Save the Date for our next Virtual Variety Show! Saturday, November 7th at 8 PM on YouTube

Alas, we are still unable to host live events at OCA, and our beautiful new LOBBY is quietly waiting to welcome our audiences back!! In the meantime, we’ve got another great variety show in the works, scheduled to air at 8 PM on
Saturday, November 7th!

Performers include:

Teresa Tudury

Barbara Higbie

Nina Gerber

T Sisters

Jenny Kerr Band

Meredith Axelrod & Craig Ventresco

Danny & Essence

The Musers

Heartwood Crossing Trio

Dirty Cello

Phil Lawrence


Jenny Kerr Band

Abbie Gabrielson

Peppino D’Agostino

Eric Wiley

Ricky Mier

The Familiar Strangers

Dennis Ludiker & Kaylee Goins

Mimi & Gabe Pirard

Laurie Lewis & Brandon Godman

and a Virtual Art Exhibit!


Watch for updates on this spectacular show to be announced soon!

Call to Artists: Gallery Exhibit “Treasures From Home” Entries accepted Tuesday, September 29th by appointment

“Henry” by Oak Reinier

OCA Gallery is proud to announce its upcoming show “Treasures From Home” – an all-media exhibition of artwork by Sonoma County Artists.

Entries for this exhibit should feature objects, landscapes, vistas/views, people, animals, heirlooms and other treasured images that provide comfort and joy during our extended Shelter-In-Place of 2020.

Sonoma County artists are invited to submit one piece for this show. An entry fee of $10 is required, and the artwork will be shown in our physical gallery as well as in a Virtual Exhibit on OCA’s YouTube Channel. The physical exhibit runs Oct 3 – Nov 28, the virtual exhibit will premier mid-October and be available thereafter (exact date TBA).

Entries are subject to OCA’s standard size and hanging requirements, Click here to read our entry guidelines.

Due to the restrictions placed on us by the County due to COVID-19, we will not have an opening reception for this show. We encourage you to help us promote the virtual exhibit to your friends and family. We welcome in-person gallery visitors on Saturdays from Noon to 4 PM, masks are required and a limited number of visitors inside the gallery at any time.

Download the entry contract here.

We will be using an appointment system for take-in, greeting artists with their entries outside in the OCA parking lot, and implementing safety protocol. To sign up for an entry appointment, please use this link. If you have any questions please send us an email.

Gentle Yoga classes at OCA Offered Wednesdays 9 - 10:15 AM


To support social distancing efforts as a means of containment for coronavirus, Wednesday yoga classes are suspended through the end of March, 2020. If you have any questions please email Gail Saunders.

Experience the skilled and nurturing teachings of Gail Saunders, CYT of Smiling Tree Yoga in OCA’s classroom; ongoing. Drop-ins welcomed. Mats and equipment provided. This is a popular offering!

Four classes for $50 or drop-in at $15 per class.
Classes are Wednesdays from 9 – 10:15 AM.

For more information, contact

OCA Reader’s Theatre Group 2nd & 4th Tuesdays, @7pm

readers theater

Please note: Due to the COVID19 shelter in place for Sonoma County, Readers Theater is currently on hiatus. Join our email list to stay updated on when we can resume programs and events.

All interested in learning, sharing and reading 2-3 short plays, please come!.  A fun opportunity to express yourself. FREE

Readers Theater is readers reading a script adapted from literature, and the audience picturing the action from hearing the script being read aloud. It requires no sets, costumes, props, or memorized lines. Instead of acting literature as in a play, the performer’s goal is to read a script aloud effectively, enabling the audience to visualize the action. Performers bring the text alive by using voice, facial expressions, and some gestures.

Regular READER’S CHOICE nights: Can be play, poetry, story, essay, your own writing,OR ??????

For more information, call Judith Reimuller 707-829-2176 or email Joan at



Call to All Writers Book Launch Series

All genres will be considered: Prose (Fiction, Non-fiction), Poetry. Preference will be given to local Sonoma County writers or material about Sonoma County. Application Procedure: Send a sampling of 2-3 chapters if prose; 5-10 pages if poetry. Please include brief bio and any writing credits. You can email, and/or hard copy to:

Occidental Center for the Arts
Attention: Book Launch Committee
3850 Doris Murphy Way
Occidental, 95465

This is an on-going series: Submitted work will be reviewed by Book Launch Committee. Writers will be notified as soon as possible. One or two writers will be featured at each reading.

Thursday Night Figure Drawing Thursdays, 7-9:30 pm

Bill Wheeler Figure Drawing GroupEvery Thursday 7:00 – 9:00 pm
Drop-in, $15 per person

Live models, 5- to 20-minute poses.
All experience & skill levels welcome.
Bring your own drawing or watercolor materials.

Founded by Bill Wheeler, this class continues in his honor and is coordinated by a dedicated group of local artists.


The OCA classroom is at 3820 Doris Murphy Circle. Payment accepted at the door, cash or check only. No minimum requirement of classes.

For information on the class, contact Andy Rangel at

Steve Gillette & Cindy Mangsen Friday, March 6th 7 - 9 PM

Photo © Copyright 2013 Stephen Ide, all rights reserved.

OCA is pleased to welcome back the famed folk duo from Vermont, Steve Gillette and Cindy Mangsen! Steve Gillette is a revered country/folk singer and songwriter with a warm baritone voice and a unique finger-picking guitar style. Some of his best known songs: Darcy Farrow, Bed of Roses, Back on the Street Again have been covered by Ian & Sylvia, John Denver, Garth Brooks, Linda Ronstadt, and Tammy Wynette. He is author of the book ‘Songwriting and the Creative Process’, a standard text in songwriting groups. Cindy Mangsen, expertly accompanying on a variety of instruments, is “one of the finest singers in American folk music” (Come for to Sing). She is best known as a keeper of old songs, as well as her own thoughtful originals, with a wonderful ear for harmony..

Come on down to our excellent acoustic space to enjoy the compelling interpretations of traditional and contemporary folk songs, rich harmony and a good dose of humor from this enduringly popular duo who have traveled the world and recorded many albums in their more than 25-year collaboration. $19 Advance/$23 at the door.

The Black Brothers Band Saturday, March 7th 7:30 PM

Shay and Michael Black are the charismatic singing siblings from Ireland’s foremost family of song, which includes sisters Mary, Frances and brother Martin. They play an exciting mix of Dublin street songs, music hall songs and historical ballads with plenty of audience sing-a-long; along with contemporary songs. The brothers expect to have their new album available, featuring their extended Black family plus a host of other fine musicians. Singing in superb close harmony, Michael and Shay draw people in with their energy, wit and superb musicianship.

Their fine band includes famed pianist Eamonn Flynn, originally from Dublin, who was the keyboardist on the best-selling movie soundtrack ‘The Commitments’. His driving piano style adds excitement to the jigs and reels. Joining them is dynamic accordion player, Felim Egan, who also hails from Ireland.

Enjoy the March Madness with The Black Brothers Band at OCA! Their joy in performing, their love of a good story, and their charm and wit plus Irish humor make every day seem like St. Patrick’s Day! $22 Adv/$26 at the door.


