(credit: David Paul Morris/Getty Images)

Everybody wants a good time on New Year’s Eve, the biggest party night of the year. But how do you choose among so many opportunities? There are great parties that can cost anywhere from five bucks to a thousand, not to mention the private affairs of your friends. One of the best ways to make a decision is to choose the right music. We can’t possibly list every available choice, but after a bit of research, we are confident that these suggestions offer a nice range of musical choices and interesting venues. Happy planning and keep it safe!

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SaxTigress Sonya Jason Quartet
Sir Francis Drake Hotel
450 Powell St.
San Francisco, CA 94102
(888) 609-5964

The Los Angeles Times has called popular saxophonist Sonya Jason as being “in line to join the upper echelon of contemporary jazz musicians.” Jason has performed at jazz festivals all over the world and been the opening act for groups including Earth, Wind and Fire and the Lionel Hampton Quarter. Her performance on New Year’s Eve at the Sir Francis Drake Hotel is part of an elaborate black tie event that will feature multiple ballrooms, a comedy club, a magic show, an upscale dinner and other surprises. If you are looking for a very traditional, upscale New Year’s experience in the heart of downtown San Francisco, this would be an excellent concert choice.

(credit: Last.FM)

Sea of Dreams Multi-Band Concert featuring Thievery Corporation
Bill Graham Civic Auditorium
99 Grove St.
San Francisco, CA 94102
(415) 624-8900

Historically, the New Year’s Eve concerts at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium have been one of the city’s hottest tickets. This year will feature Thievery Corp. and a host of other bands and performers, including a circus. Thievery Corp. is famous for its eclectic mix of styles that include dub, classical Indian music and Bossa Nova. In 2009, it performed as the opening act for Sir Paul McCartney at a concert in Maryland. This concert might be the best choice for lovers of top-flight contemporary music.

(credit: @ACEA/Photo Gilles Martin-Raget)

San Francisco Symphony
Davies Symphony Hall
201 Van Ness Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94102
(415) 864-6000

If classical music is your cup of champagne, the Gala Masquerade at Davies Symphony Hall featuring the San Francisco Symphony will definitely pop your cork. The concert, conducted by Maestro Michael Francis, will feature metzo-soprano Sasha Cooke and baritone Kelly Markgraf. The symphony concert will be followed by dancing on the stage of Symphony Hall to the swinging 1930s retro sounds of the Peter Mintun orchestra. You’ll feel as if you have been magically transported into your very own production of “Die Fledermaus.”

(credit: Last.FM)

The California Honeydrops
Yoshi’s San Francisco
1330 Fillmore St.
San Francisco, CA 94115
(415) 665-5600

From Oakland, The California Honeydrops features the vocal stylings of Lech Wierzynski. Wierzynbski and bandmates have moved from busking in Oakland subway stations to a nationally known act. The group’s sound is unique, with influences ranging from New Orleans Jazz to traditional blues to Bay Area R&B. It has been booked at the Monterey Jazz Festival and, last August, it opened for the legendary B.B. King.

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Slapsie Maxie’s Speakeasy New Year’s
Cafe du Nord and the Swedish American Music Hall
2170 Market St.
San Francisco, CA 94114
(415) 861-5016

The Cafe du Nord is well established as one of the first-tier clubs for local bands. The New Year’s Eve Speakeasy will feature quite a few, headlined by Slim Jenkins, one of San Francisco’s most popular swing-style bands. Also on hand will be the the Rumble Strippers, 29th Street Quartet and The Hi-Ball Hotshots. Dinner is included in the festivities. If you want to give New Year’s love to a whole truckload of local talent, this is the place to be.

Charles Kruger is well known in the Bay area as “The Storming Bohemian” ever since he entered the Bay Area cultural scene in the summer of 2009, attending 90 cultural events in 90 days and blogging about it. This project was successful enough to warrant a mention in The New York Times. His coverage of Bay area theatre can be found at Examiner.com.