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Bear Valley Music Festival offers rock, classical, bluegrass and jazz

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RJ Muna / Courtesy photo San Francisco-based Del Sol String Quartet will perform three times at the upcoming Bear Valley Music Festival.

The 48th annual Bear Valley Music Festival begins on Friday and runs through Sunday, Aug. 7, with a total 15 concerts, including a free family matinee on Saturday, July 30. The festival showcases a wide selection of artists and genres including rock, classical, bluegrass and jazz.

Bear Valley is off upper Highway 4 just east of the Calaveras County line.

Highlights of this year’s festival include two tributes — to Journey and The Beatles — and a performance by world-famous jazz violinist Mads Tolling.

Following the popularity of their Bear Valley debut concert last year, the festival presents the T Sisters once again with their blend of folk, bluegrass, R&B and soul. The Oakland-based trio also performs Saturday at Mountain Sage in Groveland.

Bear Valley Music Festival’s classical lineup includes one of the most famous symphony ever written, Beethoven’s “Fifth,” and Chopin’s haunting second piano concerto with soloist Llewellyn Sanchez-Werner.

Other renowned artists are cellist Emil Miland, violinist Dawn Harms and the Del Sol String Quartet. Following the success of their first engagement last year as Bear Valley’s resident chamber ensemble, the quartet will once again appear as guest artists with the orchestra at the opening concert of the Bear Valley Symphony. The group will also perform a full recital at 2 p.m. Sunday, July 31, and they’re part of the “Sips, Sonatas and Surprise” event on Aug. 3.

There’s even a sampling of opera this year with guest conductor Paul Mauffray.

“This is the most significant cultural event of the year in our scenic part of the Sierra,” said executive director Eman Isadiar. “We always strive to present the widest possible variety of artists and musical styles to appeal to every taste and every generation.”

Lodging and concert packages are available through Bear Valley Lodge. A pre-concert barbecue dinner can be added to all evening concert tickets. Additionally, a round trip shuttle from Forest Meadows, Arnold and Dorrington is available for $10 per person (riders must reserve in advance).

Arts of Bear Valley show celebrates 25 years at festival

This summer marks the 25th year the Bear Valley Music Festival has showcased Arts of Bear Valley artists.

The group’s Summer Show is scheduled to run from Friday through Aug. 7, coinciding with the festival. The show will be held at the Perry Walther Building — across from the music festival tent.

Admission is free to the art show as well as an artists reception slated for 5 to 6:30 p.m. Saturday.

The art show will be open on all days when musical entertainment is featured and will close at the end of intermission.

New to the show this year will be a vote for the People’s Choice Award. All attendees will be encouraged to place their vote during intermission or upon entry to the juried show.

Arts of Bear Valley is comprised of artists from Calaveras and Tuolumne counties. Participating artists donate their time installing and hosting the show as well as helping out with creative events designed especially for school-aged children.

This year, Elaine Cahill leads the Art Adventure Program titled “Rockus Raccoons.” It will be offered Friday, July 29, in two sessions —10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Pre-registration will be held at the Bear Valley Library.

Another free event will be held the following day — at noon Saturday, July 30 — after the children’s music in the tent. Karen O’Neill will lead that project with the aide of several other artists.

• What: Bear Valley Music Festival.

• When: Friday through Aug. 7.

• Where: Bear Valley, off upper Highway 4, western Alpine County.

• Tickets: $20 to $55.

• Info:, (209) 813-0554.

Festival schedule

• Friday, July 22 —T Sisters, 7 p.m.

• Saturday, July 23 — Journey tribute by Evolution, 7 p.m.

• Sunday, July 24 — Matinee with Emil Miland and Friends, 2 p.m.

• Wednesday, July 27 — Beatles tribute by The Sun Kings, 7 p.m.

• Thursday, July 28 — Symphony opening night with Del Sol String Quartet, 7 p.m.

• Friday, July 29 — Beethoven’s “Fifth,” Chopin’s “Second” and more, 7 p.m.

• Saturday, July 30 — Free family concert with Dawn Harms at 11 a.m.; Jazz violinist Mads Tolling at 7 p.m.

• Sunday, July 31 — Stars of Tomorrow, 11 a.m.; Matinee with Del Sol String Quartet at 2 p.m.

• Wednesday, Aug. 3 — Sips, Sonatas and Surprise, 7 p.m.

• Thursday, Aug. 4 — Classical guitar with Mark Aitken, 7 p.m.

• Friday, Aug. 5 — A Taste of Opera with Maestro Paul Mauffray, 7 p.m.

• Saturday, Aug. 6 — Speakeasy Gala Dinner and Auction, 5 p.m.

• Sunday, Aug. 7 — Matinee with Brahms and Vivaldi, 2 p.m.