Book Launch: The Ice Palace Waltz by Barbara Baer Sunday, March 1st 2-4 PM

In The Ice Palace Waltz, two Jewish immigrant families—the rough and ready western pioneers and the smooth ‘our crowd’ New Yorkers—come together in a riveting family saga amid the financial and social turmoil of early 20th Century America.

This event features selected readings with slide show, Q&A, book sales & signing. Free admission, all donations gratefully accepted. Jewish food noshes available by donation, wine/ beer for sale. OCA’s facilities are wheelchair accessible.

About the author:

Barbara L. Baer received her BA and MA at Stanford University before traveling to live and teach in South India and Uzbekistan, U.S.S.R.

Barbara has written for national and international publications and is the author of three previous novels. When the 2008 financial meltdown began, she remembered stories of tragedy and loss following the 1907 Panic and the Crash of 1929 that devastated her families.

In The Ice Palace Waltz, she weaves the lives of two families–one settled in the mining town of Leadville, CO, and the other among the financial speculators in Manhattan—with well-researched history of these dramatic times.

Learn more about the author at


Johnny & June Forever: The Greatest Love Story Ever Sung Saturday, February 29th 7:30 PM

OCA proudly presents “Johnny & June Forever: The Greatest Love Story Ever Sung”. Join us for a musical evening featuring the famous duo’s classic songs plus a special opening set with the stars Danny and Essence.

Tickets are $25/advance and $30 at the door (if available). Fine refreshments available. OCA is wheelchair accessible.

About the performers:

Like their predecessors Johnny Cash and June Carter, who were well known performers before meeting, Danny Evans (aka Danny Uzilevsky) and Essence (Essence Goldman)were already seasoned artists in their own rights before meeting. Born in the same hospital just two days apart, they had been playing music in the same circles for years, knew all the same people, but never actually met. Danny and Essence finally crossed paths in the fall of 2018 at Dannys Allegiant Studio while Essence was recording her soon-to-be released new record. They had an immediate recognition of how well their voices and musical directions compliment each other. Reminiscent of Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash and other great male /female duos, this pair is a powerful emerging voice on the Americana landscape. In addition to their original music they have decided to pay homage to their heroes and dig deep into their passion for roots music with a Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash Revue.

Danny Evans, veteran guitarist and singer/songwriter is one of the best kept secrets of the Northern California music scene. Son of Rusty Evans, who reigned supreme as a Johnny Cash Tribute Artist under the name Ring of Fire, Danny played guitar in the family band for 20 years. Danny has been called a canny stylist and musical chameleon. Hes shared the stage with legends such as Link Wray, Dick Dale, Taj Mahal, Bill Kirtchen, Leo Nocentelli + many more and was celebrated as a local hero fronting the band Chrome Johnson. Dannys musical career spans several decades, and his A list talent and charisma on the stage is only rivaled by his studio skills at the mixing board, engineering and producing records.

Award winning singer-songwriter essence has been immersed in art and music since childhood. Her birth name really is essence she was raised by quintessential flower children, her parents being two free spirited bohemian artists from the Haight-Ashbury Summer of Love. essence has released 6 CDs (with a 7th on the way!) on both independent and major labels, and toured nationally opening for Jason Mraz, Shawn Colvin, Tom Petty, Sarah McLachlan, Natalie Merchant, Chrissie Hynde, Steve Miller, Pat Benatar, and Linda Perry. Her sound nods to songwriting legends like Tom Petty and Lucinda Williams, Dolly Parton, and Gillian Welch. Essence has been featured in the San Francisco Chronicle and BBC and performed on NPRs Tiny Desk Concert. The story of her band Bernie and the Believers is currently being developed into a full length Hollywood feature film.



Gallery Exhibit: Artistic Exposure ends Sun. Feb 16

Painting by Bill Wheeler

Don’t miss this exhibition of works created during our Thursday Night Drawing Group.

Founded by Bill Wheeler more than 25 years ago, this group of local artists meets weekly at OCA for figure drawing with live models. Peruse a variety of artists’ sketches, drawings and paintings created by the group at this exhibition, open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 11-4 and during events.

A closing reception with the artists will be held on Sunday, February 16th from 2-4 PM.

SOLD OUT: Billie Holiday Project Saturday, February 15th 8 PM

This event is completely sold out. We will not have any tickets for sale at the door.

OCA is pleased to welcome back The Billie Holiday Project, in a special concert for Valentine’s Day weekend! Led by talented songstress Stella Heath, who skillfully evokes the vocal style of legendary singer Billie Holiday, and featuring some of the Bay Area’s finest musicians, this concert will deliver superb and thought-provoking entertainment. Shrouded in mystery as she was draped in fur, Billie was multi-faceted; she possessed a sensitivity and ability to make the songs she sang as personal as if she was singing them softly in your very own ear. Stella’s quintet brings back the electric and intimate feeling of seeing Lady Day live in a 1930’s Jazz Club.

The band also revives some of the earlier and lesser known tunes she interpreted. Stories of Billie’s life and music are interspersed with the music.

The ensemble includes Sonoma County piano virtuoso Neil Angelo Fontana, Michael Fortunato on tenor saxophone and clarinet, Trevor Kinsel on upright bass and cornet, and drummer Spike Klein.

Please join us for an unforgettable evening of classic Billie Holiday tunes delivered with style, nuance and emotion by the lovely Stella and her fine band as OCA celebrates Valentine’s Day, and Black History Month!

$20 advance/$25 at the door. Last year’s performance was sold out, so be sure to get your advance admission!

Fine refreshments available include champagne, wine and beer. Wheelchair accessible. OCA Art Gallery will be open for viewing.

Patricia Barber Trio Friday, February 14th 8 PM

Earthwise Productions and OCA proudly present the Patricia Barber Trio!

OCA welcomes internationally acclaimed American composer, jazz singer and pianist Patricia Barber. Please join us for this special Valentine’s Day performance and experience world-class jazz in our intimate venue!

Currently on national tour with Larry Kohut (bass ) and Jon Deitmyer (drums), the Patricia Barber Trio brings top-shelf jazz, performing a combination of form-shattering original materials from Barber’s latest album “Higher” as well a selection of original songs from her career spanning more than 25 years as an innovative and driving force in the American jazz scene.

Tickets are $25/advance and $29 at the door (if available). This event is expected to sell out – get your tickets early! Fine refreshments and champagne/beer/wine available, venue is wheelchair accessible.

Click here to watch a past performance at the Montreal Jazz Festival.

Patricia Barber Biography

Renowned as a singular songwriter for her harmonic sophistication and incisive lyrics, Barber has made several albums for Premonition and Blue Note Records. Barber is first non-classical composer to win a Guggenheim fellowship and brings thrilling original material into the jazz orbit.

A believer in the music inherent in language as well as a supremely gifted vocalist and master of the keys, Barber has the practiced eye and ear of a poet. In a 2005 essay in Poetry Magazine, under the evocative title, “Bolts of Melody,” Barber explained her artistic convictions.

“Music is a demanding but mysterious discipline… It is a gift endowed by blood, then perfected by tremendous desire and perseverance… but for me art can be created neither by logic nor diligence. Like music, poetry is created in the mouth, in the ear, and in the air. As poetry is music and music is magic, so too is poetry magic.”

