Sonoma celebrates the life of Michael Hinton

“I don't want a bunch of people standing around crying over me. I want a party, people talking and playing music and being glad they knew me!”

Those were the words local musician Michael Hinton used when asked what to do if something didn’t go well with his fight against bladder cancer. Unfortunately, things did not go well, and Hinton passed on Aug. 1, 2013, but in respect for his wishes, a party will be held on Saturday, Oct. 26, at the Sonoma Valley Veterans Memorial Building, kicking off at 1 p.m. The list of musicians Hinton played with in his life is far too long to list here, but includes names like Jerry Garcia, Pete Sears, Norton Buffalo, Country Joe, Paul Butterfield and many more. Hinton was raised in Sonoma and legend has it his first band, Blue Smoke, went off to the battle of the bands in Santa Rosa and as a bunch of teenagers, won the event over bands with members that were 15 years their age. Local harmonica legend Dave Chavoya said of Hinton, “Once we heard him play, we knew he wasn’t going to be around here long.”

And that was true, even though Hinton stuck around the Bay Area with most of his acts, he also traveled the world with them. Saturday’s show will feature a combination of musicians, many from his past acts and some from the acts he was currently with at the time of his untimely death. The day kicks off with Keystone Revisited at 1 p.m. that features Tony Saunders, Bill Vitt, Mitch Stein, Stu Allen and guests Tommy Thomsen and Mike Emerson. The Mike Hinton Band will be up next, with members to be announced at showtime, followed by the Barry Melton Band with Barry Melton, Peter Albin, Banana, Roy Blumenfeld, Brad Jenkins and guests Dave Aguilar, David LaFlamme, Linda LaFlamme, Oscar Mooneyhan and Chris Owen. The event is free and open to the public, but there will be plenty of opportunities to donate to a fund to support his children.

Sonoma local Eva Sapper will be performing along with other “Everybody is a Star” performers at the Sunday Blues Brunch to benefit Bread and Roses at the Hard Rock Cafe at Pier 39 in San Francisco on Sunday, Oct. 27, at 11 a.m. Also on the bill is Mark Hummel, Nick Gravenites and Ron Thompson. Everybody is a Star provides special needs youth with a greater sense of self-esteem, confidence and success by creating opportunities to learn from and work with professionals in the music, film and live production industries to create recordings, videos and performances in which they are heard and seen as the true stars they are. Tickets and more info can be found at everybodystar.org.

The El Verano Inn plans another epic punk rock show on Saturday, Oct. 26, that is also a Halloween party. The evening features six acts, kicking off with Twat, followed by Bobby Hollywood and the Quitters, the Randumbs, Workin’ Stiffs, Pressure Point and finally the Roadside Bombs. There is a small cover at the door for the show that kicks off at 8 p.m.

The Jewish winemakers celebration takes place on Sunday, Oct. 27, at the Sonoma Valley Veterans Memorial Building with performances by Stephanie Ozer and the band Shameless. There will be wine poured by a number of Sonoma Valley wineries and there will be popular Jewish foods as well. Tickets can be purchased at the door on online at shir-shalom.org.

The Sonoma Valley Jazz Society has its annual member party on Saturday, Oct. 26, at Vintage House senior center, but you don’t have to be a member to attend, it just might cost a little more. The evening will feature Kathy Kosins, along with Akira Tana on drums, John Whiitala on bass and Keith Saunders on piano. The evening kicks off at 6:30 p.m. For reservations and more info, call 373-0700.

The Annex Wine Bar has Acoustic Soul tonight, Oct. 25, kicking off at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 26, it’s the Annex debut of the Vanguard Jazz Ensemble also starting at 7:30 p.m. There is no cover either night.

The Erik James tasting room has music tonight, Oct. 25, with the Left Coast Syncopators, featuring Tim Eschliman, Snakebite Jacobs and Kevin Zuffi, kicking off at 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 26, it’s Macy Blackman's Praline Trio, also for a 7 p.m. show. There is no cover any night.

B. R. Cohn Winery has music in the courtyard on Sunday, Oct. 27, with Dustin Saylor from 2 to 5 p.m. There is no cover.

Muscardini Cellars in Kenwood presents the final “Wine Down Friday” of the season tonight, Oct. 25, with the Cork Pullers on the deck, kicking off at 5 p.m.

Murphy’s Irish Pub has the Mosey Boys Friday, Oct. 25, for an 8 p.m. show. Saturday, Oct. 26, it’s Back Alley comedy featuring Keith Lowell Jensen for two shows at 6 and 9:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 27, it’s the Vanguard Jazz Ensemble at 2 p.m. for an open jam and later it’s JED, for a 7:30 p.m. show.

The Plaza Bistro has Cynthia Tarr tonight, Oct. 25, for a 7 p.m. show. Tarr will have with her Cliff Hugo on bass and Randy Vincent on guitar. There is no cover.

The Epicurean Connection presents “Semi-Cluster Funk” with Doug Jayne Saturday, Oct. 26, for a 7:30 p.m. start. Sunday, Oct. 27, it’s the T-Shirts for a 1 p.m. show.

HopMonk Tavern Sonoma has Loosely Covered tonight, Oct. 25, for an 8:30 p.m. show. If you miss the act there, you can catch them at Cornerstone Sonoma on Sunday, Oct. 27, for a lobster bake to benefit the Giant Steps Therapeutic Equestrian Center at 4 p.m. Tickets and more info can be found by calling 769-8500.

Cornerstone Sonoma will also have the grand opening of the Tricycle Wine Company on Sunday, Oct. 27, kicking off at 1 p.m. with music from the WildKats. There is no cover for that event.

The Blue Moon Saloon has “Rap and Roll” tonight, Oct. 25, with Robert Roots and friends, kicking off at 9 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 26, it’s karaoke, also at 9 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 27, it’s the continuation of the blues jam. Showtime is 10 p.m. and there is no cover any night.

Hilary Wicht and Cliff Goldmacher will be at the Lincoln Theatre in Yountville tonight, Oct. 25, for a 6 p.m. show.

If your gig isn’t in my column, you didn’t tell me about it. Hit me up at jmberry@sonomamusic.com.

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  J. M. Berry knows the local music scene. He also knows website services and social media marketing. Check out his other skills at jmberry.com.


  Editor’s Note: While there is no shortage of great concerts in Sonoma, sometimes it is fun to get out of the Valley. Here’s what you can hear within 45 minutes of fair Sonoma.

Marty Balin – Friday, Oct. 25; 142 Throckmorton – Mill Valley; 415-383-9600

Jefferson Starship – Friday, Oct. 25; Sweetwater Music Hall – Mill Valley; 415-388-3850

Zero – Tribute to Judge  – Friday, Oct. 25; Mystic Theatre – Petaluma; 765-2121

Frobeck – Saturday, Oct. 26; Rancho Nicasio – Nicasio; 415-662-2219

Dread Zeppelin – Saturday, Oct. 26; HopMonk Tavern – Novato; 415-892-6200

Benny Goodman Tribute – Sunday, Oct. 27; Wells Fargo Center – Santa Rosa; 546-3600

Vince Gill – Wednesday, Oct. 30; Wells Fargo Center – Santa Rosa; 546-3600

 The Uptones – Friday, Oct. 25; Redwood Cafe – After Dark – Cotati; 795-7868