Sonoma State University announced the Summer 2014 MasterCard Performance Series this week, unveiling 19 concerts from July 4 through Sept. 23 that span the highest echelons of the pop, classical and comedy worlds.
Summer headliners include Elvis Costello and the Imposters, Diana Ross, violinist Pinchas Zukerman and comedian Bill Maher.
All but five of the season's presentations will take advantage of the indoor/outdoor seating at the Green Music Center's Weill Hall, which includes tables on the terraced lawn behind the hall as well as picnic-style seating on the lawn.
Kicking off the summer season with a festive Fourth of Juy Celebration, the Santa Rosa Symphony will welcome singer/songwriter Judy Collins with a patriotic program July 4 in an all-day celebration that includes kids' activities and a fireworks display.
Fireworks will also culminate an all-Tchaikovsky concert by the San Francisco Symphony on July 26 that showcases pianist Simon Trpceski.
The summer's centerpiece concerts include musical icon Tony Bennett in concert with daughter Antonia Bennett on Aug. 8 and singer Diana Ross in the summer's final concert on Sept. 23 as part of her "In the Name of Love" Tour.
Lyle Lovett and his Large Band will take the stage on July 20, and rock'n'roll hall-of-famer Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons arrive Aug. 15, just after the June release of the Clint Eastwood film, "Jersey Boys."
Celebrating their 25th anniversary and ninth studio album, "Savor Flamenco," the Gipsy Kings perform Aug. 28 with special guest star Ole' Noys, a group composed of two of the Kings' sons.
Latin pop superstar Pepe Aguilar, a "mariachi master" and three-time Latin Grammy Award winner, takes the stage on Sept. 9.
From the singer-songwriter worlds, Amos Lee will perform on Aug. 10 as part of his "Mountains of Sorrow, Rivers of Song" tour and Ben Harper presents an all-acoustic concert on Sept. 13 with his trademark Weissenborn guitar.
Classical crossover singer Sarah Brightman will perform songs from her "Dreamchaser" album in her Sonoma County debut on Aug. 5.
As part of Napa Valley's Festival del Sole, violinist Pinchas Zukerman and tenor James Valenti will perform with the Sphinx Symphony Orchestra on July 15.
There will be three appearances by comedy stars. Talk show host Chelsea Handler will appear Aug. 16 as part of her national stand-up comedy tour in support of her new book, "Uganda Be Kidding Me." Author, filmmaker and talk show host Bill Maher will perform a one-man show on Aug. 30. Stand-up comedian Gabriel Iglesias will appear Sept. 9 as part of his United Through Laughter tour.
Brought together by Carnegie Hall's Weill Music Institute, the National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America led by conductor David Robertson will join forces with violinist Gil Shaham on Aug. 2.
Finally, as part of this summer's pianoSonoma concerts, young emerging artists and accomplished adult musicians will celebrate the piano repertoire on July 27 and Aug. 3.
The indoors-only concerts include Amos Lee on Aug. 10, Festival del Sole on July 15, pianoSonoma on July 27 and Aug. 3 and the National Youth Orchestra on Aug. 2.
"Summer is spectacular in Sonoma," said Zarin Mehta, the visionary behind the programming and co-executive director of the hall. "To the beautiful weather and glorious food and wine here, we add that other essential ingredient of good living, great music."