Barber spent her early years building her reputation at Chicago’s Green Mill, a joint oozing with character that was owned in the 1920s by a lieutenant of Al Capone and is today considered the city’s leading jazz room. When not on tour, she continues to perform there every Monday night. She has also played most of the world’s major jazz festivals, and in 2016 she opened the Ear Taxi New Music Festival at the Harris Theater in Chicago’s Millennium Park. An active collaborator with other artists, Barber has performed with vibraphonist Stefon Harris at the Montreal Jazz Festival and Detroit’s Fischer Music Center and with pianist Kenny Werner in such venues as Evanston’s Pick-Staiger Hall and Montreal’s Maison Symphonique.

Ever the student, Barber returned to academia in the mid-90s to earn her master’s degree in jazz pedagogy while studying twentieth-century music at Northwestern University. She continues to give master classes in this country and overseas. In 2007 she was awarded a resident fellowship at the Doreen B. Townsend Center for Humanities at the University of California, Berkeley where she taught students and performed concerts.

With the release of Higher, a recording featuring her original song cycle, “Angels, Birds…and I,” Barber has reached new heights of daring and imagination. Singers all over the world are performing Patricia’s songs and recently classical singers too have been putting them into their recital programs, following Fleming’s lead.

What the press is saying…

“[Higher] delivers a sea of serenity and crystalline works, sometimes full of emotion, and then full of hope, or even humor. Yes, from a textual and musical point of view, Higher is a poetic gem that far surpasses Barber’s previous works. And that is remarkable for an artist who has set the bar extremely high for herself for three decades.”

“Conspicuously literate and restlessly inventive.” – The New Yorker
“No one among active jazz performers melds notes and words with the powerful fragility, the delicate incision, the brazen honesty of Patricia Barber. As a pianist and vocalist, she is a force to be reckoned with. As a songwriter, she is pure devastation.” – Jazz Police
“Few performers in or out of jazz are as consistently brilliant as Patricia Barber. …Brainy. Beautiful.” – JazzTimes
“Barber braids wrenching, elemental poetry into a private musical language fashioned from the yearning ache of Bill Evans’ piano, Joni Mitchell’s zigzag introspections, Jobim’s winking mix of high end philosophy and pastel melody and an occasional explosion of skronk and funk.” – DownBeat
“Vocalist/pianist Patricia Barber’s 25-year career has been brilliantly marked by a complete unwillingness to compromise her approach to music. She exists in that uncharted creative realm where she successfully defies classification as a purveyor of any particular musical movement or genre. These characteristics spotlight Barber’s role as an innovator and catalyst for musical evolution, a musician performing from the front edge rather than the middle of the creative muse.” – All About Jazz





SOLD OUT: Climbing Up The Mountain: Singing the History of Black America Saturday, February 8th 7 PM

OCA is pleased to present a compelling music and spoken word event for Black History Month . ‘Climbing Up the Mountain’: Singing the History of Black America, by Benjamin Mertz.
Benjamin Mertz ( is a charismatic performer, composer, and song leader who specializes in music of the Black Spiritual tradition. He is also a writer, a human rights activist and workshop leader, and the founder/director of Joyful Noise Gospel Singers. He has just released his first CD entitled ‘Climbing Up the Mountain’. Join Benjamin Mertz as he leads us on a journey through history, with the power and beauty of black traditional music. From work songs to  spirituals, from gospel to blues and jazz, this inspiring presentation will celebrate the wisdom and courage of black music, and the indelible mark it has made on American culture.
Singing along is encouraged! Benjamin will be joined by vocalist Nancy Louise, with Brendan Buss on saxophone.You won’t want to miss this uplifting and enlightening concert ! $15 Adv/$20 at the door.
Pre-sales for this event have concluded and this event is now sold out.



Herstory in the Making Sunday, February 2nd 2 PM

HERSTORY IN THE MAKING is a fascinating offering of compelling female artists coming together to create a matinee of original monologues expressing the very heart of the feminine. In a world where women have limited stages, venues and audiences, performance artist Sherry Glaser presents a fascinating Sunday afternoon buffet of comedy, epiphanies and intimate drama by four unique and talented women Kym Trippsmith, Julie Drucker, Ricci Dedola and Sherry Glaser.
Sherry is the author and star of award winning solo shows FAMILY SECRETS, TAKING THE HIGH ROAD and OH MY GODDESS!
Now is the time to bring more of HERSTORY to the world.


Tickets to this event are $15 advance, $20 at the door.

Fine refreshments including beer and wine available.

OCA is wheelchair accessible.


Book Launch: Laughing in the Dark by Susan Swartz Sunday, January 26th 2 - 4 pm

Occidental Center for the Arts’ Book Launch Series presents Susan Swartz. Laughing in the Dark, her first novel, revolves around three old friends who together tackle infidelity, the latest in California dying styles and the inevitable absurdities of aging. As the book’s subtitle says: Girlfriends are the Best Medicine.

A resident of Sebastopol and long-time columnist for the Press Democrat and other newspapers, Susan’s non-fiction includes Juicy Tomatoes: Plain Truths, Dumb Lies and Sisterly Advice After 50 and The Juicy Tomatoes Guide to Ripe Living After 50. 


Susan will be in conversation with close friend and fellow writer, Miriam Silver to talk about her new novel. Book sales and signing. Free admission, refreshments served.

Redwood Arts Council presents San Francisco Piano Trio** Sunday, January 19th 4 PM


Redwood Arts Council presents The San Francisco Piano Trio

Jeffrey Sykes, piano
Axel Strauss, violin
Jean-Michel Founteneau, cello

Axel Strauss, Jean-Michel Fontineau, and Jeffry Sykes combine their talents to pursue their love of the piano trio literature. Together, they are an instructor of piano at Cal State, East Bay and instructors of cello and violin at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.

Pianist Jeffrey Sykes has performed throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico and Western Europe.  The San Francisco Examiner praised his appearance with the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players as a “tour-de-force performance (that was) the evening’s major delight.”  Recent activities include a Carnegie Hall recital with flutist Stephanie Jutt under the auspices of the Pro Musicis Foundation and a live broadcast over WGBH, Boston Public Radio.  His performances have been frequently broadcast over NPR’s Performance Today, and he has a discography including eleven CDs published by various labels.  For the past ten years, Dr. Sykes has served as the Music Director of Opera for the Young, a professional opera company that gives more than 200 fully-staged performances a year to schoolchildren throughout the upper Midwest.   Dr. Sykes joined the faculty of California State University, East Bay, in the fall of 2008 where he coaches, accompanies, and directs the piano accompanying class.

German violinist Axel Strauss joined the SF Conservatory faculty in 2001.  He won the Naumburg Violin Award in 1998, and since has performed throughout North America with major orchestras.  His concert appearances have taken him to Germany, Japan, China, and Eastern Europe.  Mr. Strauss is frequently invited to music festivals including the Marlboro Music Festival in Vermont, International Music Festival of Saga in Japan, and the Kammermusiktage Mettlach in Germany.  In 2012 Axel Strauss was appointed Professor of Violin at the Schulich School of Music at McGill University in Montreal, where he also serves as Chair of the String Area.

