downtown Santa Rosa at the Sonoma County Main Library, the Cultural Arts Council Gallery and Court House Square. Free. 707.527.5412. www.socobookfest.org.
Napa Valley Harvest Festival Sept. 15. Sponsored by the Kiwanis Club of Napa, the festival offers wine, gourmet food, art, auctions, live music by Pan Extasy and much more. Lincoln Theater, 100 California Drive, Yountville. $50. 800.550.6260.
Glendi International Food Fair Sept. 15-16. Live Balkan music and food from around the world, including Eritrea, Kenya and Romania. The savvy Glendi-goer brings a cooler to haul food home. Protection of the Holy Virgin Orthodox Church, 90 Mountain View Ave., Santa Rosa. $8; under 12, free. 707.584.9491. www.glendi.net.
Mill Valley Fall Arts Festival Sept. 15-16. Some 150 artists converge at this storied fair in the tall redwoods of Old Mill Park. Performers include 'Til Dawn and the Robin Nolan Trio. Throckmorton Avenue at Cascade Drive, Mill Valley. $7; under 12, free. 415.381.8090. www.mvfaf.org.
Trisha Yearwood Sept. 16. Leading lady of contemporary country music tours in support of her new album, Heaven, Heartache and the Power of Love. Wells Fargo Center, 50 Mark West Springs Road, Santa Rosa. $25-$85. 707.546.3600.
Chanticleer Sept. 20. Twelve-man vocal group perform their newest work, My Spirit Sang All Day, featuring early 19th- and 20th-century pieces and world premiere of original works All Things Resounding and Jalapeño Blues, as well as folk songs and spirituals. St. Vincent Church, 35 Liberty St., Petaluma. $25-$44. 800.407.1400.
Jarvis Puppet Workshop & Festival Sept. 21-22. Got the world on a string? Learn the über-classified backstage secrets of puppetry, make your own Sifl or Ollie, and see the pros work their magic. Not appropriate for children under five. Jarvis Conservatory, 1711 Main St., Napa. $10-$20. 707.255.5445. www.jarvisconservatory.com.
Sebastopol Celtic Music Festival Sept. 21-23. The greatest Celtic musicians this side of the Emerald Isle do more than just fiddle around. Confirmed performers include Martin Hayes, Dennis Cahill, Darol Anger, Molly's Revenge and more. Sebastopol Community Center, 390 Morris St. $10-$142; full fest passes already sold-out. 707.823.1511. http://cumuluspresents.com/celtic.
Napa Valley Open Studios Sept. 22-23 and 29-30. Artists throughout the valley open their doors to the public. Sponsored by the Napa Valley Arts Council. Various locations. Opening reception Sept. 14 at St. Supéry. 707.257.2117. www.artscouncilnapavalley.org.
Redwood Arts Council Sept. 23. The autumn portion of the 28th season commences with the 18th-century string and lutes of the Group Galanterie (Sept. 23). The season continues through June with performances by Ensemble Amarcord, the Nobilis and Peabody piano trios, the Euclid and the Talich string quartets and others. Concerts mostly held at the Occidental Community Church. $10-$20. 707.874.1124. www.redwoodarts.org.
21st Annual B.R. Cohn Fall Music Festival & Celebrity Golf Classic Sept. 28-Oct 1. Huey Lewis and the News headline along with the Doobie Brothers and Tower of Power in annual charity concert. Party on, Wayne! Chardonnay Golf Club, Napa; B.R. Cohn Winery, 15000 Sonoma Hwy., Glen Ellen. $25-$300. 800.330.4064. www.brcohn.com.
Sausalito Floating Homes Tour Sept. 29. Self-guided tour of 15 of the world's most unique homes. Whatever floats your boat. Kappas Marina, Sausalito. $30 (advance reservations recommended). 415.332.1916. www.floatinghomes.org.
Kiri Te Kanawa Sept. 29. If the Marin Center had buttons, they'd be a-poppin' with the arrival of one of the world's most beloved sopranos, stopping on a farewell tour in recital with Julian Reynolds. Hope for the aria "Porgi, Amor, Qualche Ristoro" from her famous role as the Countess in The Marriage Of Figaro. Marin Center, 10 Avenue of the Flags, San Rafael. $35-$95. 415.499.6800. www.marincenter.org.
Country on the River Sept. 29. Bring lawn chairs and a blanket and enjoy refreshments, beautiful scenery and entertainment from Hal Ketchum, Pete Stringfellow, Buckshot Boys, the Trailerpark Rangers and more in the Monte Rio Meadow on the Russian River. Part of the innovative Russian River Food and Wine Fest. $35-$50. www.russianriverfoodandwinefest.com.
Petaluma Progressive Festival Sept. 30. The Progressive Festival highlights the movement's issues and causes through speakers, live music and information booths. Speakers are still being scheduled, but those confirmed include Texas populist Jim Hightower, peak-oil author and activist Richard Heinberg and NAACP president Ben Terry. Walnut Park, Sixth Street and Petaluma Boulevard South, Petaluma. Free. 707.763.8134. www.progressivefestival.org.
