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Mill Valley Film Festival, Oct. 3–13 Presented by the California Film Institute, this 35th annual event is always full of stars, with a complete lineup to be announced early September. Known for its contributions to the upcoming Academy Awards, the fest features the best of independent and world cinema screening at four venues in Marin. www.mvff.com.
Sonoma County Jewish Film Festival, Oct. 3–Nov. 21 The SCJFF returns for its 17th year of showcasing films about Jewish life the world over, featuring documentaries, dramas and comedies. Rialto Cinemas, 6868 McKinley St., Sebastopol. 707.528.4222. www.jccsoco.org.
Sonoma County Harvest Fair, Oct. 4–6 Hit up the World Championship Grape Stomp competition, slurp some wine, hitch a hay ride or simply get down to some swingin' music at this annual tradition. Sonoma County Fairgrounds, 1350 Bennett Valley Road, Santa Rosa. Friday, 4:30–8:30pm; Saturday–Sunday, noon–5pm. Six and under, free. Tasting Pavilion, $50–$90. 707.545.4203. www.harvestfair.org.
Santa Rosa Symphony with Tedi Papavrami, Oct. 5 Dress to impress, as this is the opening of the symphony in a dazzling concert hall. Shostakovich's Violin Concerto no. 1 and Symphony no. 5 feature Tedi Papavrami's dazzling talents. Green Music Center, 1801 E. Cotati Ave., Rohnert Park. 8pm Saturday and Monday, 2pm Sunday. $76. 707.546.8742.
Fashion at the Vineyards, Oct. 5–6 Benefiting the Boys and Girls Club Valley of the Moon in Sonoma, this 11th annual catwalk showcases some of the hottest designers on the West Coast with food and wine provided by Nicholson Ranch Winery and Gundlach Bundschu Winery. Nicholson Ranch Winery, 4200 Napa Road, Sonoma. 5pm. $125. 707.938.8544.
Calabash, Oct. 6 The 13th annual benefit supporting Food for Thought, the Sonoma County AIDS Food Bank, features a selection of fine food and wine, a silent auction of gourd art, tours of Food for Thought's organic gardens and live music played on hand-made gourd instruments. Food for Thought, 6550 Railroad Ave., Forestville. 1–5pm. $45–$50. 707.887.1647.
Parker Quartet, Oct. 6 This young, Grammy-winning quartet tackles the lyrical and fiery Beethoven String Quartet, op. 18, no. 5, as well as Prokofiev's String Quartet no. 1 and Shostakovich's String Quarter no. 9. Presented by the Mill Valley Chamber Music Society. Mt. Tamalpais United Methodist Church, 410 Sycamore Ave., Mill Valley. 5pm. $15–$30. 415.381.4453.
Bonnie Raitt, Oct. 9 This Grammy-winning singer can do it all. With hits like "Something to Talk About" and "I Can't Make You Love Me," she's climbed to the top of adult contemporary charts everywhere. Marin Center, 10 Avenue of the Flags, San Rafael. 8pm. $40–$100. www.marincenter.org.
Napa Valley Opera House Gala, Oct. 12 The Napa Valley Opera House's annual black-tie fundraiser auction. This year's event includes a performance by the Bay Area's own George Komsky and a gala dinner by Holly Peterson, followed by a live auction. Charles Krug Winery, 2800 Main St., St. Helena. 5pm. $350. 707.603.2333.
American Philharmonic: Sea Pictures, Oct. 12–13 Sonoma County's volunteer orchestra presents a program featuring mezzo-soprano Bonnie Brooks with works by Mendelssohn, Elgar, Barber and Debussy. Santa Rosa High School Auditorium, 1235 Mendocino Ave., Santa Rosa. Saturday at 8pm, Sunday at 2pm. $5–$15. www.apsonoma.org.
ARTrails, Oct. 12–13, 19–20 With over 170 participating artists, this annual tradition is a marvelous self-guided opportunity to buy directly from artists and peek into their workspaces. 10am– 5pm. Free. 707.579.2787. www.artrails.org.
Paul Galbraith, Oct. 13 The brilliant innovator brings his classical guitar to Occidental with a program including works by Haydn, Ponce, Isaac Albéniz, Enrique Granados and others. Presented by the Redwood Arts Council. Occidental Center for the Arts, 3850 Doris Murphy Court, Occidental. 4pm. $30. 707.874.9392.
Lunafest, Oct. 14 Featuring short films by, for and about women, the Lunafest is a fundraising film festival held at over 150 venues nationwide that benefits women's organizations. Wells Fargo Center for the Arts, 50 Mark West Springs Road, Santa Rosa. 11am. $15–$55. 707.546.3600.