Cellist Jean-Michel Fonteneau is the Chair of String and Piano Chamber Music at the SF Conservatory of Music.  He is a founding member of the Ravel String Quartet, winner of two prizes at the Evian String Quartet Competition, and of the first French Grammy Award “Les Victoires de la Musique Classique”. They toured extensively around the world and created the first ever string quartet residency program in France.  A passionate and devoted teacher, Jean-Michel Fonteneau served on the faculty of the Conservatoire National Suprieur de Musique in Lyon, France, until 1999, when he moved to the United States to join the faculty of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.  Mr. Fonteneau’s recordings can be found with Musidisc-France and Albany Records.

Haydn: Piano Trio no. 28 in E Major, (Hob. XV:28)
Brahms: Piano Trio in C minor, op. 101
Beethoven: Piano Trio in B-flat Major, op. 97 (“Archduke”)

Artists’ Website:

Tickets are $30, students $10 with ID, children free with paying adult. **This event is not eligible for OCA member benefits.



West County’s Got Talent! Saturday, January 18th 7 PM

Don’t miss this year’s amazing TALENT SHOW featuring a variety of local performers. This event is a fundraiser for OCA – and is sure to please all audiences!

The fun starts at 7 pm with doors open at 6:30. Show your support for local talent and your local art center!

Presales have ended. Tickets are available at the door for $23.


Words & Music: Laurie Lewis, Don Henry, Claudia Russell and Nina Gerber Sunday, January 12th 3 PM

This event is sold out.
Join us for a memorable afternoon performance of outstanding music as three award-winning songwriters trade songs in a Nashville-style song circle. Prepare to be moved as Grammy-winning singer/songwriter Don Henry (, Grammy winner and bluegrass musician/educator Laurie Lewis (, and singer/songwriter extraordinaire Claudia Russell ( perform some of their favorite tunes, accompanied by virtuoso guitarist  Nina Gerber. You won’t want to miss this unique sharing of talents in our intimate acoustic space! 
$22 Advance/$25 at the door. Fine refreshments available; wheelchair accessible.


Cosmic Americana Solstice Dance! Saturday, December 21st 7:30 pm

Presales for this event have ended – tickets are available at the door.


OCA has always appreciated our talented Sonoma County musicians for their heart, as well as their skills! ‘Stepping up to the Solstice’, in place of an unfortunate postponement for songstress Teresa Tudury on Dec. 21, are some of our most beloved and popular muscians for a swinging Cosmic Americana Solstice Dance, featuring Laughing Gravy & The Drifting Cowpokes! Plus ‘Special Guests’!

Laughing Gravy was founded by radio personality, producer and musician Doug Jayne. This popular band of super-accomplished American roots musicians has been paying musical tribute to country-rock icon Gram Parsons since 2003. This concert features Doug Jayne on vocals and guitar, Kevin Russell on vocals, guitar, and banjo, Allegra Broughton on guitar and vocals, Sam Page on vocals and bass, Dan Ransford on drums, and Kirby Pierce playing keyboard; joined by Cowpokes Sean Allen on steel and Candy Girard on fiddle.

The Drifting Cowpokes is one of the many fine bands featuring the prolifically talented Kevin Russell, with Rick Cutler, Tim Sarter, Candy Girard, and Sean Allen offering the music of Hank Williams.

Celebrate the coming winter darkness and DANCE! to this rollicking collaboration of stellar Sonoma County musicians for the Solstice!

$15 Advance/$20 at the door. Fine refreshments, including beer and wine. OCA Art Gallery open for viewing and gifts. Wheelchair Accessible.




Patrick Ball: Celtic Harp & Story Sunday, November 17, 2019 4 - 6 PM


OCA is pleased to welcome back to our stage, direct from his home in Ireland, one of the premier Celtic harp players and spoken word artists in the world. He has recorded nine instrumental and three spoken word albums which have sold over one-half million copies internationally and won national awards in both the music and spoken word categories.

In Celtic Harp & Story, Patrick Ball rekindles the fire and wonder of an evening of Irish storytelling. The passion of the Irish for eloquence and wordplay, their deep devotion to a mythical past, and their ability to find joy and humor in a dark and often supernatural world make for stories unrivaled in the world of the oral tradition. Patrick Ball weaves the marvelous old tales of wit and enchantment together with ethereally gorgeous instrumental harp melodies into a warm and magical performance that will leave the audience spellbound.

Patrick tours extensively in the U.S., Canada and world wide to great acclaim. He and his wife, artist Susan Ball, and their beloved dog Max have recently relocated to the magic isle of Ireland. Do not miss this spellbinding evening of glorious harp music and lyrical storytelling filled with laughter and mischief, politics and magic by this American master of the Gaelic narrative and instrument! $20 Adv/ $25 at the door. Fine refreshments. Art Gallery open. Wheelchair accessible.



Book Launch: Ashes in a Coconut by Bo Kearns Friday, November 15, 2019 7 pm

In 1983, New York City fashion designer Laura Harrison sets aside her career and accompanies her banker husband Jack to Indonesia to save her marriage. Finding herself in a culture of mysticism and superstition, Laura experiences feelings of unease and haunting premonitions. Still, she’s determined to make things work. As she attempts to grow closer to her husband, they become at odds over his shady business dealings. When her premonitions become reality, events spin out of control. 

BO KEARNS, journalist and writer of fiction, is the author of Ashes in a Coconut, a novel

set in Indonesia, where he lived for three years. In his career in international finance, he lived in Bahrain, Indonesia and London. He is a feature writer with Northbay biz magazine and the Sonoma Index-Tribune newspaper. His short stories have won awards—First Prize, Napa Valley College writing contest, Honorable Mention-Glimmer Train Fiction Open competition, and Finalist- Redwood Writers On the Edge genre competition. Other works

have been published in the annual California Writers Club Literary ReviewNapa Valley Writers First Press, The Red Wheelbarrow Literary Magazine and Sonoma: Stories of a Region and Its People. He is a UC Naturalist, beekeeper, avid hiker and active supporter of conservation causes. He lives in Sonoma with his wife and rescue dog Jake.

“…a dazzling palette of colors and aromas…Bo Kearns paints the transformation of heart and mind and spirit, an inspiring and sometimes terrifying rebirth…should be on the top of the list for any reader who cares about the planet or the people who inhabit it.”  ~ Daniel Coshnear, Willa Cather Award winner and author of Jobs & Other Preoccupations and Occupy and Other Love Stories.

The author will talk about his experiences living in Indonesia, interspersed with selected readings from the novel, accompanied by a slide show of Bali, followed by a Q&A, with book sales and signing. Admission is free, and all donations are always gratefully accepted. Indonesian treats will be offered by donation, beer/wine for sale.

Marley’s Ghost Thursday, November 14, 2019 7:30 PM

OCA welcomes Marley’s Ghost!

