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Enjoy tunes in the open air

Listening to music outdoors is one of the great summertime traditions, dating back to the charming bandstands of long ago.

In the North Bay, wineries, with their vineyard views, take the place of public parks as the most popular places to catch some tunes in the heat of July and August.

For marquee performers, check out big wineries like Rodney Strong and Robert Mondavi. Bring a picnic and stretch out on a blanket or low-backed chair. On Aug. 3, Rodney Strong welcomes three titans of contemporary music, trumpeter Rick Braun, Grammy-winning saxophonist Kirk Whalum and six-string Louisiana guitarist Norman Brown. On Aug. 4, the Healdsburg winery plays host to legend Dwight Yoakam. $60/$90 and $115/$75 (rodneystrong.com).

Robert Mondavi in Oakville has tapped rock 'n' roller Chris Isaak on July 23 and the Sis Boom Bang on July 30 (robertmondaviwinery.com).

Many other wineries offer free music to entertain tasters. Ferrari-Carano's Healdsburg Plaza Vineyard Tasting Bar throws free "Jazz it Up" concerts on Saturday afternoons from 4 to 6 p.m. Coming up? The Greg Hester Quartet on July 20 and the Mixed Emotions Jazz Trio on July 27 (seasonsofthevineyard.com).

Taft Street Winery in Sebastopol brings in free musical acts on the last Saturday of the month. On July 28, catch Twang Ditty, a tribute band to country music's best of the 1950s to '70s. 3 to 6 p.m. (taftstreetwinery.com).

Sonoma Valley's bucolic Chateau St. Jean books into September with concerts every weekend through Labor Day that include wood-fired pizza and a glass of pinot noir. Celebrate Bastille Day today. On July 20, the jazz/rock band Dogbone entertains, with the acoustic folk/rock duo Solid Air appearing July 21. On July 27 and 28, classical guitarist Tom Duarte works the strings. Noon to 4 p.m. (chateaustjean.com).

Francis Ford Coppola Winery in Geyserville mounts "Gigolo: The New Cole Porter Review" under the stars on Aug. 2 and 11 at 7 p.m. $25-$210 (franciscoppolawinery.com).


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