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Six years after he graduated from Santa Rosa High and its ArtQuest program, Ethan Sherman is in L.A. and making a living as a guitarist, composer and arranger.

One morning, Ethan, 24, received an urgent text from his mentor, Santa Rosa-reared jazz master Julian Lage.

A former child prodigy now all of 29, Julian was in Atlanta and grounded by bad weather.

There was no way he could get to UCLA for a performance that night with friend and collaborator Nels Cline, lead guitarist for the band Wilco.

Julian asked Ethan: Could you fill in for me?

To be asked, said Ethan, “was equal parts amazing and terrifying. I never would have thought Julian would have considered me subbing for him.”

Ethan told Julian he would do it, would do his best. He got himself early to UCLA’s Royce Hall.

He met Nels Cline and studied the music that would be his part in a VIP, 17-person orchestra’s performance of songs from Cline’s album, “Lovers.” Soon enough, it was showtime.

Ethan found himself on stage, “sitting right next to one of my favorite guitar players and subbing for another of my favorite guitar players.”

How did it go?

Well, Nels Cline told Ethan afterward, “You saved the day.”


IF YOU CAN SWING IT, there’s a 1930s and ’40s dance in Santa Rosa on Saturday night that will benefit a weekly breakfast served free to people living on the streets.

The renowned New Horizons Band will perform starting at 7 p.m. at the Glaser Center, within the Unitarian Universalist Congregation.

There will be free dance lessons at 6.

Proceeds will boost the all-come breakfast that the congregation serves on Saturday mornings.


CARELL DELIVERS, or at least he used to.

Actor Steve Carell spent a long, busy day in Bodega, shooting scenes for a not-funny movie, “Beautiful Boy.”

The crew pretty much took over the hamlet for the film. Carell, of “The 40-year-old Virgin” and TV’s “The Office,” plays the father of a young man ravaged by addiction to meth.

Just for the day, Bodega’s beloved McCaughey Bros store, known as the Bodega Country Store when it closed in March, was cinematically revived, though with a different name.

Bodega’s Colleen Falconer got to costume-up and work as an extra, standing outside the store as Carell and Timothée Chalamet (Finn Walden in “Homeland”) emerge and walk to an old but period-appropriate Volvo.

Colleen, who sells real estate and owns Colleen’s Coffee Shop, said Carell is sweet, and Chalamet told her Bodega was “the nicest town he ever worked in.”

At one point, Carell approached Bodega Postmaster Rob Ramos to share that he’d never worked harder than during his stint as a rural carrier with the U.S. Postal Service.


THAT REMINDS ME that this Saturday is the day USPS carriers across they country hope to find nonperishable foods alongside our mailboxes.

Thank you for ignoring my previous assertion that the Stamp Out Hunger food drive by members of the National Association of Letter Carriers was last week.