“If there is a group who can push forward the ageless Americana blueprint of The Band, it might just be Marley’s Ghost.” — Something Else!
Or as the L.A. Weekly aptly put it,  “This West Coast group deftly dashes across decades of American music to create a sound that’s steeped in tradition but never bogged down by traditionalism.” 
An eclectic aggregation composed of singer/multi-instrumentalists Dan Wheetman, Jon Wilcox, Mike Phelan, Ed Littlefield Jr., Jerry Fletcher, and Bob Nichols – the band can sing and play anything with spot-on feel, from roots to rock, blues to bluegrass, gospel to stone country, which is what they’ve been doing – to the ongoing delight of a fervent cult that includes many of their fellow musicians – for over 30 years as a working unit. Their trademark multi-part harmonies never cease to captivate, whether on record or in live performance.
“The vocals will blow you away with their purity. The group sings with the heartfelt conviction that only those who embody music’s spirituality can convey.” – Relix
“ . . . remarkable, distinctive voices . . . giddily eccentric eclecticism . . . a heady, subversive treat.” – No Depression
More than three decades from the initial spark, Marley’s Ghost is playing together with the same passion, purpose and chemistry that inspired them early on, continuing to explore and reinterpret. Their eclectic energy has resulted in a broad repertoire that has defied any ability to tag them to any one particular genre. Their dozen albums to date — like the output of The Band — survey a broad scope of Americana and acoustic music in general, refusing to confine them to any singular niche.
“The real draw is the band itself, showcasing the kind of ensemble performances that come only from a lifetime of playing together, thriving across the decades as virtuosic, unsung heroes of country, folk, and Western swing.” – Acoustic Guitar

Join us for this special West County appearance of a phenomenal group!

Tickets are $18 Advance/$23 at the door. OCA is wheelchair accessible.




Psychedelic Mysteries of the Feminine: A Book Launch, Discussion and Film*
presented by Botanical Dimensions Saturday, November 9, 2019 6:30 - 9:00 PM

Psychedelic Mysteries of the Feminine – A book launch, discussion & a film 
Sat. Nov. 9, 2019, from 6:30-9:00pm

Psychedelic Mysteries of the Feminine is a new anthology that braids provocative themes: The Feminine, mythology, activism, deep nature awareness and psychedelic perspectives. Readings will be by contributing authors Kathleen Harrison & Annie Oak, and editor Chiara Baldini. Followed by onstage conversation about these rich topics: What is the Feminine in these times? What has the psychedelic experience revealed to us about archetypes, activism, and grounded wisdom? How do we balance respect for the indigenous roots of these culture-changing agents, and European perspectives? How might the essays in this book be tools for renewal and resilience?


Special bonus: We will open the evening with a showing of ‘Almost Visible’, a short film that is the first glimpse of our documentary-in-progress — about a decades-long friendship between ethnobotanist Kathleen Harrison, her own family, and an extensive Mazatec family in Mexico. More info at this link: 

You won’t want to miss this special event! It is a book launch for this important new book, a private film showing, and a benefit for Botanical Dimensions. $20 to attend, discounted for new/renewing library members.

Details and registration at this link.


Remembering Chester Aaron Sunday, November 3rd 3 PM

 Our power is on and this event is happening as planned.

Please join us to celebrate the life of Occidental author, teacher and garlic aficionado Chester Aaron, in his own words.There will be selected readings and appearances by local authors Andrea Granahan, Robert Kourik, Steve Fowler, and others. Five of Chester’s most recent books will be distributed. There will be ample amounts of Chester’s tasty garlic dip, made according to his recipe. He famously cultivated over 60 different varies of the stinking rose, from 20 different countries. This is a free event.

Juanito Pascual Trio Friday, October 25, 2019 8 PM


OCA is pleased to welcome back one of the most acclaimed flamenco guitarists on the international music scene today: Juanito Pascual, now touring with his powerhouse trio featuring bassist Sascha Jacobsen and percussionist Guillermo Marin.

His sound is an organic blend of traditional and contemporary flamenco with influences such as Jimi Hendrix to Miles Davis and J.S. Bach. Recognized in both Spain and the U.S. as a unique and creative flamenco and jazz performer, Juanito brings together global audiences through his mesmerizing virtuosity, original composition style, and passion for collaboration. Now based in Los Angeles, Juanito is also an accomplished composer, arranger and producer who scored the 2016 Netflix biopic about the Pope (Call Me Francisco). Environmental steward-ship is another of his passions (‘Earth Train’ Panamanian rainforest project) as he uses music to inspire and educate. Juanito regularly hosts flamenco workshops around the world, and has produced a popular method book, “The Total Flamenco Guitarist” (Alfred Press).

Formed in 2011, Juanito Pascual Trio seamlessly merges flamenco with elements of jazz, world music and even rock and soul influences. Do not miss the mesmerizing virtuosity and warm and evocative playing of this ‘flamenco phenom’ (Boston Globe) Juanito Pascual with his compelling trio at OCA’s intimate and acoustically excellent venue! $20 Advance /$25 at the door.



Redwood Arts Council presents The American Chamber Players* Saturday, October 19, 2019 7:30 PM

Stephen Balderston, cellist
Miles Hoffman, violist
Joanna Maurer, violinist
Sara stern, flutist
Anna Stoytcheva, pianist

They have established standards of chamber music performance equal to any in the world, in the words of the Washington Post. And The New York Times said, They appealed to the heart and the head, offering a warm, seductively luxurious sound and an impressive precision and unity of purpose.

Among today’s most exciting and innovative chamber music ensembles, The American Chamber Players quintet was formed in 1985 by Miles Hoffman from a core group of artists of The Library of Congress Summer Chamber Festival.  The ensemble performs repertoire ranging from familiar masterpieces to neglected gems to newly commissioned American works. Its fascinating and delightful programs, with varied instrumental combinations, have been enthusiastically praised.

The American Chamber Players have toured throughout North America, engaged and re-engaged by prestigious concert series from Florida to British Columbia, and they have appeared in Paris for a series of special gala concerts at the Paris Opera and the Bibliothèque Nationale. They have also been heard many times on National Public Radio’s Performance Today and on local radio stations throughout the United States.  They are the resident ensemble of the June Chamber Festival at the Kreeger Museum, in Washington, DC.  The American Chamber Players have recorded music of Mozart, Bruch, Bloch, Stravinsky, Harbison, and Rochberg for a series of compact discs and cassettes distributed internationally on the Koch International Classics label.

Mozart: Quartet in D may for flute and strings
Max Raimi: Three Jewish Songs
Gaubert: Three Watercolors for flute, cello and piano
Beethoven: Variations on Là ci darem la mano
Guillaume Lekeu: Piano Quartet in B minor

Tickets are $30.

Artists website:

To hear the quintet:

Alan Reid and Rob van Sante: Scottish Folk! Friday, October 18, 2019 7:30 PM


Occidental Center for the Arts is pleased bring back to our venue the internationally renowned folk music duo of Alan Reid and Rob van Sante, presenting a mix of traditional and original Scottish folk songs on piano, guitars and accordion. On tour from Scotland, Alan Reid is a founding member of the legendary Battlefield Band who has recorded over thirty albums with the band, and has toured the world collaborating with musicians such as Van Morrison and Mike Oldfield. He was the first to use the keyboard in traditional folk/Celtic band performance, as well as playing guitar and acccordion. Reid’s warm vocals and traditional and original songs, with their beguiling melodies and strong historical content, blend seamlessly with Dutch-born guitarist Rob van Sante’s skillful guitar accompaniment. Van Sante contributes lead and harmony vocals as well as mandolin, bass, synthesizers and percussion. He was the sound engineer with the Battlefield Band and continues to be a noted producer, recording engineer and session musician based in Leeds, England.

