Category Archives: Grass Valley

Enjoy food & wine at Foothills Celebration on March 7

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Stroll through the streets of Grass Valley and explore the city’s eclectic Gold Rush heritage. Sip from more than 30 wineries, while sampling hand-crafted delicacies from local eateries. Visit shops from contemporary art galleries, chocolatiers, home design stores, clothing boutiques and antique emporiums throughout the historic downtown Grass Valley district.

Celebrate the foothills all weekend long. Tour the Empire Mine or experience some of Grass Valley’s nightlife with talented local musicians, while enjoying any one of the fantastic eateries.

To purchase tickets in advance ($35 before February 28 and $45 afterward, $10 for designated drivers), click here, visit any downtown tasting room or contact the Grass Valley Downtown Association at 530-272-8315. All tickets include five food tasting tickets (including designated driver tickets) and wine tasting (or a water bottle for the designated driver).

Foothill Celebration begins at the Gold Miners Inn/Holiday Inn Express, where you’ll pick up your food tickets and tasting glasses. From there, it’s a treasure hunt for magnificent foods, wines, music, art, shopping and fun throughout downtown Grass Valley.

How wet will it get this weekend for outdoor enthusiasts?

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By U.S. National Weather Service

Mostly cloudy skies across the interior of NorCal early this morning as moisture continues to spread over the area from the west. A few patches of fog are present over portions of the Central Valley and some areas of dense fog are occurring over eastern Shasta County and portions of Plumas County. Temperatures are mild ranging from the mid 30s in the mountain valleys to the 40s elsewhere.

Upper ridge amplifies across the region today and Wednesday as the upstream trough develops off the west coast. This will lift the warm front that’s been draped across the far northern portion of the state further to the north ending the threat of showers for the northern Sacramento Valley and northern mountains. There will be some patches of night and morning valley fog and temperatures will remain mild.

Isolated showers continue over the mountains this evening. A disturbance moving over a flattened ridge may bring an increase in showers to areas north of Red Bluff late tonight and Tuesday morning. We may see some patches of mountain fog overnight and Tuesday morning over the northern mountains. The ridge starts to amplify and push any activity north of Shasta County by the evening. A ridge will remain over the area on Wednesday to keep the area dry and warm with some patchy night and morning fog for the valley.

A stronger system will move into NorCal on Thursday. During the day, the best rain chances will be over the Coast Range and northern interior with some chances of rain mainly staying north of I-80. The main focus through Thursday night looks like it will stay over the northern half of the forecast area, and we may start to see some significant rainfall accumulating. Heavier precipitation is forecast to spread south on Friday.

Extended Discussion (Saturday through Tuesday)
Medium range models showing additional short waves moving through Interior NorCal over the weekend as atmospheric river remains focused over the area. Periods of precipitation likely to continue over the weekend with breezy conditions. Model QPFs continue to differ significantly with oper GFS showing roughly 2 to 4 times the amount of precip of the ECMWF-HiRes. Snow levels look to remain high, above 7000 feet, as forecast area remains on warm side of jet through the weekend. Models point to drier weather early next week as upper ridging returns to Northern California.

InConcert Sierra presents a cappella group Clerestory on Sunday, February 15, 2015

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A clerestory window is set into a space to allow any room to be flooded with brilliant light. On Sunday, February 15, InConcert Sierra presents the brilliance ​of the ​gorgeous​ ​a cappella voices of Clerestory, an all-male vocal ensemble lauded as one of the Bay Area’s premiere professional vocal ensembles. Ranging from countertenor to bass, all ten Clerestory singers are veterans of San Francisco’s finest ensembles including Chanticleer, Philharmonia Baroque, American Bach Soloists, and others.

InConcert Sierra Artistic Director Ken Hardin said, “The combination of their voices is going to be incredible, especially in the acoustic of the SDA church. If you enjoyed New York Polyphony, you’ll really love this program and these performers.”

The program is called Love and the Knight, in honor of Valentines weekend. When asked about the program, singer Justin Montigne said “The clear voices of the a cappella men’s ensemble, Clerestory, offer a chivalrous homage to Valentine’s Day with “Love and the Knight”. The concert includes music from the earliest days of European cathedrals to the High Renaissance masters who followed: Gregorian and Ambrosian chant, the mysticism of Hildegard von Bingen, love songs of the French troubadours, and delicately woven Flemish polyphony. Romantic and contemporary songs complete this Continental journey. Let courtly love and gallant songs transport you through time.”

“I am really looking forward to an exceptional performance,” says Hardin. “Reviewer Chloe Veltman wrote about the group for the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and BBC Classical Music Magazine in 2012: ‘Clerestory is every bit as musical as Chanticleer, and has two crucial advantages over the more well-established group: wisdom and age. There are no leaders in Clerestory and the singers figure out a way between them to put an innovative program together and sing the pants off it.’ That’s enough for me to get excited,” noted Hardin.

