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Let Your Jester Flag Fly April Fools Day!

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Let Your Jester Flag Fly April Fools Day!

April Foolery returns on Friday, April 1, 2016, with three outstanding dance bands at Rossi’s 1906 in Sonoma. The second annual April Foolery celebrates Sonoma County Dance Beat’s second year, while funding its third. This year’s party features Royal Jelly Jive, Lost Dog Found, and Wendy DeWitt with Kirk Harwood

Royal Jelly Jive combines elements of soul, rock, swing and hip-hop. Fronted by the sultry-voiced Lauren Bjelde, Royal Jelly delivers a fresh sound that’s bigger than the sum of the band’s smokin’ parts.

Lost Dog Found brings the excitement of jump swing back with a fresh soul and roll sound. 

“The Big Stomper,” from the band’s “Dine on Danger” album was featured on a Big Ten Conference spot with marching bands that ran during the 2015-2016 football season.

Wendy DeWitt with Kirk Harwood, play boogie woogie and blues that is garnering national and International attention. This powerhouse duo are two-time regional winners and International Blues Challenge Finalists.

New this year are a silent auction and costume contest. Guests are invited to Jesterize (accessorizing for clash, not class)! Tickets are available at socodancebeat.com (with no convenience fee). This 8pm-12 am event is expected to sell out, and dinner reservations are encouraged. 

Rossi’s 1906, opened by Max Young in 2014, boasts a new menu, upgrading from its already mouth-watering barbecue basics. The former Little Switzerland location (also affectionately dubbed the Polka Palace) is once again becoming a dance mecca, bringing in a wide range of musical acts, with a smattering of paint nights and other community-building events. 

Sonoma County Dance Beat, formed by local dance instructors Kevin and Ann Hutchinson, maintains an online calendar, listing all the live dance music in the county. It also produces a dance lesson series at Rossi’s, bringing in top-notch, local bands on Wednesday nights. 

It exists to support live, local music, and help dancers and music lovers find it. “We want people who frequent music venues, and the venue owners, to better appreciate the time and talent of local musicians and pay for them accordingly,” said Ann. 

“I’ve had complete strangers hug me, when they learn about our calendar,” added Ann. Before the calendar, finding the best bands involved email lists, websites and newspapers. “And then there was the face-palm the next day, when you find out that you missed an even better event, because you didn’t know about it.”

For many pub and restaurant owners, music is an afterthought. Kevin said, “It’s not their particular skill set, and they won’t relinquish control or pay to have it done. Many, very good musicians have no website and cringe at the thought social media. We can help with all of that. Firstly, just by having them get on our free calendar.” 

To make a monetary, goods or services donation, contact Ann at ann@socodancebeat.com or 707-953-1663. Donations are tax deductible, through the organization’s fiscal agent, Mr. Music Foundation. Learn more at  socodancebeat.com.