Russian River Food & Winefest Sept. 30. All hail Bacchus and Ceres! This all-day salute to the bounty of the county includes wine, baked goods, cheese and such chefs and authors as Scott Peacock, Mark Stark and Mateo Granados. Proceeds directly benefit river communities. Monte Rio Riverfront Meadow at Rocky Beach, 16467 Hwy. 116, Monte Rio. $20-$60. 707.869.9474. www.russianriverfoodandwinefest.com.
Annual Mill Valley Film Festival Oct. 4-14. Now in its 30th year, this prestigious festival showcases over 150 independent films and bigger features destined for the multiplex. Settle in for the fun with some popcorn at various venues in Marin. 415.383.5256. www.mvff.com.
Shaolin Warriors Oct. 5. A return performance by the Buddhist monks who train physically and mentally with disciplined spiritualism in the art of kicking ass. Fun diverting activity: count the Wu-Tang Clan T-shirts in the audience. Marin Center, 10 Avenue of the Flags, San Rafael. $20-$50. 415.499.6800. www.marincenter.org.
Music at the Center Oct. 5-27. Month-long interdisciplinary and interactive mini-fest mixes the poetry of such stellar writers as former U.S. poet laureate with award-winner Jane Hirschfield with fine art and fine music. Inspired by composer Joyce Kouffman's music, this is a visual art installation that prompts poetry-writing, music-making and art construction. Oct. 5, "River of Words and Music" features Jane Hirschfield and Kouffman's new music. Opening reception Oct. 7 and other events centering around Toby's Feed Barn, Highway 1, Pt. Reyes Station. Prices vary. www.joycejazz.com.
Calder Quartet Oct. 6. Appropriately named after the great visual artist Alexander Calder, this chamber group continues to blur the boundaries of the traditional and avant-garde. Works by Terry Riley, Philip Glass and Franz Schubert, presented by the Russian River Chamber Music Society. Healdsburg Community Church, 1100 University Ave., Healdsburg. Free. 707.524.8700. www.russianrivermusic.org.
Sonoma County Harvest Fair Oct. 6-8. For hayrides, the World Championship Grape Stomp Competition, an amazing assortment of outstanding comestibles and more gold medals than can put the "bl" in "bling"—visit the Harvest Fair. Sonoma County Fairgrounds, 1375 Bennett Valley Road, Santa Rosa. $2-$6. 707.545.4203. www.harvestfair.org.
Marc Teicholz Oct. 6. Internationally acclaimed classical guitarist and faculty member of San Francisco Conservatory of Music specializes in works from the 19th century to the present day. Ives Hall, SSU, 1801 E. Cotati Ave., Rohnert Park. $6-$10. 707.664.2235. www.sonoma.edu/performingarts.
Marin Symphony Presents 'The Battleship Potemkin' Oct. 7 and 9. Sergei Eisenstein's silent classic gets loud with orchestration by Marin Symphony. Opening night is preceded by a black-tie gala and followed by a Champagne reception. Not very proletariat, but much more fun. Marin Center's Veterans Auditorium, Marin Center, 10 Avenue of the Flags, San Rafael. $27-$65. 415.499.6800.
Emmylou Harris Oct. 9. Perennial favorite with a voice like an angel and a rare talent for singing duets swoops in. Wells Fargo Center, 50 Mark West Springs Road, Santa Rosa. $20-$65. 707.546.3600.
Solid Blues Oct. 11. Mavis Staples, Charlie Musselwhite, North Mississippi All-Stars and Joe Krown come together in a night for the history books. Staples, especially, is in top form on her latest, We'll Never Turn Back, a breathtaking capture of the Civil Rights era. Napa Valley Opera House, 1030 Main St., Napa. $40-$45. 707.226.7372. www.nvoh.org.
Suburban Comedy Tour Oct. 13. Hear four hilarious comedians perform about their suburban lifestyles. Each has a unique style representing a different generation from the 'burbs. Spreckels Performing Arts Center, Rohnert Park. $21-$24. www.suburbancomedytour.com.
ARTrails Oct. 13-14 and 20-21. Self-guided opportunity to buy directly from an artist, learn about the work from an artist, support an artist . . . or two or three. Throughout Sonoma County. Free. 707.579.2787. www.artrails.org.
El Día de los Muertos Oct. 14-Nov. 3. Day of the Dead celebration in the North Bay kicks off in Petaluma with fine and folk art, altars and performances throughout the town. Sonoma Valley Museum of Art hosts its annual exhibit Oct. 31-Nov. 4. Santa Rosa celebrates with community altars at the Sonoma County Museum and downtown events Nov. 1-2. www.petalumaartscouncil.org.
