Wrapping up the year and kicking off 2012

JMB, Johnny Van Vant and Ninj

We’re wrapping up another year of great Sonoma Valley music, with memories of the past year that included Lynyrd Skynyrd playing the Valley at the fabulous B. R. Cohn charity concert, John Fogerty headlining Sonoma Jazz Plus and many more amazing local acts in venues all over town.

The Sonoma Valley Jazz Society consistently brings big-name jazz acts to the Plaza Bistro and to the Tuesday night market, and for no cover. Many of these acts play Yoshis and other name clubs around the Bay Are, and we get them for free.

Granted, it’s been recorded that jazz started in Sonoma Valley way back in the 1930s, so why shouldn’t we still have great jazz acts? We’re lucky to live in a place where we have incredible food, wine, art and music within our fingertips almost all year long. Sonoma Jazz Plus is up in the air for 2012, but we’re hoping for something and someone to come along to fill the void for the show before Memorial Day weekend. Maybe it’s time someone local took over the event, and included local acts as well.

We had amazing music at the Valley of the Moon Vintage Festival, the City Party, music acts and music themed events from the Sonoma International Film Festival and music themed exhibits from the Sonoma Valley Museum of Art. We’re looking forward to all that and more in the coming year. Before we touch on New Years Eve, let’s see what’s happening tonight around the Valley.

Dick Conte

The Plaza Bistro welcomes the Dick Conte Trio tonight, Dec. 30, at 7 p.m. If you look up “Bay Area Jazz” in the dictionary, if there’s not a picture of Dick Conte, there should be. In addition to playing with many jazz legends over the last 30 years, Conte has also been a staple on Bay Area jazz radio. Tonight, Conte has with him Steve Webber on bass and Bill Moody on drums. There is no cover.

The Kathmandu Corner has Sean Carscadden tonight, Dec. 30, at 7:30 p.m.

Murphy’s Irish Pub presents JoyRide, featuring Sue Albano, Mark Dennis and “the Monster,” Bob Edmondson in the Snug at 8 p.m. tonight, Dec. 30.

HopMonk Tavern Sonoma welcomes Black Cat Bone to the inside stage tonight, Dec. 30, at 9 p.m.

OK, now on to New Years Eve, Saturday, Dec. 31.

The Olde Sonoma Public House has Josh and Nelson Kraft as a father-son duo playing classic rock and more, kicking off at 8 p.m.

El Verano Inn welcomes Captain Crunch, playing rock and roll classics, starting at 9:30 p.m. The no cover evening includes party favors, food and a champagne toast at midnight.

The Plaza Bistro has the local honky-tonk country act Train Wreck Junction for a 9 p.m. show. Vocalist Nick Kardum insists “we don’t play any of that new country…”

Sean Carscadden

Murphy’s Irish Pub has its traditional dual New Years Eve celebration, one for New Years in Ireland at 2 p.m. with Sean Carscadden and Marty O’Reilly laying down the music, and one for Sonoma, kicking off at 9 p.m. with Cynthia Carr and the Carrtunes. There is no cover and food and drink specials are planned.

HopMonk Tavern Sonoma will have Megan Slankard on the inside stage, kicking off at 9 p.m.

Centre du vin, located in the Ledson Hotel has a dinner show that features Jess Petty and Ken Chambers, kicking off at 9 p.m. There is no cover for the show, but a full prime rib dinner will be offered, along with other dining specials.

Meritage Martini and Oyster Bar will have Stan Pappas, backed by the Jon Shearer Trio, also for a dinner show, that kicks off at 9 p.m. There will be dinner specials and other items at the no cover show.

The Blue Moon Saloon will have Phil Herrschaft and Jason Huybers laying down blues grooves with the rest of the usual Sunday night blues jam folks, and they are billing it as a jam, so musicians are invited to show up and play. The fun starts at 9:30 p.m. and there is no cover.

The Carneros Bistro has the Sonoma Valley Mentoring Alliance event that features the musical act the Savoir Faire Band, performing hits from the ‘60s and ‘70s, kicking off at 7:30 p.m. The night will feature gourmet food, a chocolate fountain, and drink specials, all to benefit the Mentoring Alliances programs. As of press time, tickets were still available by calling 938-1990.

The Moose Lodge is opening its doors to non-members for the evening, and all that’s requested is that they bring an appetizer for the evening. Music will be provided by Down from Down Under, who will be spinning DJ sounds. The night kicks off at 8 p.m. To reserve a space or a table, and for more info, call 996-3877.

A couple local acts are on the road for New Years Eve, starting with the Jami Jamison Band in Concord at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, kicking off at 9 p.m.

The Dick Conte Trio will be at the Solage Resort in Calistoga, starting at 8:30 p.m.

Showcase the Band will be at the Petaluma Veterans Memorial Building, kicking off at 7 p.m.


Hot 45s – Shows within a 45 minute drive from the Island

Zydeco Flames– Saturday, Dec. 31.
Rancho Nicasio – Nicasio

Tommy Castro Band – Saturday, Dec. 31.
Mystic Theatre – Petaluma

Elvin Bishop – Saturday, Dec. 31.
Last Day Saloon – Santa Rosa

John Lee Hooker Jr. – Saturday, Dec. 31.
Biscuits & Blues – San Francisco

Poor Man’s Whiskey – Saturday, Dec. 31.
HopMonk Tavern – Sebastopol

Petty Theft – Saturday, Dec. 31.
George’s Nightclub – San Rafael

Tedeschi/Trucks band w/ the New Mastersounds – Saturday, Dec. 31.
The Warfield – San Francisco.

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