Founded in 1984, B.R. Cohn Winery in Glen Ellen decided to celebrate its 30th anniversary this year with music, lots of it. Set amidst vineyards and oak trees in Sonoma Valley, its 3,000-seat amphitheatre is one of the loveliest outdoor settings in wine country, attracting enthusiastic crowds and some of the biggest names in pop and rock music.
This year promises to be no different. The annual B.R. Cohn Charity Fall Music Festival will feature a roster of big-name talent, namely:
• Melissa Etheridge (solo), The Wallflowers, Los Lonely Boys. Saturday, Sept. 20.
• Peter Frampton, Huey Lewis and the News, Los Lonely Boys. Sunday, Sept. 21.
Additionally, John Waite, Little Feat’s Paul Barrere, Fred Tackett and Kenny Gradney, and The Curly Wolf will perform both days. Concert is 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday; doors open at 10:30 a.m. General admission tickets $79; two-day festival pass $129.
The festival is actually a four-day event. It begins with a charity auction dinner Friday, Sept. 9 with James Beard-nominated chef Mark Stark preparing a five-course meal for attendees in the winery’s olive grove. $175 per person. 6-10 p.m. The very busy John Waite will be special musical guest.
The two days of the festival are followed by a Monday, Sept. 22 celebrity golf classic at Sonoma Golf Club in Sonoma. Perhaps rocker Huey Lewis, who is known to enjoy the links game, will play in it after his show the day before. $275 per person. The festival has raised more than $6 million for the American Legion, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Sonoma Valley Education Foundation and other nonprofit groups. The festival website has more or call 800-330-4064.
Still, there is more music to be seen and heard at the B.R. Cohn Amphitheatre in upcoming weeks and months. It is also hosting a more intimate summer series of concerts with lesser-known acts. These include:
• Crazy Famous. High-energy stage performers with a rock vibe. Saturday, Aug. 16.
• The Creak. Entertaining acoustic bluegrass and folk quintet. Saturday, Sept. 6.
• Beso Negro. All-star gypsy jazz band that you can dance to. Saturday, Oct. 18.