There is a pre-concert forum at 1:15 p.m. with forum hostess Dr. Aileen James. The performance is sponsored by Dr. Mimi Vishoot and Steve Nicholson of Pleasant Valley Veterinary Clinic, and Hindi Greenberg. For more information and tickets, please visit

Watch a performance by Clerestory here:

What’s New in Nevada County, CA February through May, 2015

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North Columbia Schoolhouse Cultural Center Upcoming Music Events
17894 Tyler Foote Road
Nevada City, CA 95959

The Bee Eaters
Saturday, February 7, 2015
Doors 7:00 PM; Show 8:00 PM
Tickets: $18 members/advance, $20 door, Kids (5 to 12) $10

Brother-sister duo Tristan and Tashina Clarridge, long known and lauded by those steeped in the American fiddle tradition, are joined by hammer dulcimer wizard Simon Chrisman. Together, they weave a tapestry of sound all their own, drawing on roots in bluegrass, Celtic, jazz and old-time traditions. While today new breed often produces an amalgamation of sounds and styles based on a distant view, The Bee Eaters were raised embedded in these traditions raised to mold, meld, shape them and carry them forward, leaving their own indelible marks in the process. With Tashina delicate fiddle and Tristan grounding cello wrapped around Simon, ethereal dulcimer, they have created a never-before-heard sound in American music. No tricks. No pyrotechnics. Three instrumental voices, united in their musical exploration.

Gyan Riley and Timba Harris
Friday, March 13, 2015
Doors 7:00 PM; Show 8:00 PM
$18 members/advance, $20 door

Probosci is a collaboration between violinist Timba Harris (Secret Chiefs 3, Estradasphere) and guitarist Gyan Riley (Eviyan, Terry Riley). Both composers, whose work is featured in John Zorn’s Tzadik Records Composers’ Series, contribute to the interplay between composition and improvisation, steeped with intricacy and shape-shifting energy. On this duo’s debut album, Time to Feed, they adventurously explore sonic landscapes with quicksilver virtuosity. From purely acoustic music to unfamiliar electroacoustic textures, Time to Feed darts seamlessly between focused subtlety and disorienting aggression. Having mesmerized listeners at many of the world’s most renown symphony halls, theaters, rock clubs, and festivals in over 40 countries, Probosci is the next evolution of these two musicians’ years-long musical partnership.

Bill Evans: The Banjo in America
Saturday, March 28, 2015
Doors 7:00 PM; Show 8:00 PM
$18 members/advance, $20 door

Tracing the banjo from its West African roots to the New World, UC Berkeley-trained ethnomusicologist Bill Evans performs musical examples from the 1700’s to the present day on a variety of vintage instruments, ranging from an African ekonting to a mid-19th century minstrel banjo, a modern bluegrass banjo and even an electric banjo. Bill Evans is an internationally known five-string banjo life force. As a performer, teacher, writer, scholar and composer, he brings a deep knowledge, intense virtuosity and contagious passion to all things banjo, with thousands of music fans and students from all over the world in a career that spans over forty years. In the last two years, Bill has performed all across North America, Canada, England, Russia and Germany and has appeared with the San Francisco Symphony and on A Prairie Home Companion. His book Banjo For Dummies, is one of the world’s most widely read book on the instrument.

To learn more about these events or to purchase tickets, visit the

2015 Gold Country Cycling Challenge
Nevada County Fairgrounds, Grass Valley, CA
Saturday, May 9 2015
7 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The Rotary Club of Grass Valley invites every one of all ages to participate in the 2nd annual Gold Country Challenge. The event includes a 50k, 100k and 100- mile tour of the beautiful Gold Country region of Northern California. The ride is fully supported by friendly volunteers, fantastic rest stops, support vehicles, and well-marked routes. After your ride, you enjoy a hearty dinner and live entertainment. Bring your family with you and the kids can enjoy the family ride and children’s bike rodeo. BBQ and beverages will be served.

For more information about the event or to register, visit

58th Annual Penn Valley Rodeo & PlayDay
Penn Valley Rodeo Grounds, Penn Valley, CA
Friday, May 15 – Sunday, May 17, 2015

The 58th Annual Penn Valley Rodeo kicks off with exciting performances including saddle bronco riding, bareback riding, bull dogging, team roping, barrel racing and, the highlight of any rodeo, bull riding. Sunday is the Annual Community Rodeo Playday where anyone can be a rodeo cowboy or cowgirl. There is always a rodeo clown, intermission performances and our very own Penn Valley drill team. The Cook House serves BBQ tri tip meals with all the fixin’s. Beer Garden has several brands of beer on tap and always serves wine for those with a more refined taste.