     Enjoy a memorable evening of well-crafted, lyrical songs steeped in history, strong in storytelling and rich in melody in the Scottish tradition with Alan Reid and Rob van Sante! $20Adv/$25 at the door. Cabaret and concert seating. Fine refreshments for sale. OCA is accessible to people with disabilities.; 707-874-9392.



Book Launch: Helen’s Crusade by Trula LaCalle Sunday, October 13th 3 - 5 PM

Eat Pray Love meets Wild meets Out of Africa, Helen’s Crusade is a courageous story of an ambitious woman seeking and finding her true self.’ (Jane Doughty)

Stuck in a deteriorating marriage with an ineffectual and apathetic husband, Helen tries with wavering success to fulfill her father’s last wish: to re-develop the wild chinchilla population. A radical animal rights group, an internal mole, and a mysterious, handsome, and worldly European all distract Helen and threaten to derail her plans. Yet, beneath her father’s last hope, Helen’s own dreams and desires re-awaken and emerge. Will Helen fulfill her father’s wishes? Can her marriage withstand external temptations and sexual desire? Can Helen follow her own heart by bravely putting herself first?

Local author and former OCA Gallery committee member, Trula M. LaCalle, will present her debut fiction novel and the seeds from which it evolved. A Q&A will follow with book sales and signing. Admission is free, all donations gratefully accepted. Refreshments by donation, wine and beer for sale.

Trula Michaels LaCalle published her first freelance article when she was a young mother and a newly licensed psychologist. Writing freelance articles lead to her first book at the age of 36, Voices, a true story about her experiences with a client with multiple personality disorder. Following Voices, she continued writing articles until recently. Now retired from professional responsibilities, she set out to write a novel.

Her newly published fiction, Helen’s Crusade, draws from observations made during her careers as an educator, clinical psychologist, organizational development consultant, and nonprofit executive director. The novel is set in California locations where she has lived and South American countries she has visited. She incorporates Spanish, her second language in some of her characters’ dialogue.

About the author:

Trula has been a Sonoma County resident for 35 years. Until diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease nearly three years ago, she lived with her husband in Freestone. She now lives in Santa Rosa with better access to care. When she is not writing, she is creating and selling her abstract paintings ( She has two accomplished adult children and four wonderful grandchildren, all of whom she sees frequently.

Barbara Higbie & Cris Williamson Sunday, October 6, 2019 7 PM

Grammy-nominated multi-instrumentalist and singer, Barbara Higbie, and the iconic singer/songwriter Cris Williamson bring a mixture of new material and old favorites to one of their favorite cities, Occidental. Without a doubt, the very real friendship binding these two brings a powerful mixture guaranteed to delight, inspire, cheer and comfort.

Tickets are $28/Advance and $34 at the door.





First Friday Live: SambaNoma! Friday, October 4, 2019 7:30 PM

SambaNoma is an exciting ensemble of accomplished local jazz musicians that play an eclectic mix of Brazilian music, and original works. Featuring Ruth Ahlers – sax/flute, Christian Foley-Beining – acoustic guitar, Jim Passarell – bass, and Kendrick Freeman on drums. Expect jazzy tunes by Toninho Horta, Joao Bosco, Milton Nascimento, Hermeto Pascoal, Gerry Mulligan, Airto Moreira, Antonio Carlos Jobim, and more. Enjoy a Friday night out at our acoustic sweet spot, with cabaret seating and fine refreshments. $15 at the door.

SonoMusette! Saturday, September 28, 2019 8 PM

Occidental Center for the Arts is pleased to bring back to our stage the talented musicians of SonoMusette! Led by Parisian born singer Mimi Pirard, this exciting Sonoma County-based ensemble authentically recreates the moody, evocative sound of the Paris cafe scene of the mid 1900s, music made famous by Edith Piaf, Jacques Brel, Charles Trenet, Django Reinhardt and other iconic performers of the era.

This music has retained it’s power to enchant and transport audiences, and SonoMusette taps into that nostalgia with artistry in both vocals and instrumentation.

SonoMusette’s renditions of these timeless French classics provide a freshness and excitement that is contemporary, yet faithful to the spirit and tradition of the original versions. Few singers are capable of doing justice to Piaf and Brel, and even fewer can match Mimi Pirard’s mesmerizing interpretation and delivery. The band features: Mimi Pirard – vocals; Robert Lunceford – accordion; Jan Martinelli – piano & bass; Isaac Vandeveer – guitar & bass, and Richard Andrews – drums.

   SonoMusette will charm and transport you as they expertly recapture the moody and melancholic sound and spirit of mid twentieth-century Paris in OCA’s acoustic sweet spot with cabaret and concert seating. $20 Ad/$23 at the door.





Jim Kweskin & Meredith Axelrod Sunday, September 22, 2019 4 PM

We are pleased to welcome back Jug Band legend Jim Kweskin in duo with rising Americana star Meredith Axelrod for a Sunday afternoon performance at OCA’s acoustic sweet spot! Founder of the 1960s Jim Kweskin Jug band with musical cohorts Geoff and Maria Muldaur among others, Jim is well known as a singer and bandleader who also created one of the bedrock guitar styles of the folk revival, adapting the ragtime-blues fingerpicking of artists like Mississippi John Hurt to the more complex chords of pop and jazz. He has maintained a remarkably consistent musical vision since his jug band days, continuing to explore traditional folk and blues with the sophisticated sensibility of a jazz musician. He continues to tour solo as well as with many well known musicians, offering an endearing good humor that makes his shows a delight.

Chicago native and Bay Area transplant Meredith Axelrod, who last appeared as a soloist on our stage in 2018, is an authentic and engaging multi-instrumentalist and vocalist who delivers heartfelt renditions of ragtime, music hall, minstrel, pop standards, boogie woogie, jugtime, jazz, country, and old time blues from times gone by; bringing her own charm and humor with a large dose of devotion to these American cultural treasures. .

Don’t miss this delightful co-bill of talent representing Vintage Americana past and present! $25Advance/$30 at the door.











Book Launch: Living On The Fringe: A Memoir by Abraham Entin Sunday, September 15, 2019 3 - 5 PM

When Ed Entin decided to torch his draft card, everything about his life changed. He had his whole life mapped out. It was 1966 and Eddie had just been accepted into Yale Law School — his ticket out of the Army and Vietnam and into a life of secure prosperity. It only took one day, one decision to change the course of his life. What follows is a sometimes harrowing, often hilarious, and always illuminating ten-year journey through the social, political, and spiritual turmoil of the era.

For anyone wondering how it was back then — or how to get through right now— Living on the Fringe provides a look at how one person who waded into the turbulent waters of his time came out whole, dry, and ready to face the future. And with a new name to match the person he had become.

Join us on Sunday, September 15th from 3 – 5 PM for music and song, selected readings, Q&A, book sales and signing. Refreshments are available by donation, beer and wine for sale. Admission is free, but all donations happily accepted!

About the Author: After the events described in this memoir, Abraham and his wife Rachael Flug went on to create Diaperaps Ltd., a business that helped revitalize cloth diapering for the benefit of babies and the environment. He founded the Sonoma County affiliate of Move to Amend and has written extensively about corporate personhood, money and debt. He is very proud to have received a certificate of appreciation from Occupy Santa Rosa for his “tireless support of the Occupy Movement and his work to end corporate greed and corruption”.

