Island Arts

The Alameda Island Poets will celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month with readings from featured poets: Ivan Argüelles, Naomi Quiñonez and Hector Zamudio. The poets’ monthly reading takes place Wednesday, Sept. 4, from 7 to 9 p.m., at the Frank Bette Center for the Arts, 1601 Paru St. 

Accordion festival an international experience that makes one value home

Mid-August and it’s time to hit the road. Fifty-some miles north of Alameda is our destination, the 29th annual Cotati Accordion Festival. We’ve been there before but it was several years ago and we had forgotten some of the details, so with a bit of denial we took off around 10 a.m. Saturday morning. Google Maps said the traffic was light and the trip should take about an hour and five minutes. So much for Google Maps.

Many people have heard of the “bluebird of happiness,” a phrase that has roots stretching back thousands of years in multiple cultures including: Native American, Chinese, French and German. Stories and legends associate bluebirds with hope, springtime and home. 

Ever wondered what it is about the period from 1950 to 1980 that spawned such a treasure trove of great artists, songs and records? Throughout the rich, long arc of popular music, there has always existed the great singer. These individuals elevate a song to another dimension, a place where listeners are thrilled and inspired for the rest of their lives. 

In homes all over the Bay Area, the morning of Aug. 3 may have begun in an ordinary way with dad making pancakes in animal shapes and mom sleeping in. But, if their day happened to take them to South Shore Shopping Center — perhaps seeking back-to-school specials — the day took an extraordinary turn.