The Friday, May 5, Column

Picture of Rubber Soul
Rubber Soul – Photo: Melania Mahoney

Summer Music Series’ kick off in the Valley

By the time you read this, the forecast is to be in the 80’s during the day with summer-like nights. We hope we didn’t just jinx it, and just in time, as this week, three different music series that will last through the summer will kick off. The Tuesday night Market, Sebastiani Winery and Vineyards and Muscardini Cellars will all get rolling, with some changes for some of them.

The Tuesday night market will be rotating the music from the horseshow lawn to the Grinstead Amphitheater depending on the week. The year kicked off last Tuesday, May 2, with the band Magic, to be followed in the amphitheater on May, 9, with the Cannon School of Music and Dan Martin, back on the horseshoe lawn on May 16, with Plan Be, over to the amphitheater for May 23, with Coyote and the Tricksters then the month wraps up with Ten Foot Tone on the lawn on May 30. The Sonoma Valley Jazz Society will begin it’s monthly concert series in the amphitheater on June 13, with “Just Like a Woman.” A celebration of women in music with Denise Perrier, Pamela Rose, Rhonda Benin and Tiffany Austin, kicking off at 6 p.m. For more info, point your browser to

Sebastiani Winery and Vineyards Friday night music series kicks off on Friday, May 5, at 6 p.m. with a great line-up and some changes for the venue. The winery is encouraging all that want to sit outside to bring their own chairs and blankets, as they will no longer be providing additional outside tables and chairs. Guests are also encouraged to bring a picnic lunch or similar. “Food Truck Friday” is back, but only the last Friday of each month. There will also be wine specials and a special club for discounts all throughout the season. Kicking off the season will be the Jami Jamison band on May 5, local Beatles tribute act Rubber Soul on May 12, the Poyntlyss Sistars on May 19 and Stax City on May 26, for the first Food Truck Friday. The events are family-friendly and well behaved dogs are allowed outside the tasting room, but no outside alcohol, including beer is allowed. For more info and the whole schedule, point your browser to

Muscardini Cellars in Kenwood kicks off on Saturday, May 6, for “Simmer Down Saturdays” and this year the event will be every Saturday until October. According to Director of Sales, Natalie Owdom, “people kept asking for the event to be weekly and with the popularity of last year, we decided to expand the series to every Saturday, minus a couple days when large events were already happening in the Valley.”  Kicking off the series will be Magic on May 6, with T Luke and the Tight Suits on May 13, the Jami Jamison Band on May 20 and the Cork Pullers on May 27. There is a cover charge that includes a glass of wine, and picnics, children and well-behaved dogs are welcome, but no outside alcohol, including beer is allowed. The shows kick off at 6 p.m.  Point your browser to for the full schedule and more info.


Pic of Vox Populi
Vox Populi

Spotlight – Vox Populi

It’s not likely Mark Dennis had any idea nine years ago as to what he was getting himself into or what he may have started, but it seems there is no stopping Vox Populi as they roll into the spring concert season. The term is Latin, and translated means “Voice of the People” and the group has certainly turned into that. The act, referred to as the “Rock and Roll Choir” has performed many theme-based shows for the community. The theme for this season’s shows is “Women Composers” and the concerts will feature a mix of songs written by women singer-songwriters, including pieces by Carol King, Joni Mitchell, Annie Lennox, Billie Holiday, Laura Nyro, Grace Slick, Dolly Parton and many more.

Dennis puts a lot of effort into making sure all participants know their parts. This is not a “sing-along,” but a deliberate effort to assign members specific harmony lines and the songs are delivered with all 4 parts in the background and your line “up front” or boosted from the other vocal lines. Formerly a painstaking process involving burning CD’s for the whole act, Dennis now has a group member that posts the tracks online. The 50-person choir will have live accompaniment by Mark Wilson and Mario Ramirez of Plan Be, one of Sonoma’s longest running local acts for these performances.