At seventy-four, Abraham Entin is still out rousing the rabble.

Abraham is a singer, a songwriter and a storyteller, and dances at every opportunity. He is a long-time student of Rudolf Steiner’s social ideas and is particularly interested in how spiritual perspectives influence and help bring about positive social change.

Abraham’s website is where you can hear his music, read other work and find out how to bring him to your community for a performance.


Paul McCandless/Christian Foley-Beining Collaboration Sunday, September 8, 2019 4 PM

Pre-sales have ended; tickets will be available at the door.

Enjoy a Sunday afternoon jazz concert! OCA is pleased to bring back to our stage the Paul McCandless/Christian Foley-Beining Collaboration. This stellar quartet of Sonoma County based musicians features Grammy winner Paul McCandless and renowned guitarist Christian Foley-Beining, joined by bass player extraordinaire Tom Shader with another local favorite, Tom Hayashi on drums. They will be playing original compositions by McCandless and Foley-Beining.


Paul McCandless is a gifted multi-instrumentalist (oboe, bass clarinet, saxophone, woodwinds) and composer whose soaring lyricism and grounding in both classical and jazz disciplines has been integral to the sound of the original Paul Winter Consort as well as the innovative quartet OREGON. His 1996 Grammy with Bela Fleck & The Flecktones was followed by two nominations in 2001 for a CD featuring OREGON and the Moscow Tchaikovsky Orchestra. .

Christian Foley-Beining is a German native who studied at Swiss Jazz School and Berklee School of Music as well as being on the faculty of Musician’s Institute in Hollywood for eight years. He has taught and played guitar with Joe Pass, Pat Metheny, Ted Greene, Larry Carlton and others and is now based in Sonoma County.

Enjoy this exciting collaboration of gifted jazz musicians at OCA’s acoustic sweet spot with cabaret seating and fine refreshments for sale.

$18 Adv/$22 at the door. Wheelchair Accessible. Art Gallery open for viewing.








2nd Annual Prasada Festival Saturday, July 27 - Sunday, July 28

OCA welcomes back Prasada Festival with expanded offerings this year!

This two-day ‘feast for the soul’ features a stellar lineup of musicians and performers of kirtan, traditional Indian dance and sacred ceremony. Prasada Festival is a production of Bhakti Arts Collective: committed to supporting devotional arts of India with a focus on honoring source tradition, inclusivity and cultural exchange. 

Scroll down or visit the prasada-festival website for more information and for tickets.

This event will sell out so get your tickets now! Please note: this event is not eligible for OCA member discounts.


Nagavalli – Mayapuris – Sheela Bringi – Jai Uttal – Prajna Vieira & the Mukti Kirtan Ensemble – Śekhar Boddupalli – David Estes & Ananda Rasa Kirtan – Acharya Mangalananda – Revital Carroll – Radica Giri – Ganga Sheth – Shambhavi Dandekar’s Kathak Dancers & more!


Zulu Spear Band –Nelson Mandela Birthday Tribute! Friday, July 19, 2019

Award-winning Zulu Spear Band’s vibrant South African music comes to our stage in celebration of Nelson Mandela’s Birthday! A pioneer of the 80’s World Beat scene (Capital Records hit ‘Welcome to the USA’), the group was created by South African musician /composer Sechaba Mokeoena and Soweto-born Gideon Bendile to play traditional South African rhythms and harmonies using modern electric instruments and dancers in costume. Singer/dancer Bendile, who worked with Hugh Masekela and Paul Simon and was featured in ‘The Lion King’, is still Zulu Spear’s leader along with original members Morgan-Nhlapo, Ron van Leeuwaarde, Jerome Leonard Sr., Jennifer Jolly, Scott Vento, Patrick Owens plus dancer/vocalists Piwa, Kemi, and Moekitse. The current San Francisco based band merges Mbaganga rhythms with pop, reggae, blues, jazz, world music genres and incorporates electric guitars, bass, keyboard and drums with vocal harmonies and mesmerizing dance in an exciting performance


Do NOT miss this inspiring and uplifting performance in honor of the great Nelson Mandela and the on going fight against oppression in all of our lands! Dance space, fine refreshments including wine and beer, wheelchair accessible.

Moonalice! Friday, May 24, 2019

Photo © Bob Minkin Photography

OCA is pleased to present an evening with Moonalice!

Moonalice is a band of seasoned musicians who feel that live music should be a communal experience where the listener and musicians feed and derive inspiration from each other. Their songs try to speak to everyone, mixing a variety of genres with extended musical improvisations that evoke a sense of adventure and exploration. They invented Twittercast concerts, which are free broadcasts to fans over social networks. Their single, “It’s 4:20 Somewhere” has been downloaded more than 5 million times. They broadcast every show live via satellite in HD, so that fans can enjoy them on their iPhone, iPad or Android without an app.



Moonalice is:
* John Molo: Drums, Vocals. (Bruce Hornsby & The Range, John Fogerty, Phil Lesh & Friends, The Other Ones, David Nelson Band).

* Barry Sless: Lead Guitar, Pedal Steel Guitar, Bass. (Phil Lesh & Friends, David Nelson Band, Kingfish, Cowboy Jazz).

* Roger McNamee: Rhythm Guitar, Vocals, Bass. (Guff, The Engineers, Random Axes, Flying Other Brothers) 
Special guest bassist Hutch Hutchinson will be joining the group at this performance!
* Big Steve Parish: Road Scholar/Medicine Man/Storyteller. (Grateful Dead crew for 26 years, co-founder of Jerry Garcia Band).

T Sisters: Sassy Sister Folk! Sunday, April 29, 2019


OCA is pleased to welcome back the Oakland-based singer-songwriter siblings Erika, Rachael and Chloe Tietjen, known as the T Sisters! With their soaring sibling harmonies, sassy stage presence, and inventive songwriting, these three rising stars embody a fresh and soulful take on folk/Americana music, with moments of breathtaking a cappella to swells of energetic indie Americana. The sisters’ contemporary yet classic sound invites a range of likenesses, from the Andrews Sisters and the Pointer Sisters to modern family bands like the Avett Brothers and First Aid Kit.

With the release of their 2014 debut album Kindred Lines (produced by Laurie Lewis), followed by their T Sisters album in 2016, the sisters have been in demand, with performances on ‘Prairie Home Companion’ and major folk/Americana festival circuits. They have collaborated with and supported acts such as Amos Lee, The Wood Brothers, Todd Rundgren, The California Honeydrops and more. Enjoy their lively originals and covers of folk, Americana, gospel, soul, R & B, and country at OCA’s acoustic sweet spot. Reservations advised! $19 Advance/$24 at the door.

Laurie Lewis & The Right Hands Friday, March 8, 2019 7 - 9 PM

We are pleased to welcome back Laurie Lewis & The Right Hands! Grammy Award-winner Laurie Lewis is internationally renowned as one of the finest, most diversely talented acoustic folk artists in traditional Americana and bluegrass music today. A tremendously gifted songwriter with an exquisite voice who is also a whiz on the fiddle and acoustic bass, Laurie has recorded nearly 20 acclaimed albums in a number of musical formats. She was a founding member of the Good Ol’ Persons and the Grant Street Band and has performed and recorded since 1986 with her musical partner, mandolinist Tom Rozum.

