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San Jose Jazz Festival: Boasting a total of seven stages, and about fifty free concerts, this year's festival features Ray Barretto, James Moody, Pete Escovedo, and Terence Blanchard. Aug. 5-8, Cesar Chavez Park in downtown San Jose, SanJoseJazz.org
San Ramon's Free Concert Series: Get out with the kids, get out without any money, just get out, and spend the dusk in San Ramon's Central Park listening to a variety of performers, including classic rock band Finding Stella, world music outfit the Aaron English Band, David Martin's House Party, the Hitmen, and more. July 18-August 15 at 5:30 p.m. 12501 Alcosta Blvd. 925-973-3200. www.ci.san-ramon.ca.us
SFJAZZ Summer Concert Series: Once a small fall concert series, and now a year-round producer of internationally renowned jazz artists, SFJAZZ offers a whole summer's worth of free concerts. This year, saxophonists Anton Schwartz and Howard Wiley, Wild Mango, Big Belly Blues Band, Lavay Smith and her Red Hot Skillet Lickers, and the Oakland Jazz Choir are all slated to perform. Through October 13 at various Bay Area locations, including Stanford Shopping Center and San Francisco's Union Square (Thu. 6-7:30 p.m.), Crocker Galleria (Wed. 12-1:30 p.m., 50 Post St., San Francisco), and Levi Plaza (Wed. 12-1:30 p.m., 1160 Battery St., San Francisco), 415-788-7353.
Stanford Jazz Festival: The impulse to blend genre and bend traditions is what drives Stanford University's acclaimed jazz festival, which includes presentations ranging from Ron Stalling's music and spoken word piece "A Context for Peace" (July 9) to the Latin showcase "Descarga: Salsa Meets Jazz" (June 26), led by trombonist Wayne Wallace. Through August 7, this festival runs the gamut from swing to experimental styles. Tickets $5-$30. Various locations on campus. For information, call 650-725-ARTS, or visit StanfordJazz.org
Stern Grove Festival: The array of internationally known, eclectic artists performing at Stern Grove this summer includes the West African Highlife Band (July 18) and the world-beatsmith Mercan Dede (Aug. 1). Additional highlights from this 67th season of free summer concerts include a reprise of Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue," summertime blues with the John Hammond Trio (Aug. 15), music and dance lessons for kids, and preconcert artist talks in the lush 33-acre park. Sundays at 2:00 p.m., through Aug. 15, at Sigmund Stern Grove, 19th Ave. and Sloat Blvd., San Francisco. Admission is free. 415-252-6252, SternGrove.org
Stroll-a-Thon: Decorate your wagon or stroller yourself -- the top three win a prize. There will be a watermelon-eating contest, ice-cream parlor, dunk tank, and more at this old-fashioned festival. Sun., July 4, 10 a.m.-3 p.m., $4-$5, free for members and kids 13 and younger. Dunsmuir Historic Estates, 2960 Peralta Oaks Ct., Oakland, 510-615-5555, Dunsmuir.org
Summer Concert at Black Diamond Mines: The band Golden Bough plays toe-tapping Celtic fusion music on July 17; August 21 features Swing Fever, a 25-year veteran of the jazz/swing scene. Bring your blankets and picnic dinner and have a great time at the Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve. $10 for parking. 7-9 p.m., 5175 Somersville Road, Antioch.
23rd Annual Harvest Wine Celebration in Livermore: Music, food, local crafts, and lots of wine, September 5-6. Ticket price covers wine tasting, transportation between wineries, and free logo glass. 12 p.m.-5 p.m.. $35 advance, $40 the day of. 925-447-WINE, LivermoreWine.com
Vans Warped Tour: Celebrating its tenth anniversary, the Warped Tour features NOFX, Bad Religion, Atmosphere, Coheed and Cambria, New Found Glory, the Bouncing Souls, the Vandals, Ima Robot, Juliette and the Licks, along with a host of other guitar-wranglers and ne'er-do-well-ers. 11 a.m., July 3 at Piers 30 and 32 in San Francisco ($29), and noon on July 8 at Sleep Train Amphitheater Parking Lot and Plaza in Marysville ($28.50), 510-625-TIXS.
Villa Montalvo Jazz Concert Series: Al Jarreau, George Benson, Dave Koz, and the Dave Brubeck Quartet are all slated to perform this summer at the Montalvo concert series, held in a luxuriant 175-acre villa in the Saratoga hills. Dates, times, and ticket prices vary. At the Montalvo Garden and Carriage House Theaters, 15400 Montalvo Rd., Saratoga, 408-961-5800
Wente Vineyards: In its effort to save beleaguered music programs in the Livermore public schools, Wente Vineyards presents the "Save Our Music Through Song Matching Grant Challenge." The summer concert series features acts such as Jewel, Hootie and the Blowfish, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and Huey Lewis and the News. Each ticketholder donates $1 or $5 per ticket, and Wente Vineyards will match up to $5,000 in donations to the Livermore Valley Education Fund. Through Sept. 8. 5050 Arroyo Rd., Livermore, 925-456-2424.
West Wave Dance Festival: The thirteenth annual Summerfest Dance Festival returns to San Francisco's Cowell and ODC theaters with fifteen world premieres and 22 Bay Area choreographers, including Liss Fain, Janice Garrett, Nancy Karp, Sara Shelton, and many more. July 21, 8 p.m.; July 23-24, 8 p.m.; July 29-Aug. 1, 8 p.m., 415-863-9834, SummerFestDance.org
WorldFest: Youssou N'Dour, Lucinda Williams, Tommy Emmanuel, and the stars of the Peking Acrobats headline the eighth annual fest, which includes seven stages of music and dance, along with camping, international cuisine, and crafts. Alasdair Fraser, Tiempo Libre, Habib Khan & Emam, and O-Maya also perform. Camping is encouraged. 10 a.m.-11 p.m., July 15-18 at the Fairgrounds in Grass Valley. $5-$25 for kids under 12, $15-$45 for youth, and $30-$110 for adults. 530-891-4098.
World One Festival: Founded in 1994 by fledgling broadcasters with a shared vision of cultivating "global good vibes," worldOne Radio is now in its eighth year of weekday evening radio. This year, the all-volunteer radio and festival project celebrates July 4 with free performances from Brazilian artists Bat Makumba, the Indigenous Reggae group Tchiya Amet and the Lighthouse Band, the Tibetan folk artist Tetchung, and others. 10:30 a.m.-7 p.m. on July 4 at Cerrito Vista Park, Moeser at Pomona St., El Cerrito, 510-215-4370, WorldOneRadio.org
Zydeco Americana: A weekend-long celebration of the 4th in and around Eagles Hall, featuring a parade, multiple performances by Brian Jack and the Zydeco Gamblers and Andre Thierry and Zydeco Magic, dance lessons, and more. July 2-4, free-$25, LouisianaSue.com. Eagles Hall, 2305 Alameda Ave., Alameda, 415-285-6285.
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