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For young ones and their adults

April 30, 2006|Blake Hennon

Vancouver, Canada

May 15-22: The Vancouver International Children's Festival welcomes Canada's bestselling (and internationally known) children's author Robert Munsch for six "Munsch on Munsch" storytelling shows. Other shows include the Cirque-du-Soleil-meets-"Stomp" spectacle "Physical Music" by the troupe Lelavision, as well as "Ranganiketan," native Himalayan music, dance and martial arts, and the Australian rock musical "Sharon, Keep Your Hair On!" Before and after shows, roam waterfront Vanier Park past roving stilt-walkers, clowns and minstrels. Kids can learn origami with Ken Furukawa of "Sesame Street," experiment with sign language, try juggling, hear stories and even make books at festival tents.

Shows $14-$20 Canadian, about $12-$18 U.S. Tickets include gate admission. (604) 708-5655, www.childrensfestival.ca.

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Sonoma

May 25-28: Sonoma Jazz is shorter than "Sonoma Jazz, Rock, Blues and More," which may have been a more apt name. The Steve Miller Band and John Handy headline May 25, B.B. King celebrates his 80th birthday with a show May 26, Natalie Cole takes center stage May 27, and Herbie Hancock closes the festival May 28. Before the evening performances, there are days of Wine & Song, as music is married to wines from the region's master vintners (think salsa and shiraz, cabaret and Cabernet) and dishes from its finest chefs.

Field of Dreams in downtown Sonoma. Festival tickets $45-$95. Wine & Song in the plaza, $50 per day. (866) 468-8355, www.sonomajazz.org.

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Seattle

May 26-29: A quarter-million folks are due for four days of all things folk at the Northwest Folklife Festival. This year's cultural focus is the Arab communities of the Pacific Northwest, highlighted by May 28 evening performances from Lebanese singer/guitarist May Nasr and oud/violin master Simon Shaheen. May 27, the Northwest Folklife Benefit Concert features "subversive acoustic traditionalists" the Mammals and the less-subversive traditionalist duo Jay Ungar and Molly Mason. Learn a number of global dance styles, spoon-playing or the guitar style of Lightnin' Hopkins at workshops. There will be more than 6,000 artists from around the globe, including craftsmen, storytellers, filmmakers, ukulele players, dancers from India, Brazilian drummers, and musicians delivering funk, gypsy swing, blues, acoustic folk, flamenco, Polish folk, Russian folk, and, for the party folks, electronica.

Various venues at Seattle Center. (206) 684-7300, www.nwfolklife.org. Suggested donation: $5 per day.

-- Blake Hennon

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