Her latest album, The Hazel and Alice Sessions with her band The Right Hands was nominated for the ‘Best Bluegrass Recording’ Grammy in 2017. Laurie has been twice awarded Female Vocalist of the Year by The International Bluegrass Music Association. She has paved the way for many young women artists even while her music continues to transcend the formal limitations of the genre, and has produced albums by young Bay Area musicians such as Melody Walker and the T Sisters. She is also a committed music educator, teaching at prestigious camps, festivals and workshops around the U.S. and Canada. Consummate singer, songwriter, fiddler, bandleader, producer and educator…as Utah Phillips says:

“Laurie Lewis’ songs combine passion and sheer craft in a way you don’t hear often.    Whatever country music is supposed to be, she’s at the center of it.”

The Right Hands features Tom Rozum on mandolin, fiddle and guitar and harmony vocals. Patrick Sauber, Brandon Godman, and Haselden Ciaccio round out this accomplished and talented ensemble. It doesn’t get much better than Laurie Lewis & The Right Hands at OCA’s intimate acoustic sweet spot.


OCA Members Art Exhibition July 18 through September 26, 2020 Open Saturdays 12-4

Our gallery is open Saturdays from Noon to 4 PM

Our gallery falls into the category of small retail, and will only be open on Saturdays from Noon to 4 PM, with masks required for entry. We’ll be limiting visitors to groups that arrive together, with only one group inside the gallery at a time. When you visit, you may be asked to wait a short while outside.

We realize that the COVID19 pandemic prohibits many people from visiting our gallery in person. You can see our current exhibit on our YouTube Channel.


Saturday July 18th through Saturday September 26th, 2020

Our gallery is open with limited hours and adhering to appropriate safety precautions (limited visitors inside, masks required, etc.), re-opening on Saturday July 18th. We are planning to have the gallery open to the public on Saturdays only, from 12 Noon to 4 PM, for now. Unfortunately, we cannot have an opening reception at this time.

This show includes artists:

Beth Anderson
Ken Bellucci
Joel Bennett
Gretchen Butler
Sharon Cahn
Daniel Celidore
Chris Cheek
Marylu Downing
Pat Engel
Patrick Fanning
Saroj Heron
Ann Hines
John James
Nancy Kees Dunn
Judith Kinsey
Karin Lease
Alexandra Mariposa
Diane Masura
Su McMurtry
Jessica Morell
River & Kay Mortenson
Emilie Munsch
Christine Paschal
Lesley Pickford
Andy Rangel
Johanna Regan
Oak Reinier
Annie Murphy Springer
Susan St. Thomas
Carol Swanson
J. Joel B. ValBrown
Ken Van Cleave

Virtual Book Launch: Donna Emerson’s Beside The Well with musical interludes by Jared Emerson-Johnson Sunday, September 13th 4 - 5 PM

Join our first Virtual Book Launch via Zoom!

Donna’s poetry collection takes us from the wells, woods, meadows, horses, family and strangers of her family homestead in the New York Finger Lakes, to the music, ocean and earth in her current California. In plainspoken diction, narrative and lyric styles, the poet records memorable, time-stopping moments of intimacy.

This live event features selected readings, musical interludes and audience Q&A. Books will be available for purchase.


This event will take place online via Zoom. There is no charge to attend but you must register to receive the Zoom link.

Registration has closed. If you would still like to participate, please email

To purchase the book please use this link. We will email you to confirm whether you would like the book signed by the author and/or any custom inscription. Books will be shipped within 7 days by USPS.

About the author: Recently retired from teaching at Santa Rosa Jr. College, and private practice as a clinical social worker, Donna Emerson’s award-winning poetry can be seen most recently in the Denver Quarterly, the MacGuffin, Verdad, and anthologies such as Fire and Rain: Ecopoetry of California. Her publications also include four chapbooks, and two full-length poetry collections, The Place of Our Meeting and Beside the Well. Her recent awards include nominations for a California Book Award, two Pushcarts and Best of the Net nominations, and two Allen Ginsberg awards.


Jared Emerson-Johnson
is an award winning composer, sound designer, and voice director. Since the early 2000s, Jared has also worked as a music instructor in Cinnabar Theater’s education department—coaching chamber music and conducting various operettas and musicals. Since 2017 Jared has performed as front man with the Rivertown Skifflers, a lively jug band well known to Sonoma and Marin County listeners.



Donna and Jared are both featured in the recent OCA Virtual Variety Show “Keeping the Arts in our Hearts” available on our YouTube Channel.

Find our events on


Virtual Book Launch: A Road Less Paved by Mary Gaffney Friday, September 25th 7-8 PM

Local writer and longtime OCA volunteer, Mary Gaffney, takes us on an extraordinary journey from her home in Occidental all the way to Tierra del Fuego, the southern-most tip of South America. Recounting their epic road trips as she traveled with her husband , children and friends, Mary remembers the places and people with great depth and humor.

Join us on Zoom for this Virtual Book Launch featuring selected readings and author Q&A. There is no charge to attend but you must register. Click here to register for the event.

To purchase a copy of Mary’s book for $15, click this link.

Mary Gaffney has lived on the sunny side of the Redwoods of Occidental, CA for over 40 years. She is still there writing when she”s not traveling.  Her previous work can be found in two anthologies, Cartwheels on the Faultline and Saltwater Sweetwater. Mary has been a volunteer with OCA since its inception.


Sonoma County’s Got Talent! Virtual Variety Show Replay Available on YouTube

OCA proudly presents our third “Virtual Variety Show” featuring Sonoma County musicians, performers and artists!

Enjoy this free broadcast on YouTube with many OCA favorites, a virtual art exhibition of our members’ artwork, music, theater and more!

Click this link to watch the show.

Mark your calendar and enjoy this show from the comfort and safety of your own home. We’re lucky to have a community so rich with talent and generosity! Many thanks to all of the performers who are contributing their talents to this show!

Subscribe to our YouTube Channel or check out our earlier shows! You don’t have to subscribe but it helps us reach more viewers and allows you to “like” our shows!


Arts in our Hearts : A Virtual Variety Show Replay available on YouTube

Our first-ever Virtual Variety Show was a great success and we are blown away to see that in the first 24 hours our video has had nearly 1,000 views! Thank you to all who tuned in to watch and enjoy this great lineup of musicians and artists. We are very appreciative of the 60+ people who participated in the creation of the video.

We’ve also raised $4k of our $10k goal – and we are very grateful to everyone who donated!! What a generous community we have!

In case you missed it, you can watch the replay of the show at this link.

The feedback we’ve received about the show has been so overwhelmingly positive that we are already cooking up round two – stay tuned for more info to be posted soon! In the meantime, please visit the sites of our awesome performers listed below.

Claude Bourbon

Peppino D’Agostino

Emily Lois

Barbara Borden

Meredith Axelrod & Craig Ventresco

Stella Heath & Ian Scherer

Sarah Baker

Mariah Parker

Benjamin Mertz

Danny & Essence

Kevin Russell & Candy Girard

Occidental Community Choir

The Black Brothers Band

Dirty Cello

Laurie Lewis

Teresa Tudury

David Rosen

Patrick & Nancy

Naomi Newman