Bioneers Conference, Oct. 18–20 Learn about groundbreaking ideas and discuss building a blueprint for sustainable systems at the 24th annual Bioneers Conference, a meeting of environmentally focused minds. Notable speakers include Charlotte Brody, Danny Glover, John Densmore and Nina Simons. Marin Center, 10 Avenue of the Flags, San Rafael. 9am–5pm. $175–$495. 877.246.6337. www.bioneers.org.
di Party di Rosa, Oct. 19 A bit of sparkling wine won't be the only jewels you'll see at the Gatehouse Gallery for this 12th annual benefit art auction. After a silent auction, frolic over the lake for cocktails, music, dinner and desserts, and, of course, dancing. Preview party on Saturday, Oct. 5 (6–9pm; $15–$25); event on Saturday, Oct. 19 (5–11pm; $300). 5200 Sonoma Hwy., Napa. 707.226.5991.
Rudolf Budginas, Oct. 19 The SRJC instructor and classical pianist performs multiple styles in collaboration with guitarist Kenny Lee Lewis of the Steve Miller Band. Burbank Auditorium, SRJC, 1501 Mendocino Ave., Santa Rosa. 8pm. $35. 707.527.4343.
Pink Floyd Laser Spectacular, Oct. 19 Two hours and 20 minutes of Pink Floyd blasting through a 50,000-watt speaker system with intestine-shaking subwoofers is worth the price of admission alone, but put a laser light show with it? It's like taking drugs, but without taking any drugs! Trippy. Lincoln Theater, 100 California Drive, Younvtille. 7pm. $15–$20. 707.944.9900.
Fall Fling, Oct. 24 American Philharmonic Sonoma County's fundraiser features food, wine, raffles and jazz music. Paradise Ridge Winery, 4545 Thomas Lake Harris Drive, Santa Rosa. 6pm. $50–$65. 707.528.9463.
Alton Brown, Oct. 25 The best thing about Alton Brown isn't his incredible knowledge of cooking science or his charming personality or his honest bow tie, nor is it his quick wit and funny-even-the-second-time-around jokes—no wait, it's definitely the bow tie. His traveling-show lecture and cooking demonstrations now come with a live band. Wells Fargo Center for the Arts, 50 Mark West Springs Road, Santa Rosa. 8pm. $45–$85. 707.546.3600.
Chris Cornell, Oct. 16 Soundgarden frontman takes the stage alone, with only his voice and an acoustic guitar to tell his stories. He might be the only musical artist that can get away with an opening line like, "Hey Napa, are you ready to get introspective and question life!? All right! Let's go!" Uptown Theatre, 1350 Third St., Napa. $65. 8pm. 707.259.0123.
Hospice by the Bay's Annual Ball, Nov. 2 Celebrating more than 35 years of care, the hospice puts on its annual gala, including hors d'oeuvres, dinner, cocktails and wine. Live auction, live music, and lively dancing. Marin Center Exhibition Hall, 10 Avenue of the Flags, San Rafael. 6pm. $250. 415.526.5500.
The 15th Annual Food & Wine Affair, Nov. 2–3 Russian River Wine Road gathers over a hundred local wineries for another delicious extravaganza of arguably the two best things in the world. Nab early tickets starting on Sept. 1. They sell out, and quickly. Various locations in Alexander, Dry Creek and Russian River Valley. 11am–4pm each day. $30–$70. 800.723.6336.
Whose Live Anyway? Nov. 9 Ryan Stiles, Greg Proops, Joel Murray and Jeff B. Davis improv comedy scenes with suggestions from the audience, just like their popular TV show Whose Line Is It Anyway?, but without the FCC to worry about. Wells Fargo Center for the Arts, 50 Mark West Springs Road, Santa Rosa. 8pm. $39–$59. 707.546.3600.
Santa Rosa Symphony with Maya Beiser, Nov. 9–11 The exciting postmodern cellist performs in two concertos: Osvaldo Golijov's "Mariel" and Max Bruch's Jewish folk song interpretations, titled Kol Nidrel. Green Music Center, 1801 E. Cotati Ave., Rohnert Park. 8pm Saturday and Monday, 2pm Sunday. $76. 707.546.8742.
Sebastopol Center for the Arts Auction, Nov. 16 Help support arts programming in western Sonoma County at this fun evening featuring dinner, cocktails and, of course, an auction. 6pm. Sebastopol Center for the Arts, 282 S. High St., Sebastopol. $100. 707.829.4797.
Artisano, Nov. 17 This fourth annual celebration of food, wine and the arts is a gem of a walk-around, eat-around, look-around afternoon, featuring high-quality crafts, boutique wineries and a quite stunning amount of food. Discover local artisan ultra-premium wines rarely available to the public, and meet some of the region's most talented artists. Benefits Ceres Community Project. 4350 Barnes Road, Santa Rosa. Noon to 5pm. $75–$90. 707.894.8500.
New Century Chamber Orchestra, Nov. 24 Violinist Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg leads this acclaimed group in a program that includes Tchaikovsky, Anton Arensky, Clarice Assad and the world premiere of "Fallingwater" by Michael Daugherty. Osher Marin Jewish Community Center, 200 N. San Pedro Road, San Rafael. $29–$59. 5pm. 415.444.8000.