For more information about the event or to register, visit

2015 Strawberry Music Festival
Nevada County Fairgrounds
11228 McCourtney Rd, Grass Valley, CA
Thursday, May 21 through Sunday, May 25, 2015
Tickets are now on sale

The Strawberry Music Festival presents the gold standard in main stage entertainment, intimate side stage performances, top-notch children’s programming, workshops and activities for all ages, and some of the nicest people you will ever meet. Artists performing for the Spring 2015 Festival are to include Bonnie Raitt, Peter Rowan’s Big Twang Theory, Ray Bonneville, Julian Lage and Chris Eldridge, Sam Baker, and Chicago Farmer! Held at the Nevada County Fairgrounds, which has been deemed the most beautiful fairgrounds in California, offers beautifully forested camping, tree lined meadows, permanent bathhouses, level terrain, with lots of indoor and outdoor space for family fun and entertainment, in an easily accessible location.

To learn more about the festival or to purchase tickets, visit

Special Activities/Events Offered at One of the Four State Parks Located in Nevada County

Cross Country and Snowshoeing Trails
Donner Memorial State Park
Donner Summit Truckee, CA

Welcome to the beauty of winter at Donner Lake! Donner Memorial State Park offers cross-country and snowshoe trails for adventurers of all ages, nestled among towering pines, winding along beautiful Donner Lake, and traveling the historic emigrant trails. Download a Winter Trail Map at DonnerMemSkiTrailMap.pdf.

Birding at Bridgeport with Local Experts
South Yuba River State Park, Penn Valley, CA
Offered on selective Saturdays in Spring and Fall

Bird Walks lead by local experts including Bob Slyker. Over the two hour bird walk you might spot the Canyon Wren, American Dipper, Acorn Woodpecker, Golden Crowned Kinglet, Bald Eagle, Phainopepla and more. Bring snacks, water, binoculars, a field guide and wear good shoes. FREE Admission to Park; $5 Parking Fee.

Wildflower Walks along Buttermilk Bend Trail
South Yuba River State Park, Penn Valley, CA
Mid-March through Mid-May
Saturday and Sundays at 11 a.m.

The Buttermilk Bend trail is well known among locals for its spectacular explosion of wildflowers most springs. The display changes every week, so come more than once! Docents will identify the flowers and explain some of their natural history and traditional uses. Plan on 1.5 hours and 2 miles. No dogs.

For directions and more information, visit

South Yuba Independence Trail Nature Walks
South Yuba River State Park, Penn Valley, CA

Celebrate springtime on the Independence Trail! Join knowledgeable docents to learn more about the flora and fauna of the Independence Trail and South Yuba River. Tours are wheelchair-accessible and last about two hours. The main entrance to the Trail is on Highway 49, 5.5 miles from Nevada City, heading towards Downieville, near the South Yuba River bridge. Parking is available beside the road, with several marked disabled spaces.

Highlighting the West Trail is a waterfall one mile from the entrance. People and wheelchairs travel a switchback ramp from Flume 28 (520 feet long) to the swirling waters of Rush Creek. Also featured on the west side is an overlook of the Yuba River, surrounded by canyon flora. The East Trail features cliff-hanging flumes, more views of the river and foothill landscapes, with a total of two and a half miles of maintained trail. There are picnic areas, outhouses, and scenic vistas all around. The Independence Trail is for all people, with its gradual, level walkway – from young mothers with stroller kids, to serious hikers and joggers, to seniors with limited mobility, to those in wheelchairs.

For more information, visit

2015 Kids Annual Fishing Derby
Malakoff Diggins State Historic Park
Early May; 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

This annual event is held each year in May at our beautiful Blair Lake, just a short walk from town. Registration for the 2015 Kid’s Fishing Derby will begin the first week in April 2015 so mark your calendars now for this year’s event! Kids ages 15 and under enjoy a fun filled day of fishing with family and friends, free lunch, and raffle prizes. Tour historic North Bloomfield while your here. We will even clean and weigh your fish for you!

For more information, visit

Mother’s Day Springtime Event
Empire Mine State Historic Park
Grass Valley, CA
Sunday, May 10, 2015
11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Beautiful fountains rose gardens in bloom, and lavish, turn-of-the-century costumes, will make this a Mother’s Day she’ll never forget! She’ll enjoy chatting with docents portraying the colorful characters who shaped our local history. Don’t miss free surprises in the gift shop and blacksmith shop, and delicious food and beverages. Grandmothers and children under 6 enjoy free admission. Turn our golden history into a golden memory!

To learn more, visit


The Center for the Arts presents
 Two Great Concerts at the Veterans Memorial Auditorium in Grass Valley, CA.

