Nigel Armstrong, Sonoma’s own internationally acclaimed violinist, returns on Sunday, March 25, for a concert in Andrews Hall at the Sonoma Community Center at 3 p.m. Since making his solo debut with the Baroque Sinfonia in 2002, Armstrong has performed concertos and showpieces with many orchestras in the United States and abroad, including the Boston Pops, the Norwegian Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, and the Burbank Philharmonic. He received his Bachelors Degree from the Colburn School Conservatory of Music, where he studied with Robert Lipsett, and is currently in the Diploma Program at the Curtis Institute of Music, Philadelphia, where he studies with Arnold Steinhardt and Shmuel Ashkenasi. Nigel began his violin studies here in Sonoma at the age of five with Leta Davis. The performance will include pieces by Beethoven, Paganini, Faure, and Tchaikovsky. Accompanying Armstrong for the show will be Marilyn Thompson. Tickets for the show can be purchased at Pharmaca, Readers Books or at the door.
Local blues harmonica player Junior Boogie has been bestowed quite an award. Boogie has been named the “Bay Area Blues Societies West Coast Hall of Fame Blues Harmonica Player of the year for 2012.” Boogie grew up in Sonoma and watching his buddies parents play, folks like Rick Binkley and Norton Buffalo, were his inspiration. Although Boogie played piano and guitar, he just kept coming back to playing the harmonica. “I like that I can just carry it around in my pocket” said Boogie. Boogie plays Seydel Harmonicas. He is being presented the award this Sunday, March 25, at 6 p.m. at the West Coast Blues Hall of Fame Awards Show that is being held at the Oakland Airport Hilton. Boogie is bringing with him an all-star band of locals to perform with him that night, including Tommy Thomsen, Wendy Dewitt, Codi Binkley, David Aguilar, Raymond Jones, Keith Ridenhour and more. For tickets and more info, point your browser to www.bayareabluessociety.net. Well done Boog!
MusicWorks!/Sonoma will be presenting a sacred concert, Celebrations of New Life!, on Sunday March 25, at 7 p.m. at St. Francis Solano Church, and is inviting the public and the church community to join them on a musical adventure of festive music sparkling with the rhythmic vitality and marvelous harmonic textures of the renaissance, baroque, and classical eras. The 16-voice chamber choir will be accompanied by Christopher Alexander and John Simon. Soloists include Shannon Howlett, Denise Van Eschen-Rich, Dana Frank, and Sean Bush. Admission is free but donations will be gladly accepted.
The Hometown Band is back in action on Sunday, March 25, at 1 p.m. in the historic Sebastiani Theatre for a show they’re calling “Celebrating the Classic Composers.” The group, founded in 1966 by Richard Schneider, presents opportunities for local musicians to develop skills through performing. The current conductor is Justin Enright. The show will be narrated by Butch Engle. There is no cover for the show. For more info about the Hometown Band and how to join, point your browser to www.sonomahometownband.org.
The Sonoma Valley Chorale will be holding its annual presentation and auction fundraiser tonight, March 23, at the Sonoma Valley Veterans Memorial Building. It’s being billed as “Puccini and Pasta” and will include live and silent auctions as well as a performance by the Chorale. The evening kicks off at 5:30 p.m. For tickets and more info, call 935-1576.
Sonoma Hills Retirement Home is welcoming the Fondettes to the building for a vocal performance on Saturday, March 24, for a 1 p.m. show. The public is invited to the event, which is being called “Celebrating a Healthy Sonoma” and is also a fundraiser for the Sonoma Valley Hospital Foundation.
Local country and folk musician Adam Traum is trying to raise money for his new CD using what’s called a Kickstarter campaign. Kickstarter has been a way for musicians and artists to raise money for creative projects such as films, videos and music. The reward for investors varies from advance copies of the CD to credit on the disc. For more info about Traums project, view his short video at www.reverbnation.com/adamtraum.
Hunter-Germano will be at Sonoma Springs Brewing Company on Saturday, March 24, for a 7 p.m. show. It’s rumored the band is named after their high school gym teacher, but we’ve yet to confirm that. There is no cover for the show.
BackTrax will be doing an acoustic show at the Olde Sonoma Public House on Saturday, March 24. The show kicks off at 7:30 p.m. and there is no cover.
Murphy’s Irish Pub welcomes the Jami Jamison Band tonight, March 23, for what we believe is their debut performance at the pub. Showtime is 8 p.m. Saturday, March 24, its Larry Carlin’s Mostly Simply Bluegrass Band and that night will feature Dr. Elmo from Wild Blue. That show also starts at 8 p.m. Sunday, March 25, the pub welcomes Amy Wigton and her band, also for a debut show for an early start time at 6:30 p.m. There is no cover for any of the shows at the pub.
Local Diva Sheila Whitney will be performing in the Centre du Vin in the Ledson Hotel on Saturday, March 24. Whitney performs jazz, pop, broadway tunes and classical repertoire, including opera, art songs and sacred music. Whitney is currently a soloist at Trinity Episcopal Church and the Sonoma Valley Chorale. Whitney will be accompanied by Mike Greensill on piano and Chris Amberger on bass. Showtime is 6:30 p.m.
Stephanie Ozer will be at the Sonoma Mission Inn in the lobby on Saturday, March 24, for a 6:30 p.m. performance. Ozer performs a unique mix of Brazilian jazz, standard gems, and “in-between genres.”
The Plaza Bistro welcomes trumpeter Dave Rocha tonight, March 23, for a 7 p.m. show. With Rocha tonight will be Randy Vincent on guitar and Chuck Bennet on bass. Saturday, March 24, the bistro has guitarist Rick Vandivier with Cliff Hugo on bass, also for a 7 p.m. show. There is no cover either night.
The El Verano Inn has hip-hop with Z Man and True Justice on Saturday, March 24. Also on the bill will be Distant Relatives. There is no cover for the show that kicks off at 9 p.m.
Don Trotta is back in action and on the road to Mack’s in Penngrove both tonight, March 23, and Saturday, March 24, for shows that kick off at 9 p.m.
Adam Traum is on the road to Sausalito at the Taste of Rome tonight, March 23, for a 7 p.m. show.
Jason Bodlovich is in Santa Rosa tonight, March 23, at A’Roma Roasters for an 8:30 p.m. show.
Hot 45s – Shows within a 45 minute drive from the Island
Soulshine Blues Band – Saturday, March 24.
Last Day Saloon – Santa Rosa
James Cotton and Elvin Bishop – Friday – Sunday, March 23 – 25.
Yoshi’s – Oakland
Eric McFadden – Saturday, March 24.
Yoshi’s – San Francisco
Y & T – Saturday, March 24.
The Fillmore – San Francisco
Foreverland – Friday, March 23.
George’s Nightclub – San Rafael
David Lindley – Thursday, March 29.
142 Throckmorton – Mill Valley