Our next show features traditional classical performances, a bit of drama, and contemporary classics from the 20th Century!
Join us for an entertaining journey through time in this fun and diverse show.
Our next show features traditional classical performances, a bit of drama, and contemporary classics from the 20th Century!
Join us for an entertaining journey through time in this fun and diverse show.
Into the Dark Heart of Sonoma Noir with recently published “Dark Past Dark Future”.
Writer Jonah Raskin, author of a series of detective novels that take readers on wild rides into a clandestine world rarely glimpsed, will share selected readings and join in conversation with David Madgalene. Audience questions can be submitted via live chat or by email to email@example.com during the live event.
David Madgalene is co-editor of the anthology Sons of Noir: Murder and Mayhem which launched at OCA with co-editor Ed Coletti. He also produced “Spirit Poetry Song Action: the David Randolph New Way Media Festival” and “Call Down the Angel: A Tribute to African American Gospel”, both events were held at OCA.
Join us for an online event featuring Elizabeth Herron! Register here.
Like deep breaths drawn effortlessly in, the poems and images of Insistent Grace are satisfying to the core. Filled with the aromas of salt fog, summer grass, redwood creeks, eucalyptus, and bay, they weave together the human and the more-than-human worlds.
‘In the time of global pandemic and climate crisis, Elizabeth Herron evokes Mother Nature’s insistent grace – a power that compels respect and can help us heal ourselves and our planet – if we are resolute.’ ~Awiakta, poet and author of Selu, the Wisdom of the Corn Mother.
‘…It’s a stunning intersection—buzzing with things I’d almost forgotten and others that were realized only on reading Elizabeth Herron’s words…..“We are always reinventing the world,” she writes. The ripples from these poems carry that power—and reinvent the reader as well.’
~Arthur Dawson, poet, writer, editor and historical ecologist, author of Where the World Begins: Sonoma Mountain Stories and Images.
Elizabeth Herron is the author of four poetry chapbooks and a previous collection of poems, Desire Being Full of Distance, as well as a collection of short fiction. Her poems and articles have appeared in Parabola, Orion, Center for Humans and Nature, Reflections, Free State and Columbia Review. Grants and awards sustaining her work have come from the Foundation for Deep Ecology, The Mesa Refuge for Writers, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Known for her collaborative performances with musicians and movement artists, her book-length poem, The Poet’s House, was written to accompany Bruce Johnson’s Poetry House sculpture. She writes articles centered on art and ecology, imagination and empathy, and the importance of nature in our physical and spiritual well-being. She has been focused on climate since 2003 when the Society for Conservation Biology announced global warming as the greatest threat to all species.
Enjoy a variety of performers on our “virtual” stage for this amazing show featuring songs written by women. Save the date!
Elliott Peck • Jenny Kerr • Essence • Lara Louise • Emily Lois • Ariel Marin • Mariah Parker • Kate Vargas • Rainbow Girls • Solid Air • Nina Gerber & Chris Webster • Tumbleweed Soul • Nagavalli • Lucy Kaplansky • The Musers
Check back for updates!
Redwood Road by Patrick Fanning
Join Patrick Fanning and other artists for a weekly watercolor class!
This group has been meeting “virtually” by Zoom since March, 2020. Lessons/assignments are sent out weekly by Patrick in a PDF file, then the group gathers on Zoom Fridays at 10 AM to discuss the assignment, share their work with each other, review techniques and more! This is a supportive, easy-going group that includes artists with a range of experience….from beginners to professionals. Anyone can join!
A tuition fee of $25/class or $100 for six classes is requested, all donations gratefully accepted. For more information or to join the group please email Patrick Fanning.
This live event occurred on January 17, 2021. You can watch the recording on our YouTube Channel.
Charmian Kittredge London (1871–1955) was the epitome of a modern woman. Free-spirited and adventurous, she defied modern expectations of femininity. Today she is best known as the wife of the famous American author Jack London, yet she was a literary trailblazer in her own right. This biography is the first book to tell the complete story of Charmian’s life—freed from the shadow cast by her famous husband.
“Despite her flaws, or perhaps because of them, Charmian is indeed the kind of woman whom one would love to have known. After reading this comprehensive, carefully researched biography, many Jack London fans will probably feel that they do indeed know Charmian.”—Jack London Society
Iris Jamahl Dunkle is the author four poetry collections, including the forthcoming West : Fire : Archive. She teaches at Napa Valley College and was the 2017–2018 Poet Laureate of Sonoma County, California.
Live from the OCA Stage! Enjoy original tunes written and performed by Oak Reinier, joined by bandmates Darcy Reinier, Lark Coryell and Willie Perez.
To support social distancing efforts as a means of containment for COVID-19, in-person yoga classes are suspended indefinitely. Gail is currently offering Yoga classes via ZOOM – 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Readers Theater returns! Join us beginning Tuesday November 10th in the auditorium – limited participants, masks and physical distancing will be in place. Join our email list to stay updated!
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 email@example.com
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 firstname.lastname@example.org, and/or hard copy to:
Occidental Center for the Arts
Attention: Book Launch Committee
3850 Doris Murphy Way
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.