An Intimate Solo/Acoustic Performance by Citizen Cope
Saturday, February 7, 2015 – 8:00 p.m.
Veterans Memorial Auditorium
225 South Auburn Street, Grass Valley, CA 95945
$38 members, $48 non-member

Dug deep into the rich soil of American music, Cope’s roots are complex. You may think of Bill Withers or Neil Young or John Lee Hooker or Van Morrison or Willie Nelson or Al Green. Yet, listening to Cope, you also may think of none of the above. You may not think at all, but rather feel a man exposing stories that haunt his heart. He was born Clarence Greenwood, a child of the seventies, and his life journey is as singular as his art. He is the radically mashed-up product of Greenville, Mississippi; Memphis, Tennessee; Vernon, Texas; Austin, Texas; Washington, DC; and Brooklyn, New York. In the past nine years, he has produced four albums of depth and distinction, each a critical chapter in his search for a sound that paints an auditory American landscape in which despair wars with hope and hope, tied to love, is elusive.

An Evening with Amy Grant
Thursday February 26, 2015; 8:00 PM
Veterans Memorial Auditorium
225 South Auburn Street, Grass Valley, CA 95945
$45 members, $55 non-member

Amy Grant’s career spans more than 30 years and stretches from her roots in gospel into becoming an iconic pop star, songwriter, television personality and philanthropist. With three multi-platinum albums, six platinum albums and four gold albums, her total career album sales have exceeded 30 million. Grant’s chart success has been consistent throughout her career with six No. 1 hits, ten Top 40 pop singles, seventeen Top 40 Adult Contemporary tracks and multiple Contemporary Christian chart-toppers. In addition to her six GRAMMY® Awards, Grant has earned 26 Dove Awards (including four Artist of the Year Awards) and has been awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Conventional wisdom has it that Grant put Contemporary Christian Music on the map becoming the first Contemporary Christian artist to have a platinum record, the first to hit No. 1 on the Pop charts, and the first to perform at the GRAMMY® Awards. With that, her legacy as one of the most influential artists of the past couple of decades is assured.

For more information about these concerts or to purchase tickets, visit

InConcert Sierra Third Sunday Concerts
All concerts held at Seventh-Day Adventist Church
12889 Osborne Hill Rd., Grass Valley, CA 95945

Sunday, February 15, 2015
2 to 4 p.m.
$32 General Admission; Youth 5-17 Free with Adult

Clerestory is one of the bay area’s premiere male a cappella ensembles. All nine singers, from countertenor to bass, are veterans of San Francisco’s finest professional vocal groups including Chanticleer, Philharmonia Baroque, American Bach Soloists and others. A 2012 review by New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and BBC Classical Music Magazine writer Chloe Veltman says it all: “Clerestory is a men’s vocal ensemble whose singers have sung with some of the most prestigious groups in the country. Many of them used to be in Chanticleer (dubbed “the world’s reigning male chorus” a few years ago by The New Yorker). Having experienced the ensemble’s latest concert series I have to say that Clerestory is every bit as musical as Chanticleer, and has two crucial advantages over the more well-established group: wisdom and age. There are no leaders in Clerestory and the singers figure out a way between them to put an innovative program together and sing the pants off it.”

Amit Peled, Cello
Sunday, March 15, 2015
2 to 4 p.m.
$32 General Admission; Youth 5-17 Free with Adult

The remarkable cellist, Amit Peled returns with a program that celebrates the great cellist Pablo Casals – playing on Pablo Casals’ cello! After playing for Mrs. Marta Casals Istomin last summer, Amit received the magnificent 1733 Goffriller cello, which was acquired in 1913 by Pablo Casals. 2013 marked its 100th year in Casals’s service.

Farallon Quintet
Sunday, April 19, 2015
2 to 4 p.m.
$32 General Admission; Youth 5-17 Free with Adult

The Farallon Quintet, founded in the summer of 2012, is a dynamic Bay Area ensemble and the only professional chamber music group focused exclusively on the surprisingly abundant clarinet quintet—string quartet plus clarinet—repertoire. In addition to playing the classics, the group seeks to perform rarely heard works as well as new music by living composers.

2015 Sierra Master Chorale and Orchestra
Sunday, May 17 (2 p.m.) and Tuesday, May 19 (7:30 p.m.)
$32 General Admission; Youth 5-17 Free with Adult

Spring sparkles with The Sierra Master Chorale and Orchestra and a program your mother would love! Ken Hardin, conductor & Toon Vandevorst, assistant conductor.

For more about these concerts or to purchase tickets, visit

Foothills Celebration
Historic Downtown Grass Valley
Saturday, March 7, 2015
1 to 4 p.m.

Spend the afternoon strolling the shops and sites of Historic Downtown Grass Valley. Enjoy fine Northern California wines, gourmet cuisine and confectioners delights. Tickets are only $35.00 per person/ $45 after February 23 and includes unlimited wine tasting and 5 food selections from over 20 local restaurants.