Bioneers Conference Oct. 19-21. Hear about groundbreaking ideas and discuss building a blueprint for sustainable systems at the 17th annual Bioneers Conference, a meeting of environmentally focused minds. Marin Center, 10 Avenue of the Flags, San Rafael. $208-$405. 877.246.6337. www.bioneers.org.
Terry Bradford Oct. 20. Celine Dion's duet partner has recorded with Elton John, Linda Ronstadt and others, and is lucky enough to have a PBS special on the air as he tours. Bradford appears with a string quartet, backup singers and the 50-member children's VOENA choir. Spreckels Performing Arts Center, 5409 Snyder Lane, Rohnert Park. $23-$26. 707.588.3400.
Kathy Griffin Oct. 26. She filmed her special here earlier this year and loves us so much that she's come directly back with a whole new bag of bitchy, funny tricks. Wells Fargo Center, 50 Mark West Springs Road, Santa Rosa. $20-$65. 707.546.3600.
Mystery Ball Oct. 27. Headlands Center for the Arts throws a killer Halloween party complete with three floors of food, music and dancing. Entertainment includes the French group Les Croque Notes, rock band Kugelplex and DJ Nightbeat. The hippest way to ring in the wiccan New Year. Headlands Center for the Arts, 944 Fort Barry, Sausalito. $90-$100. www.headlands.org.
Savage Jazz Dance Co. Oct. 27-28. Incorporating live music into its new work, the Aton Project, dancers perform to new work by composer Atemu Aton. Spreckels Performing Arts Center, 5409 Snyder Lane, Rohnert Park. $21-$24. 707.588.3400.
Pilobolus Nov. 2. Innovative and mind-boggling modern dance ensemble convert bodies into interlocking parts, creating a simultaneous blend of living sculpture and creative dance. Marin Center, 10 Avenue of the Flags, San Rafael. $25-$65. 415.499.6800. www.marincenter.org.
Django Reinhardt Festival Band Nov. 3. There is no working guitarist alive today who both plays and looks as much like Django Reinhardt as Dorado Schmitt, who masterfully leads a group bringing to life Reinhardt's Quintet of the Hot Club of France, razor-thin moustache and all. Squint your eyes, and you're in Montmartre listening to the master himself. Napa Valley Opera House, 1030 Main St., Napa. $35. 707.226.7372. www.nvoh.org.
Diana Ross Nov. 3. The website merely lists Ross' Guinness Book of World Records listing as the most female successful vocalist of all time, but this Dreamgirl has got more than one record to her name. Wells Fargo Center, 50 Mark West Springs Road, Santa Rosa. $19-$149. 707.546.3600.
Jupiter Trio Nov. 3. Young, dedicated chamber group and ensemble-in-residence at DePaul University in Chicago performs Beethoven, Dvorák and Rachmaninoff, presented by the Russian River Chamber Music Society. Healdsburg Community Church, 1100 University Ave., Healdsburg. Free. 707.524.8700. www.russianrivermusic.org.
Wine & Food Affair Nov. 3-4. Russian River Wine Road gathers 64 local wineries for another delicious extravaganza. Various locations in Alexander, Dry Creek and Russian River valleys. $15-$45. 800.723.6336. www.wineroad.com.
Robert Haas & W. S. Merwin Nov. 6. Haas, a former U.S. poet laureate, and Merwin, one of our greatest living poets, team up for an evening titled "On Land and Language: An Evening of Poetry." A rare treat for those who love words and are honored to hear the very poets themselves speak them. Wells Fargo Center, 50 Mark West Springs Road, Santa Rosa. $10-$35. 707.546.3600.
Sebastopol Documentary Film Festival Nov. 8-11. Enjoy strong, independent films submitted by filmmakers of all ages at Sebastopol's first-ever doc fest. Sebastopol Center for the Arts, 6780 Depot St. 707.829.4797.
Jake Shimabukuro Nov. 9. If there's anyone poised to dethrone Israel Kamakawiwo'ole as the king of Hawaiian music, it's the skinny little kid in glasses who looks like a science major and plays the crap out of the ukulele. His version of "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" is already legendary on YouTube. Napa Valley Opera House, 1030 Main St., Napa. $35. 707.226.7372. www.nvoh.org.
Festival of Harps Nov. 10. Now in its 18th year, the festival this time features multicultural lineup from China to Ireland to Paraguay. However, Joanna Newsom is nowhere in sight. Spreckels Performing Arts Center, 5409 Snyder Lane, Rohnert Park. $21-$24. 707.588.3400.
Trecento & Quattrocento Music Nov. 16-17. SSU Chamber Singers perform rarely heard works by 14th- and 15th-century Italian composers of Padua and Firenze. Featuring pieces by Paolo Tenorista and Johannes Ciconia. Holy Family Episcopal Church, 1500 E. Cotati Ave., Rohnert Park. $8-$12. 707.664.2235. www.sonoma.edu/performingarts.