Time to Party! 

Our annual guide to top the New Year's Eve events in the East Bay, along with a few in San Francisco.

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Dec. 31, 9 p.m.–1 a.m., $35, $50. Brava.org

click to enlarge La Orquestra La Moderna Tradición.
  • La Orquestra La Moderna Tradición.

La Orquestra La Moderna Tradición

Folks looking to dance the last night of the year away will find La Peña Cultural Center (3105 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley) a good place to spend New Year's Eve. This year, eleven-piece Afro-Cuban band La Orchestra la Moderna Tradición will be drawing dancers out onto the floor with irresistible rhythms that hark back to the Havana social clubs of the 1950s. Woodwinds, violins, and horns weave together for a jazzy, big-band swing sound while lead singer Eduardo Herrera's voice sails above the layered Latin rhythms. The group, which formed in 1996, has toured from Alaska to El Paso and abroad, performing at the Lincoln Center in New York, the Smithsonian Institute, the San Francisco Jazz Festival, and the Telluride Jazz Festival, among others. — E.B.

Dec. 31, 9 p.m., $30. LaPena.org

Reggae and Champagne at Kingston 11

Traditionally, New Year's Eve is the time of year when restaurants offer a big blowout prix-fixe meal. So it's refreshing to see at least one restaurant, Uptown Oakland's Kingston 11 (2270 Telegraph Ave.), going the opposite route. Instead of a prix-fixe, the Jamaican eatery will offer a truncated version of its regular food menu that includes options for vegetarians, all at a slightly reduced price — maybe a 15 percent discount, chef Nigel Jones said. At around 10 p.m., the staff will clear out the tables and Ryan the Operator and the Shaolin Band will kick off a free reggae show. Best of all, merrymakers who stick around until the countdown to midnight can take part in a free champagne toast. — L.T.

Dec. 31, 5 p.m.–1 a.m. (dinner service until 10 p.m.), a la carte, no cover charge. Kingston11Eats.com

click to enlarge Sister Crayon will play the Rickshaw Stop on December 30.
  • Sister Crayon will play the Rickshaw Stop on December 30.

Sister Crayon, Collaj, and Hi Scores

Sacramento-to-Oakland transplants Terra Lopez and Dani Fernandez make brooding, atmospheric pop tracks with melancholic undertones as Sister Crayon. Lopez, the duo's vocalist, started the group as a solo folk project that put her poetry to acoustic guitar. She took Sister Crayon in a dark, electronic direction after she met Fernandez when Fernandez came to her house to buy her mixer. Since that fateful meeting, the two musicians have put out several releases, including their recent Devoted, which juxtaposes Fernandez' moody, sparse beats with Lopez' architectural vocal arrangements. Sister Crayon performs on December 30 at Rickshaw Stop (155 Fell St., San Francisco) with Hi Scores, a duo composed of producer Jason Stinnett of the now-defunct hip-hop group Hottub and Janaysa Lambert of the indie pop trio Mortar & Pestle. Hi Scores combines four-to-the-floor, analog house production with Lambert's soulful, emotive singing. Collaj, a singer-producer who makes laidback, bubbly electro-pop, will be joining them, as well. — N.V.

Dec. 30., 8 p.m., $12, $14. RickshawStop.com

Black Comedy Explosion at the Paramount

For 25 years, the New Year's Eve Black Comedy Explosion has been bringing humor to the holidays with lineups of national talent. This year's show, which will take place at the Paramount Theatre (2025 Broadway St., Oakland), will be an old-school comedy romp headlined by the prolific comic icon George Wallace. Joining Wallace will be comedian and actor Tommy Davidson (In Living Color); Conan writer, Black-ish actor, and Chicago comic Deon Cole; and Foxxhole radio host Speedy. The World Famous Rick & Russ Show will be spinning records and the celebrations will be punctuated by a balloon drop at midnight. Although the lineup would be even better with some female talent, spleens will still split — and there's no place more beautiful to spend New Year's Eve than under the vaulted ceiling of the historic Paramount. — S.B.

Dec. 31, 10 p.m. $50–$80. ParamountTheatre.com

New Year's Eve Bash

Reggae fans looking for somewhere to celebrate the start of the new year should head to the New Parish for its New Year's Eve Bash, which features a solid lineup of local reggae acts. King I-Vier, a former KMEL DJ who runs several reggae parties around the Bay Area, will spin rare reggae and dancehall jams along with a crew of other DJs, including Leydis. DJ Leydis, who is also based in the Bay Area, is originally from Cuba and was a pioneering figure in the Cuban hip-hop movement. She's also a spoken word poet and activist, and was a vocal opponent of United States' embargo against Cuba before President Obama significantly loosened it earlier this year. Jah Yzer, a local reggae vocalist and producer originally from Miami, will also perform. There will be a champagne toast at midnight and a surprise performance by a special guest. — N.V.

Dec. 31., 9 p.m., $20-$60. TheNewParish.com



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