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit

St. Pirans Day
Historic Downtown Grass Valley
Saturday, March 14, 2015
9:15 a.m. – when the fun is over

Join us for our annual celebration of Cornish Heritage in downtown Grass Valley on Saturday, March 8th in the City Hall Parking Lot! The fun starts at 9:15 a.m. as we raise the Cornish Flag and our very own town crier, Robert Russell welcomes everyone to the celebration! The Cornish Choir will sing some time-honored Cornish tunes from the mining days of yesteryear. We will also have our Pasty Olympics! For our 3rd year we will also have Cornish Pasty Tasting. Our 5 esteemed judges will judge pasties. The event is FREE!!! So come to downtown Grass Valley for the day.

To learn more, visit

Music in the Mountains Presents Vivaldi Gloria
Sunday, April 12, 2015; 2 PM

Known as the Red Priest by his contemporaries, Vivaldi’s music has triumphed throughout the centuries, captivating audiences for over 300 years. The Music in the Mountains Chorus presents his sublime choral masterpiece, in a program celebrating the breathtaking beauty of the voice.

To learn more about the concert or to purchase tickets, visit

Downtown Grass Valley Car Show
Historic Downtown Grass Valley
April 25, 2015
10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

A spectacular and vast variety of pre-1972 classics, hot rods, customs, rat rods, domestics, imports and one-of-a-kind vehicles will be on display. Speak with the owners of these classic automobiles and learn first hand the history behind the car. Come on in and visit our downtown merchants who will be open for your shopping convenience. Many restaurants will be providing varied menus for you to indulge, or stop by the PIT STOP (located in the City Hall Parking Lot at South Auburn and Main Streets) for some delectable treats and sweets to eat.

To learn more, visit

Sierra Festival of the Arts
Sunday, May 24, 2015
10:00AM – 5:00 PM

Over 40 artists throughout Northern California converge in Downtown Grass Valley, Memorial Day weekend, to bring you a “symphony for your senses.” There will be incredible, gallery quality art in a variety of media, and music by young local artists. Children 12 and under can enjoy and art projects with the help of The Artist Workshop. All downtown shops, restaurants, and tasting rooms will be open throughout the event. The Festival is collaboration between Grass Valley Downtown Association and Nevada County Arts.

To learn more, visit


2015 Nevada City Mardi Gras
Historic Downtown Nevada City
Saturday, February 14 and Sunday, February 15, 2015

A Downtown Parade, Masquerade Ball and Carnevale are featured February 14 & 15, 2015 as this colorful Sierra foothills town again celebrates Mardi Gras in Nevada City. Weekend activities open Saturday night with a Mardi Gras Masquerade Ball from 8pm to midnight, featuring a live band, in historic Miners Foundry at 325 Spring Street. Cajun food will be available for purchase throughout the evening. Tickets can be purchased in advance at the Chamber Office for $12. Or, you can purchase tickets at the door for $15. 21 and over only.

On Sunday, the Mardi Gras Street Faire will be held on North Pine Street, in Historic Downtown Nevada City, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. There will be food, drink, crafts, and clothing. The Mardi Gras Parade begins at 2 p.m. Sunday and moves down Broad Street through the center of town. Merry spectators of all ages line the parade route while gaily masked societies parade through the historic district handing out beads, toys, trinkets, bangles and more. Everyone is encouraged to attend in festive Mardi Gras attire.

And join us for a festive after-the-parade Carnevale for the whole family at the Miners Foundry from 3:00 to 6:00 p.m.! Enjoy New Orleans style food, hot dogs, ice cream & desserts, soft drinks & specialty coffees. Also featuring a full bar for the adults serving Hurricanes, plus a special Bloody Mary bar. Delight in Cajun music, drummers, belly dancers, a bounce house, and more! Tickets at the door only $5 for adults – Kids are FREE!

To learn more about this event or to purchase tickets to the Masquerade Ball, visit

Off Broad Street Announces 2015 Season
“Spend Another Fun Year With Us!”
305 Commercial Street, Historic Downtown Nevada City

Songbird – A Musical Comedy by Jan Kopp & John Driscoll
January 16 through February 21, 2015
Fridays and Saturdays at 8:15 p.m.; Sunday February 8 at 2 p.m.

Jan Kopp makes her OBS directorial debut and Kris Stepanian stars in this story of Angela, the Songbird, a gifted singer who is now out of a job because her father has sold the bar in which she has performed for many years. Located in a small Northern California coastal town, The Songbird Nest Tavern has for forty-five years been a favorite spot for people of all walks of life who have come regularly to hear Angela touch their hearts through song. Angela’s father, Frank (John Driscoll), is ready at age seventy to move on to a new challenge by writing a memoir of sorts containing wisdom he has accumulated over the years. Other cast members include Nancy Keith as the fiery mother of the “Songbird” and Kim Wellman as the quirky cocktail waitress.

Par Four at The Masters
March 13 through April 25, 2015
Fridays & Saturdays at 8:15 p.m.; Sunday March 29 at 2 p.m.

