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A Stocking Full of Sonoma County Music – December Music

Peppino D’Agostino

The end of the year is always a special time in the North Bay, despite the sun filling in for the snow.

Whether you’re entertaining visitors from out of town or just enjoying your own Sonoma County “staycation,” there’s no shortage of incredible concerts to attend. From crooners to classic rock icons and indie rock superstars, the talent this month is definitely gift-worthy.

Check out our top picks and get started on your holiday partying.

Thursday, Dec. 4

Chrissie Hynde
Person Theater, Wells Fargo Center for the Arts
Santa Rosa

It’s hard to separate Chrissie Hynde from the Pretenders, the band she founded in 1978 and of which she’s been the only consistent member. But the veteran singer-guitarist chose her own moniker for her latest album Stockholm, a mostly mid-tempo collection that features a new band and guest guitar from music legend Neil Young … and non-music legend John McEnroe.

Her full, smooth voice is amazing intact on the solo debut, while her lyrics sound like her most personal in ages. Don’t miss Hynde’s Santa Rosa appearance to see a different side of the most of rock’s most beloved frontwomen.

Friday, Dec. 5

Audra McDonald
Weill Hall at Sonoma State University’s Green Music Center
Rohnert Park

If you can’t make it to Broadway in New York this holiday season, you can have the next best thing at Sonoma State — one of its biggest stars.

Audra McDonald is one of the stage’s most renowned talents, with a record-tying five Tony Awards under her belt, as well as two Grammy Awards. The singer-actress is joined by band members on piano, bass and drums to perform standards, including her many past productions such as Ragtime, A Raisin in the Sun,and Porgy and Bess. Your entire family will love this show.

For more info, click here.

Sunday, Dec. 7

Peppino D’Agostino
Occidental Center for the Arts
Occidental

It’s truly astounding that Peppino D’Agostino taught himself to play guitar. The Italian master of the steel string guitar has taught internationally and is featured in the United Guitar Ensemble, for being one of the elite classical guitar players in all the world. D’Agostino brings his signature blend of folk, Irish, Italian, Brazilian, flamenco and jazz styles — a mix he calls “minestrone music” — to Occidental. Couldn’t you use some more guitar in your life?

For more info, click here.

Friday, Dec. 12

Jenny Lewis
Phoenix Theater
Petaluma

Rilo Kiley frontwoman and indie rock icon Jenny Lewis is one of the best under-the-radar talents working today.

Don’t believe us? Ask Elvis Costello or Ryan Adams, who she’s worked with, or the Postal Service, whose sole album’s acclaim was surely aided by her angelic vocals. Santa Rosa’s own Odessa opens the show.

Since her two excellent solo albums — Rabbit Fur Coat and Acid Tongue — Lewis has formed a duo with real-life beau Johnathan Rice and begun composing music for films such as this year’s Very Good Girls. Don’t miss this amazing songwriter in her prime perform at one of the North Bay’s most beloved venues.

For more info, click here.

Saturday, Dec. 13

Na Leo
Weill Hall at Sonoma State University’s Green Music Center
Rohnert Park

It may not get cold-cold in Sonoma County, but December is bound to a tad nippy. Folks yearning for the warm water and pristine views of Hawaii should check out Na Leo at the Green Music Center.

Na Leo means “the voices blending together in warmth,” which is an apt description of the female trio of singing childhood friends. Witness them work through a repertoire of modern-day hits and holiday classics and see for yourself why the group is one of the most popular to ever come out of Hawaii.

For more info, click here.

Sunday, Dec. 21

Blind Boys of Alabama Christmas show
Person Theater, Wells Fargo Center for the Arts
Santa Rosa

In a career that spans 70 years, the Blind Boys of Alabama have received so many worthwhile accolades, from Grammy Awards to invitations to perform at the White House. What’s incredible is that their career peak started so late in their careers. These living legends of gospel music will grace the Wells Fargo Center the week of Christmas to perform holiday classics and other gems. Don’t miss this rare instance of perfect timing.

Monday, Dec. 22

Dave Koz & Friends Christmas Tour
Weill Hall at Sonoma State University’s Green Music Center
Rohnert Park

Saxophonist Dave Koz is ubiquitous, having played with everyone from Ray Charles to U2 and Rod Stewart. The tour hits the North Bay a few days before Christmas to deliver a rare treat full of festive energy. Soft-rock legend Christopher Cross joins on vocals, in addition to Maysa. Jonathan Butler joins on vocals and guitar as well. VIP packages include a meet & greet and an autographed laminate. If you’re a fan of Christmas spectacles that get you up and moving, this is a can’t-miss event.

For more info, click here.

Wednesday, December 31

Roach Gigz, Kool John
Phoenix Theater
Petaluma

The legendary all-ages venue has been the Sonoma County headquarters for hip-hop for many years, and this New Year’s Eve brings a special way to end the year. San Francisco hyphy master Roach Gigz performs and is joined by Kool John of Richmond’s The Heartbreak Gang collective. More special guests ware to be announced. Don’t miss what is shaping up to be the hottest hip-hop party of the winter.

For more info, click here.

Find more info about things to do in Sonoma County here.

Written by David Sason

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