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 group meets in the auditorium at 3850 Doris Murphy Court. We maintain a limited number of participants due to social distancing requirements, masks required at all times. To inquire about participating or modeling contact Andy Rangel, group organizer. Payment accepted at the door, cash or check only. No minimum requirement of classes
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.. www.compassrosemusic.com.
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.
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. www.black-brothers.com
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.
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 www.barbaralbaer.com
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.
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.
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. www.billieholidayproject.com
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. www.occidentalcenterforthearts.org.
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.
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.
“[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.” hifi.nl
Tickets to this event are $15 advance, $20 at the door.
Fine refreshments including beer and wine available.
OCA is wheelchair accessible.
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.
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”)
Tickets are $30, students $10 with ID, children free with paying adult. **This event is not eligible for OCA member benefits.
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.
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.
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. www.patrickball.com
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.
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 Review, Napa 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.
OCA welcomes Marley’s Ghost!
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 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: https://almostvisiblefilm.com
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.Learn more at botanicaldimensions.org
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.
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.
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.
To hear the quintet:
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. www.reidvansante.com
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. www.occidentalcenterforthearts.org; 707-874-9392.
‘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 (www.TrulaLaCalle.com). She has two accomplished adult children and four wonderful grandchildren, all of whom she sees frequently.
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.
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.
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. www.sonomusette.com
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.
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. Jimkweskin.com.
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. meredithaxelrod.com .
Don’t miss this delightful co-bill of talent representing Vintage Americana past and present! $25Advance/$30 at the door.
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 www.abrahamentin.com. where you can hear his music, read other work and find out how to bring him to your community for a performance.
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. www.paulmccandless.com .
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. www.thechristianfoley-beininggroup.com
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.
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!
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 www.zuluspearband.com
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 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.
* 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).
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.
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. www.laurielewis.com
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.
Join us for a special Valentine’s concert, streaming live from the OCA stage with the incredible band Dirty Cello!
This event will be streamed live to Youtube and Facebook. Tune in for a fun performance by these dynamic musicians, full of love! Watch on facebook here. This is a free event (donations gratefully accepted!) See the show on YouTube.
Sonoma County Songwriters Series presents Teresa Clark and Bill Chetel, live from their living room!
Teresa Clark, a 36 year Sonoma County resident, has been playing guitar well over 50 years and is a long time student of Nina Gerber. Songwriting is a new journey. Under the guidance of Renee Harcourt the adventure began in 2018. The past 10 years Teresa’s living room has been a gathering spot for community and connection through music.
From a musical family, Bill Chetel played more sports than music until his 40s, when he flip-flopped those interests. After years working backstage, he now finds himself on the stage, playing bass and guitar. Creating original music with friends is the musical path he finds most fulfilling.
For this project Teresa and Bill will bring you a sample of the fun they have at home in the living room. From this living room, thank you for inviting us into yours!
On Sunday, November 15th at 4 pm, you are warmly invited to a Zoom Book Party for The Outlook for Earthlings with our friend, Joan Frank, well-known local author and essayist and in conversation with Patrick Fanning, President of OCA’s Board of Directors. Watch a recording of the event on YouTube with this link!
The Outlook for Earthlings tracks the trajectory of a problematic friendship over a lifetime between two women of opposite natures. Their friendship suggests to each a final frontier, a saving sanctuary. Yet at its core each woman takes a secret, moral offense at the other’s inmost nature-and her choices. Against the deadline of the illness which is slowly destroying one of them, a reckoning must occur.
Earthlings considers the limits of friendship-and of witnessing. It asks how we may finally measure a life-and who should do the measuring.
Joan is the author of ten books of literary fiction and nonfiction. WHERE YOU’RE ALL GOING: FOUR NOVELLAS won the 2018 Mary McCarthy Prize for Short Fiction. TRY TO GET LOST: ESSAYS ON TRAVEL AND PLACE, published the same month, won the 2018 River Teeth Literary Nonfiction Prize. A MacDowell, VCCA, and Vermont Studio Center Fellow, Joan’s work has received many honors and awards, including the Juniper Prize for the Novel and two ForeWord Reviews Book of the Year Awards. Joan also reviews literary fiction and nonfiction for the Washington Post . She lives in Santa Rosa.
‘Earthlings offers the gift of Joan Frank’s gorgeous, limpid prose exploring vast and nuanced constellations of human love. Frank’s characters gracefully reveal how choices are made, accrue to shape and define our lives-yet how forgiveness may also allow us to transcend those very limitations.’
~Elizabeth Rosner, author of Survivor’s Cafe
Joan will share from selected readings, followed by an informal conversation with Patrick Fanning.
Pat’s first career was in publishing. In 1979 he co-founded New Harbinger Publications. His previous novels are Infidels Abroad, Rejuvenation, and Geoffrey Doover. His second career is in art. He was one of the founders of the Graton Gallery, paints mostly in watercolor, and has taught watercolor classes in the states and occasionally abroad in Costa Rica or Italy. He often travels with his sketchbook, which resulted in a recent book, “Travel Sketching.” He is the President of OCA’s Board of Directors and has been most recently involved in the construction of the new lobby for the OCA auditorium.
NOTA BENE: Due to fire season, this event may be re-scheduled. Please check our website as the date approaches.