Jed Dixon, Andrew Kerr, JR Lewis and Isaias Acosta return in this sequel to 2014′s hit show, Doo-Wop Shoo-Bop. It is two years later, and the singing caddies are performing at the 1968 Masters in Augusta, Georgia. Now a singing sensation, they are still four lonely guys looking for love. All new doo-wop songs and routines. Piano accompaniment by David Blanchard.

A Sixties Happening
May 15 through June 27, 2015
Fridays & Saturdays at 8:15 p.m.
The two years from 1967 through 1969 (Summer of Love to Woodstock) rocked a generation. Folk artists, flower children and hard rockers all had an impact.

To learn more about these events or to purchase tickets, visit

Miners Foundry Cultural Center Presents
325 Spring Street, Nevada City, CA

The Dana Leong Trio
Sunday, February 8, 2015
Doors Open at 7 p.m.; Music Begins at 8 p.m.
Tickets – $22/Advance; $26/Door

Composer / cellist / trombonist Dana Leong blends jazz, classical, and pop to create a signature sound. His pioneering collage of musical styles has garnered critical acclaim and wowed audiences around the world. The Dana Leong Trio features Dana on cello, synthesizers, vocals, Lex Sadler on bass and electronics, and Val-Inc on turntables and brings together an exciting blend of instrumental melodies and driving musical grooves.

Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe
Friday, February 13, 2015
Doors Open at 7 p.m.; Music Begins at 8 p.m.
Tickets – $25/Advance; $30/Door

For nearly three decades, legendary saxophonist Karl Denson has been getting crowds around the world out on the dance floor. Approaching iconic status, Karl Denson has moved bodies and minds dating back to his earliest years with Lenny Kravitz’s band through his ongoing tenure as a founding member of seminal boogaloo revivalists The Greyboy Allstars and his current roll as a member of San Diego dub rockers Slightly Stoopid. Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe is back on the road for a multi-city tour in support of their latest studio album, New Ammo, an infectious 13-track collection.

To learn more about these events or to purchase tickets, visit

Nevada City to Host Leg of 2015 AMGEN Tour of California
May 11, 2015

Regarded as the largest and most prestigious cycling event in America, 52 California cities have hosted the race throughout the past nine editions. For the 10th anniversary, the start of the 2015 Amgen Tour of California will take place in Sacramento, the state’s capital, and travel through 12 additional host cities during the eight day event including Nevada City, Lodi (first-time host city), San Jose (ten-time host city), Pismo Beach, Avila Beach, Santa Barbara, Santa Clarita, Big Bear Lake, Ontario, Mt. Baldy, L.A. LIVE (Downtown Los Angeles) and Pasadena. Stage 2 of the race will find the peloton traveling through historic Nevada City to first-time host city Lodi, known as the “Zinfandel Capital of the World.” The Amgen Tour of California draws global recognition as one of the most anticipated cycling events of the year attracting Olympic medalists, World Champions and top Tour de France competitors.

To learn more about this event, visit


Full Moon Snowshoe Tours
Tahoe-Donner Ski Area, Truckee, CA
February 6, 2015 and March 7, 2015
6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Take in the beauty of a full moon by participating in a scenic snowshoe hike above Donner Lake. Meet at Trout Creek Recreation Center and caravan to the trailhead. Participants are encouraged to dress in warm layers, including hats and gloves, and bring water, a headlamp or flashlight. Please reserve at least 48 hours in advance.

Valentine’s Day Sunset Snowshoe Tour
Tahoe-Donner Ski Area, Truckee, CA
February 14, 2015
4 to 6 p.m.

Bundle up with your honey for a special Valentine’s Day evening. Meet at Trout Creek Recreation Center to shuttle caravan to the trailhead. Participants are encouraged to dress in warm layers, including a hat and gloves, and bring water, a headlamp or flashlight. Reservations must be made at least 24 hours in advance.

To learn more about the snowshoe tours or to purchase tickets, visit

Donner Lake Paddleboard Race/O’Neill Tahoe Paddleboard Race Series
Donner Lake, Truckee
Race #1 – Saturday, May 23, 2015 starting at 9:00 AM

The 2015 O’Neill Tahoe SUP & Prone Paddleboard Race Series will host 500+ participants and more than 4,000 spectators from all over the world to the Truckee-Tahoe-Reno area. Race #1 starts at West-end Beach of Donner Lake and is a five mile race that circumnavigates the Lake. Awards will be presented to both the men’s and women’s first, second, and third place finishers in the Open (including youth 18 and under and masters 55+), Elite, and Outrigger divisions.

To learn more about the race series or to register, visit

New interactive map launched to find County history sites

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All those interested in the history of Nevada County will be delighted to learn that much of that history can now be accessed through a web-based interactive map, which can be found at the following link:

The map is the result of a joint effort by the Nevada County Historical Landmarks Commission and Nevada County GIS staff, in collaboration with prominent local historian David Comstock. Nevada County has more 200 sites which have been designated as historical landmarks. Many have been designated by the Commission; others by federal and state authorities, the Nevada County Historical Society, the Clampers, The Native Sons and Daughters of the Golden West, and other local veterans and civic groups.

