Somehow, we’ve waited all our life to pen that line, but Crosby, Stills & Nash, the rock music legends from the ‘60s that made a name for themselves in only their second gig at Woodstock and whose music brought people together against the war in Vietnam, will appear in Sonoma tonight, May 21, under the big tent at the Field of Dreams as the kick-off for this years Sonoma Jazz Plus. The band is one of Americas super groups, with the occasional appearance by fourth member, Neil Young, who is not scheduled to be at this show, having toured and recorded together for over 40 years. The evening will open with Lizz Wright at 6 p.m., with CS&N taking the stage at 8 p.m. Saturday, May 22, also brings a legendary group to the big stage with Earth, Wind and Fire laying down what could be called the greatest hits of soul and funk from the ‘70s and ‘80s. That show kicks off at 6:30 p.m. with Pablo Sanchez, with Earth, Wind and Fire hitting the stage at 9 p.m. Sunday, May 23, has an interesting line-up, with the New Orleans sounds of the Neville Brothers kicking off the night at 5:30 p.m., followed by Elvis Costello and the Sugarcanes hitting the stage at 8 p.m. Tickets may still be available at the door, but all shows were selling fast and may be sold out by show time.
If you missed out on tickets for the big shows, have no worries, the Sonoma Jazz Plus folks have put together a great Wine and Song around the Plaza event that happens during the daytime on the weekend. We’ll lay out the days and line-ups. All shows go from 1:30 to 5 p.m. Saturday, May 22, the Sunflower Caffe has Ed Johnson and Novo Tempo, The El Dorado Kitchen has Gaucho, Roche Winery has the Terry Disley Experience, The Pulsators will be at the Swiss Hotel, Lokal will have the John Kalleen Group, The Red Grape will have Sapo Guapo and Meritage Martini and Oyster Bar will have Ed Reed. Sunday, May 23, the action starts again, also at 1:30 p.m. with the Brian Jordan Quartet at the Sunflower Caffe, the Jazz Mafia at the El Dorado Kitchen, Tango No. 9 at Roche Winery, Mitch Woods and his Rocket 88’s at the Swiss Hotel, Big Money in Jazz at Lokal, Salsa Dura at the Red Grape and Denise Perrier and Swing Fever at the Meritage. You can get tickets online at www.sonomajazz.org, or at the venues the day of the event.
Murphy’s Irish Pub is also in the spirit of the weekend, with a music festival featuring local acts both days as well. It’s being called “BBQ’d Music and Live Oyster Festival” and is a benefit for the Sonoma Community Center and will feature eight acts over both weekend days. The fun kicks off Saturday, May 22, at 1 p.m. with EZ Kewl, Roman Alexander and the Robbery, Tudo Bem and wrapping up with the Sean Carscadden trio. Sunday, May 23, brings in the Jami Jamison band, the Steve Dudgeon quartet, the Whiskey Thieves and Roman Alexander and the Robbery do an encore performance to wrap up the evening.
For those that haven’t had quite enough after the Jazz Plus shows, Steiners Tavern has the after party, with the Hellhounds tonight, May 21, at 10 p.m and the Whiskey Thieves on Saturday. May 22, also at 10 p.m. Sunday brings an evening acoustic show with Adam Traum and the Traumatics for a 6 p.m. slot. There is no cover for the shows.
There’s more than just rock, blues and jazz in town this weekend, with the Hometown Band playing a show at the Sebastiani Theatre on Saturday, May 22, at 11 a.m. This will be the bands final concert of the season and will feature a medley of Beatles songs. The show is free and open to the public.
The Valley of the Moon Chamber Ensemble takes the stage in Andrews Hall in the Sonoma Community Center on Sunday. May 23, for a 3 p.m. show. This years program is filled out with music from the British Isles, and includes sacred and secular pieces by Ralph Vaughan Williams, Henry Purcell, Charles V Stanford and Jean Berger. Tickets will be available at the door.
In even more vocal performances this weekend, the St. Andrew Singers and Bell Choir will be performing a concert of spirituals entitled “Feel the Spirit” Sunday, May 23, at 2 p.m. at St. Andrew Presbyterian Church. The show is free.
Mondo American Beer Garden will have the sounds of Hard Travellin’ on Saturday, May 22, at 7 p.m.
Latin rockers Bautista will be back in Sonoma Valley after a long absence with a show at Little Switzerland on Saturday, May 22. The band was a popular dance act at Vaquero and Cucina Viansa back in the day, and is looking forward to playing in Sonoma Valley more often. The Show kicks off at 8 p.m.
The Shop will have DJ sounds of DJ Cali on Saturday, May 23, at 7:30 p.m.
Olive & Vine will have Plan Be for a night of jazz and blues tonight, May 21, for a 7 p.m. start time. There is no cover.
Imagery Estate Winery will have Still Smooth on Saturday, May 22, for a 1 p.m. show. Sunday, May 23, brings in the Notorious Shank Brothers for a 1 p.m. show as well. Guests are invited to bring a picnic lunch and enjoy the music. There is no cover and the public is welcome.
Adam Traum will be doing a solo performance at Landmark Winery and Vineyards on Saturday, May 22, at 1 p.m.
The Lodge at Sonoma has the Dick Conte Trio in the lounge tonight, May 21, for a night of jazz. Saturday, May 22, has the craziness of the Terry Disley Experience. Disley is a veteran of many rock acts, including Paul McCartney and Van Morrison. There is no cover for either show.
The Plaza Bistro will have the Larry Vuckovich quartet in the backroom tonight, May 21, at 7 p.m.
Jess Petty and Ken Chambers will be at the Ledson Lounge on the Plaza tonight, May 21, at 6 p.m.
Murphy’s Irish Pub will have Under the Radar tonight, May 21, at 7 p.m.
Indian Valley Line will be on the road to San Francisco to the Hotel Utah on Sunday, May 23, for an 8 p.m. show.
The Hellhounds will be playing Petaluma in Helen Putnam Park on Saturday, May 22, at 1 p.m.
EZ Kewl will be at the Apple Box in Petaluma on Friday, May 21, for a 6 p.m. show. Sunday, May 23, the guys do a brunch act at the Schellville Grill at 11 a.m. There may be juggling as well.