Sonoma Valley is the home to a plethora of musical talent, musical legends and even some famous rock stars, but with all the wine, art, food, pink doors and pirate flags, we sometimes forget about all the talent here. Tonight, March 14, jazz legends Mad and Eddie Duran will be at the Plaza Bistro, for a 7 p.m. show. Eddie Duran was born 75 years ago in San Francisco into a musical family of Mexican heritage. “Our parents loved music and never objected to our following a musical career,” says Duran. Django Reinhardt was Eddie’s first inspiration, followed by Charlie Christian. “He was the big one for electric guitar in a jazz band.” Although he did take a year of lessons, Eddie considers himself and “ear player.” “Music is this spiritual and intangible thing, and you’ve got to feel it coming out of you.” Playing professionally at the age of 15, and in the heyday of the San Francisco bebop scene, played and recorded with such Fantasy Records stars as Vince Guaraldi, Red Norvo, and Cal Tjader, as well as Charlie Parker, Stan Getz, George Shearing, Earl “Fatha” Hines, Benny Goodman, Pearl Bailey and Barbara Streisand. In the ’80s, Eddie recorded three albums as a leader for Concord Jazz Records, two of them nominated for Grammy Awards. Madaline (Mad) Duran grew up in Belmont, south of San Francisco, and began playing clarinet when she was 10. “I heard a neighbor playing one and I liked the sound.” During her senior year she was selected as a member of the Monterey Jazz Festival’s High School All-Star Band. “At that point, I was a classical player and hadn’t thought of jazz,” she admits. “I was out of my element, but the festival was so exciting, just to be around such greats as Oliver Nelson, John Lewis and Clark Terry.” Meeting Eddie at the Cotati Jazz Festival provided the catalyst to choose music as a career. They quickly established a personal and professional partnership, with Mad sitting in at Eddie’s San Francisco area gigs, playing saxophone and flute, and through his tutoring and encouragement, later becoming a full musical partner with Duran. Herb Caen wrote in his San Francisco Chronicle column, “Mad Duran is just what jazz needs; soul, swing and a breath of femininity.” There is no cover for the show.
It’s “Savor Sonoma Weekend” in the heart of Sonoma Valley, which would actually be considered North Valley, with many of the wineries in Kenwood and Glen Ellen participating with some live local music. Moondance Cellars in Glen Ellen has Sean Carscadden both Saturday and Sunday, March 15 and 16, kicking off at noon. The Valley of the Moon Winery, also in Glen Ellen, welcomes the No Buenos, featuring Adrian Trevino and Jason Huybers, on Saturday, March 15, also kicking off at noon. Naked Wines in Kenwood presents Acoustic Soul with the amazing vocals of Jackie Holzhauer on Saturday, March 15, also kicking off at noon. The event is a ticketed affair, and for more info, point your browser to heartofsonomavalley.com.
Gundlach Bundschu Winery is having “Deed Day” on Saturday, March 15, with 3 on a Match playing Delta blues, a celebration of the 156th anniversary of the day Jacob Gundlach signed the deed to Rhinefarm, the land on which Gundlach Bundschu is situated. Historically significant, it is also the location of the first Valley of the Moon Vintage Festival, but that’s for another column. The day kicks off at 11:30 a.m. with music at 12:30 p.m.