The interactive map locates each historic site on a County map. Clicking on a site will disclose an image, description and other related information. The map can be used for a virtual tour, or as a guide to exploring Nevada County by car, bicycle or foot. The map works with mobile devices, such as smartphones or tablets, as well as desktop computers.

The map is an outgrowth of a book titled “Exploring Nevada County” previously published by Mr. Comstock. Sized to fit in the glove compartment of most cars, it is available here.

The Nevada County Historical Landmarks Commission was formed in 1969 by the Nevada County Board of Supervisors and charged with the mission of identifying and preserving historic sites. Further information about the Commission can be found here.

Annual visit of Tibetan Monks is January 16-February 1 in Grass Valley

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Sierra Friends of Tibet is once again honored and delighted to continue its very special tradition of welcoming the New Year by hosting Tibetan Buddhist Monks from the historic Gaden Shartse Monastery (exiled in southern India) to the St. Joseph’s Cultural Center in Grass Valley and Nevada County.

Now in its 14th year, this much anticipated annual community event provides a full schedule of Tibetan cultural presentations, giving area residents and visitors a chance to experience firsthand the unique culture of the Tibetan people and the rich traditions of Tibet and Tibetan Buddhism. The Monks will construct a sacred ‘Sand Mandala’ in St. Joseph’s Hall, and offer a full schedule of special programs, lectures, art and cultural events, alive with the rich color and pageantry of ancient rituals and ceremonies of mystical Tibet.

Always the focal point of the Monks visit, the Sand Mandala is meticulously constructed over a two week period into an intricate pattern through a slow and meditative process, one colored grain of sand at a time. The Mandala is created by ‘painting’ an incredible work of art from a palette of the colorful sands, using specially designed copper instruments. Each figure, flower, animal, and esoteric symbol (such as the ‘Endless Knot’) in the mandala, holds special significance and is a symbolic representation of the inner and outer meanings of both the cosmos and the inner-consciousness. Mandalas are used by the Tibetan people to achieve higher states of consciousness and open doors to awareness.

The Monks will also offer a full schedule of public programs, school programs, lectures, classes, artwork, and rituals during their stay. This year’s program begins on Friday, January 16 with the ‘Sand Mandala Opening Ceremony’: A purification and dedication ritual to cleanse the environment and purify the atmosphere for the construction of the Mandala.

(Source and photo: Sierra Friends of Tibet)

Sierra Foothills and Truckee wineries score in 2015 S.F. Chronicle tasting competition

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After receiving a record 6,417 entries from more than 25 states, the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition, recognized as the largest competition of American wines, this weekend announced its winners. Here are some winning wineries in the Sierra Foothills and Truckee. The full list of winners is here:

Avanguardia Wines:
Premiato, silver
Due Fiori, bronze

Bear River Winery:
Barbera Rose, silver
Syrah, bronze

Ciotti Cellars:
Cabernet Sauvignon, silver
Cabernet Franc, silver
Syrah, bronze

Viognier, silver
Old Vine Zinfandel, silver
Chardonnay, bronze
Pinot Noir, bronze
Cabernet Franc, bronze
“Confluence,” bronze

Lone Buffalo
Tatonka Tempranillo, silver
Thunder Beast Zinfandel, bronze

Late Harvest Barbera, silver
Dolcetto, bronze

Mt. Vernon
Cabernet Sauvignon, gold
Cabernet Franc, gold
Sangiovese, silver
Syrah, silver
Petite Sirah, silver
“Girly Man,” silver
Barbera, bronze
Cab-Shiraz, bronze
Merlot, bronze

NV Nightshade, gold
NV Grande Violette, gold
Le Grand Pere, gold,
La Boheme, gold
Dalia Noir, gold
Syrah, silver
Petite Sirah, silver
Cabernet Sauvignon, silver
Della Casa, silver
NV White Oleander, bronze
Mourvedre, bronze

Popie Wines
Basin Red, silver
Bianca di Barbera, bronze
Barbera Reserve, bronze

Secret Ravine
Montepulciano, silver
Cabernet Franc, silver
Sauvignon Blanc, bronze

Truckee River Winery
Pinot Noir, silver
Malbec, silver

Wise Villa
Midnight Delight Mustcat-Chardonnay, double gold
Sangiovese, double gold
Torrontes, gold
Zinfandel, gold
Chardonnay, silver
Petite Sirah, silver
Malbec, silver
Sur Lies Chardonnay, bronze
Pinot Noir Rose, bronze
Syrah Rose, bronze
Pinot Noir, bronze
“Wisdom of Wise,” bronze

In addition, Irwin Family Vineyards, whose winemaker is Derek Irwin, won a silver for its Tempranillo and a bronze for its La Mescla (red blend). Irwin is the winemaker for Naggiar, and he is a wine consultant for Viña Castellano.

