Gallery Exhibit: Artistic Exposure Reception Sat. Feb 1st 3-5 PM
Exhibit runs Fri. Jan 31 - 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 reception with the artists will be held on Saturday, February 1st from 3-5 PM.

Instant Gratification Singing Circle Sundays 1:30 - 3:00 PM Begins 2/2/20

Instant Gratification Singing Circle  is a drop-in singing group held on Sunday afternoons,  led by Sarah Saulsbury Dupre. Sarah describes this offering in her own words: “Anyone can drop in and we’ll just sing wonderful songs for an hour or so, with a little tea time to follow. Some of it will be call-and-response, some rounds, some folk tunes, and then a whole lot of standard favorites—the kind of songs you might sing for pleasure in the shower or in your car. This will not be a choir, or a class, meaning that there will be the bare minimum amount of talking and almost no pedagogy or explaining stuff (although I’ll teach simple harmonies here and there). No homework, either! This group will have more of an around-the-campfire vibe, with an emphasis on just diving into songs across many genres, making music for simple joy and as a way to tune up our bodies and souls with the salubrious effects of singing.”

Song books will be provided, and Gordon Stubbe will be joining us most weeks as our multi-instrumental accompanist.

When: Sundays, from 1:30-3:00, beginning 2/2/20 (Groundhog Day) ***

Where: Occidental Center for the Arts Classroom, 3820 Doris Murphy Court

Who: Open to anyone and everyone, on a drop-in basis

Cost: $15 per person drop-in rate, or $100 for a three-month pass (Feb-April=13 weeks)

Signing up in advance is not required, but if you care to let me know at this stage whether or not you might be interested in dropping in at some point, that would be helpful. If you want to spread the word to your friends who don’t already have early afternoon commitments on Sundays, that would also be appreciated.

Got questions or want to RSVP? Email Sarah directly,

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.


Watercolor Class Six Thursdays beginning February 6, 2020 9 AM - Noon

This class is now full. To be added to the waiting list, email


Patrick Fanning continues his popular weekly watercolor class at OCA!

This series begins on Thursday, February 6th for six consecutive weeks. $100 for all six classes, payable at first class. Drop-in $25 per class. All tuition benefits OCA.

All levels of watercolor experience are welcome. We will work from sketches and photographs, learning how to build up a watercolor in three transparent layers. Stress will be put on a strong value composition, limited color scheme, step-by-step painting plan, and fairly quick, bold execution. To see samples of Patrick’s work, go to

Each class includes a brief lecture, a one hour full sheet painting demonstration, and about two hours of time to work on your own painting, with individual coaching.

Materials: chairs and flat tables are provided to work on. Patrick uses tube colors on rough Arches paper. A full materials list will be circulated prior to the first class.

To reserve a space, email Patrick at, or phone him at (707) 478-5538.

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.



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





Billie Holiday Project Saturday, February 15th 8 PM

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.

Call to artists – “She Persisted” Art Exhibition Submit Entries on Tues, Feb. 18th - Exhibit runs Feb. 21 to March 29

OCA is pleased to present “She Persisted” – a juried exhibition of artwork created by Sonoma County artists.

Celebrate Women’s History from the beginning of time through the present. This show is being organized in recognition of the 100th year anniversary of Women’s Right to Vote in the US. Please submit works that illustrate, demonstrate and embody the spirit of women throughout time. We invite you to creatively express the many and various goals, both humble and grand, that women have achieved through their vision and persistence.


Email questions to

Artists may submit up to three pieces for this show. Entry fee is $20 for first piece, $10 for each additional piece. Please email with any questions.

Standard entry guidelines apply. Click here to download the guidelines.
Entry contracts will be available online by Feb. 1st.


If you have any additional questions please email




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.

“Johnny and June Forever” has been thrilling crowds with recent sold-out performances at the Sweetwater, Mystic Theater and Rancho Nicasio. They will grace our stage just following their East Coast tour as we celebrate Johnny Cash’s birthday that same week! Click here for a video preview.

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.



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


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.

Sarah Baker and Friends Saturday, March 14th 8 PM

Sarah Baker

We are pleased to welcome back long time Sonoma County favorite singer, songwriter, composer, educator, and pianist Sarah Baker, in a very special celebration of Women’s History Month at Occidental Center for the Arts!

Working from her southern influences rooted in Memphis blues, Muscle Shoals soul, and Nashville country and gospel, Sarah Baker is a different kind of Americana artist who uses her roots and her gritty, soulful vocals to forge a unique blend of soul/blues music with a rock edge. She is also an active music educator and collaborator whose dedication and deep concern for her community is well appreciated.

Having just released a new album of original songs, Bakers Dozen, Sarah keeps with her tradition of a stellar band to complement her powerful voice and signature keyboard style. The band features world class musicians who have played and recorded with her through several years, including Mona Gnader, bassist (Sammy Hagar), Kendrick Freeman (drums), guitarist Matt Blackett, and some very special guests.

You wont want to miss this powerful collaboration of musical talents on our stage in honor of Women’s History Month! $20 Advance/$25 at door. Fine refreshments. Wheelchair accessible. Get your tickets early!