“Singing harmony with a group of friends is the second best thing on the planet,” explains Dennis, who smiles when asked what the first might be.

The next performances are slated for Monday, May 8, at 7:30 p.m. at the Sebastiani Theatre, followed by an encore performance on Saturday, May 13, also at 7:30 p.m. at the Sonoma Valley Woman’s Club. The shows will benefit both venues, the Sebastiani Theatre Foundation, helping to support the upkeep of the historic theatre, which has been operation since 1934, and the Sonoma Valley Women’s Club, which has been active in the Valley since 1901. Both venues will use funds to maintain and upgrade their historic buildings.

Tickets are available at the Theatre box office or at Tiddle E. Winks Vintage 5 and Dime

Vox Populi meets every Wednesday evening at 7:30 p.m. at the First Congregational Church, 252 W. Spain St. For more information on Vox Populi, point your browser to



Set List – The Rundown

Annex Wine Bar, 865 W. Napa St. Sonoma, 938-7779
Tonight, May 5: Mark Larson Band. 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, May 6: Reba and Rudh. 7:30 p.m.

B. R. Cohn Winery, 15000 Sonoma Hwy. Glen Ellen, 800-330-4064
Sunday, May 7: Falcon Christopher.  2 p.m.

B&V Whiskey Bar and Grille, 400 First St. E. Sonoma, 938-7110
Tonight, May 5: DJ Willie. 9 p.m.
Saturday, May 6: DJ Cal. 9 p.m.

Friday Farmers Market, Depot Park, 270 First St W. Sonoma
Today, May 5: Stewart Degner. 9:30 a.m.

HopMonk Tavern, 691 Broadway Sonoma, 935-9100
Tonight, May 5: Courtney Carroll. 5 p.m. Timothy O’Neil. 8 p.m.
Saturday, May 6: Dan Martin. 1 p.m. Adam Traum. 8 p.m.

Murphy’s Irish Pub, 464 First St. E. Sonoma, 935-0660
Tonight, May 5: Ragtag Sullivan. 8 p.m.
Saturday, May 6: Ten Foot Tone. 8 p.m.

Muscardini Cellars, 9380 Sonoma Hwy, Kenwood, 933-9305
Saturday, May 6: “Simmer Down Saturday” with Magic. 6 p.m.

Olde Sonoma Public House, 18615 Sonoma Hwy. Boyes Hot Springs, 938-7587
Tonight, May 5: Ryan Tatarian. 6:30 p.m. Reggae Night with Byron Borges. 8 p.m.
Saturday, May 6: Karaoke. 7:30 p.m.

The Reel Fish Shop and Grill, 401 Grove St. El Verano, 343-0044
Tonight, May 5: Cinco de Mayo party with DJ Refugee. 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, May 6: Tri-Tip Trio. 8:30 p.m.

Sebastiani Winery and Vineyards, 389 Fourth St. E. Sonoma, 933-3230
Tonight, May 5: Jami Jamison Band. 6 p.m.

Sonoma Speakeasy and American Music Hall, 452 First St. E. ste. G. Sonoma, 996-1364
Tonight, May 5: Bruce Gordon. 6:30 p.m. the Dorian Mode. 8 p.m.
Saturday, May 6: Old Earth. 5 p.m. 3 on a Match. 8 p.m.
Sunday, May 7: 4 p.m. Jim Caroompas. 6 p.m. Acoustic Blues Jam. 8:30 p.m.

Sonoma Valley Regional Library, 755 W. Napa St. Sonoma, 996-5217
Saturday, May 6: Trio Pizzacato. 2 p.m.

Sonoma Valley Woman’s Club, 574 First St. E., 938-8313
Monday, May 8: Vox Populi.  7:30 p.m.

The Starling Bar, 19380 Sonoma Hwy. Sonoma, 996-3055
Sunday, May 7: Redwood Prophets. 7:30 p.m.

If your gig isn’t in my column, you didn’t tell me about it.


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