(Source: Sierra FoodWineArt magazine, Photo: Dan Senkbeil at Naggiar)

Music in the Mountains’ “River Music” film to debut at the 2015 Wild & Scenic Film Festival

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Music in the Mountains is thrilled to have our film “River Music” accepted into the 2015 Wild and Scenic Film Festival.

Considered one of the nation’s premiere environmental and adventure film festivals, this year’s films combine stellar filmmaking, beautiful cinematography and first-rate storytelling to inform, inspire and ignite solutions and possibilities to restore the earth and human communities while creating a positive future for the next generation. Festival-goers can expect to see award winning films about nature, community activism, adventure, conservation, water, energy and climate change, wildlife, environmental justice, agriculture, Native American and indigenous cultures.

“River Music” will debut Friday evening, January 16 at the Center for the Arts in Grass Valley. Young musical favorites the String Sisters will open the 7 p.m. session. Several shorts will be presented, with “River Music” anchoring the evening. Following the session, MIM musicians will be performing excerpts from the film, all of which were composed by the subjects in the film. The film will then be shown again, during the 1:15 session at the Oddfellows Hall in Nevada City.

For more information on the project, click here. For more information on the Wild and Scenic Film Festival, click here.

The Prelude for Yuba Salmon is a collaborative adventure in musicianship, composing, and environmental stewardship. We hope you can come out and support both MIM and SYRCL at the film festival!

Watch the “River Music” trailer here:

Nevada County attractions and businesses promoted in the “2015 California Vacation Guide”

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Visit California’s “2015 California Vacation Guide” is out and it has several mentions of Nevada County attractions and businesses. Read about Nevada City’s Neva Co on page 91; Nevada County on page 95; Grass Valley and Nevada City on page 96; Empire Mine State Historic Park on page 97; Firehouse Museum, Malakoff Diggins State Historic Park, Miners Foundry Cultural Center, Nevada County Narrow Gauge Railroad & Transportation Museum, Nevada County Traction Co., South Yuba River State Park, and the Tahoe National Forest on page 98. Under Events, the Father’s Day Bluegrass Festival is promoted. On page 99 the Gold Miners Inn – Holiday Inn Express is listed for lodging.

To read the full Guide, click here. To order your own copy, contact Visit California.

InConcert Sierra brings Jennifer Stumm to Grass Valley

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The ​sound a viola​ ​make​s​ is absolutely unique among string instruments. ​”​​The viola​ presents deep, mellow, rich sounds creating lush textures​, haunting melodies, and overwhelming emotion​​​. The sound can be described with words such as ​thick and rich, like chocolate!,” notes artistic director Ken Hardin. Come taste for yourself on Sunday, January 18​ at 2 p.m. when InConcert Sierra presents​ ​Jennifer Stumm, ​one of the foremost violists​ on the concert stage today.​

Stumm is internationally recognized as a superb musician and dynamic advocate for her instrument. Her solo career was launched after winning three major international competitions, including becoming the first solo violist​ to win first prize by unanimous vote​ ​in the sixty-year history of the ​​Concert Artist Guild International ​Competition. In 2011 Jennifer gave an in-depth view of the viola in a TedTalk called, “The Imperfect Instrument,” at the TEDx Aldeburgh conference. ​ ​T​​hrough a mixture of talk and performance, her presentation offers​ a compelling meditation on the viola’s capacity for emotion​, ​and for making beautiful music.​ ​She also adoringly refers to the lesser known viola​ as​ the “middle child of the string instruments.”​ ​The talk was named an editor’s pick on​

The program includes popular repertoire for the viola from the Romantic period including Hector Berlioz’ “Harold in Italy” arranged by Franz Liszt, Robert Schumann’s “Märchenbilder,” and Franz Lizst’s “Romance Oubliée” and “Oh! Quand je dors.” Stumm has arranged her program in a format common to the nineteenth century when pieces with multiple movements were interspersed amongst those of other composers throughout the program.

“I’ve always wanted to hear Harold in Italy which is highly regarded, and particularly as part of the viola repertoire. Jennifer will be interspersing the movements of Harold in Italy and Märchenbilder with other pieces throughout her program which relieves the intensity, but leaves the listeners very satisfied. It’s a very clever programming format. I’m excited about offering a unique opportunity to hear a truly virtuosic violist, playing amazing repertoire, and in such an amazing acoustic setting as the Grass Valley Seventh-day Adventist Church,” says Hardin.

Noted pianist Eric Zivian will perform with Stumm. Zivian has graduate degrees from the Juilliard School and the Yale School of Music, and has performed throughout the U.S. and Canada.

For tickets or to learn more about this and other concerts, visit