Arts Listings

Live Music Options For New Year’s In Berkeley

By Galen Babb
Friday December 29, 2006

If you want to hear great music New Year’s Eve but don’t want to go far from home there are fantastic options right here in Berkeley covering a wide range of styles, from kid friendly world music to a jazz combo that specializes in cover versions of the music of Radiohead. 

The intimate setting of La Peña Cultural Center is the perfect place to hear the Cuban jazz of Jesus Diaz and his Bay Area Cuban All-Stars. Diaz is a Cuban-born percussionist and vocalist who has worked in the past with Carlos Santana and Dizzy Gillespie. 3105 Shattuck Ave. 849-2568. 

If you are looking for a sound that is more in the Americana genre then you’ll want to check out the bluegrass band High Country at the Freight and Salvage. The bill also features bluegrass duo Dix Bruce and Jim Nunally. The Freight’s New Year’s celebration offers silly hats, a buffet, and sparkling apple cider at the stroke of midnight. 1111 Addison St. 548-1761. 

Ashkenaz is featuring Balkan music with early start time of 7:30 p.m. so that families with kids can come and enjoy the festivities. The bill features Edessa, one of the Bay Area’s premier Balkan music bands, performing along with Greek music specialists Ziyia. Scandinavian and Cajun fiddler Joe Finn will also perform. 1317 San Pablo Ave. 525-5054. 

Jazz enthusiasts may want to check out Jupiter, the downtown brewery, which will feature Disappear Incompletely, an electro-jazz ensemble that performs jazz arrangements of the songs of alternative rock band Radiohead. 2181 Shattuck Ave. 843-8277. 

At Anna’s Jazz Island you can hear the Cuban music stylings of Bobi Cespedes and her trio featuring John Santos as a guest percussionist. Cespedes’s music is in the style of the Buena Vista Social club and she has a warm and sultry voice that has been compared to that of Cesaria Evora. 2120 Allston Way. 841-5299. 

The Starry Plough in South Berkeley will feature Afro Cuban rock band Antioquia and the rock band Sinclair. As owner Mike Naina summed it up, “It is going to be a rockin’ night.” 3101 Shattuck Ave. 841-2082.