May 7: Carlos Varela at Ramekins Event Center

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Making a return appearance to Sonoma this weekend, the Cuban singer and songwriter Carlos Varela is known as “Cuba’s Dylan,” and not without reason. Varela came up in Cuban music around the time of the nueva trova movement in the wake of the Cuban revolution, when traditional folk forms became infused with deeper and more critical social content. Varela’s songs criticize both the U.S. government and that of his home country—not the safest route to take as a resident of Cuba—though he is not immune to the lure of the love song. “Una Palabra,” an incredibly poetic paean to the miniscule manifestations of love, has been used in the movies Powder Keg, starring Clive Owen, and Man on Fire, starring Denzel Washington. Last time Varela came through, he appeared solo; this time, he plays with a full band at a concert and Cuban dinner prepared by chef Joe Vitale on Friday, May 7, at Ramekins Event Center. 450 W. Spain St., Sonoma. 7pm. $40 includes dinner. 707.933.0450.Gabe Meline

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