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Tunes for Transition 

Tucson will be alive with the sound of music as 2007 arrives

One of the most reliably festive shindigs each New Year's Eve goes down at Hotel Congress, and this year's party should prove no exception.

The theme this time around is James Bond, and the proceedings, billed as Congress Royale: Two Double-0 Seven, will utilize the entire Congress property. The outdoor parking lot stage will feature live music courtesy of The Jons, Seven to Blue and The Sinners, while the club room will be host to a dance party with tunes spun--that's right, on turntables--by DJ Matt McCoy. The hotel's banquet room will be transformed into a casino, where you can play blackjack and poker with Congress Cash--$100 of which will come with every ticket--to earn chances at winning prizes in a drawing at the end of the night.

Elsewhere, Vivian the Twirling Temptress will be performing her acrobatic trapeze act; Madame Ramla will give Tarot card readings; and kilted bagpipers will parade through the gathered masses. At midnight, attendees will gather in the parking lot to usher in the new year with the traditional ball drop and champagne toast. Doors open at 8 p.m., and Hotel Congress is located at 311 E. Congress St. Admission is $12 in advance at hotelcongress.com, or $15 at the door. Be warned: This event usually sells out. Call 622-8848 for more information.

One of the most recent additions to Tucson's nightlife is Level Bar and Lounge, a lavishly decorated, upscale establishment with a big-city feel. Level offers three separate environments within its confines: a private lounge, a main area featuring a dance floor, and a 1,500-square-foot patio.

On New Year's Eve, DJ Corbin Dooley will be playing breakbeats and house music, with some pop tunes sprinkled into the mix, and champagne specials will be featured all night. Doors open at 8 p.m., and admission is free for the first hour. From 9 p.m. until close, there's a $25 cover charge. Or you can opt for a table reservation package, of which there are multiple options to choose from: in the lounge, for $100 or $350 for four people, and $200 or $700 for eight; or a patio package, which are $150 or $250, both for eight. The price differences reflect the type and amount of champagne you'll be served, and your level of VIP status. A 20 percent gratuity will also be added to the bill.

Reservations must be made over the phone with a credit card by calling 615-3835, the same number to call for further details. Level Bar and Lounge is located at 4280 N. Campbell Ave., at River Road, in St. Philip's Plaza.

Performances by the local Irish/Tex-Mex combo The Mollys are extremely rare these days, but what better night to feature one than tonight? They'll provide the entertainment at the Boondocks Lounge starting at 9 p.m. Get there early for the buffet dinner, which starts at 7 p.m. There will be a champagne toast at midnight, too. Get your advance tickets for $15 at the Boondocks, 3306 N. First Ave. They'll be $20 at the door. For more info, call 690-0991, and check out the write-up in the City Week section of this guide.

Usher in the new year in the spirit of New Orleans at the French Quarter, whose dance party will feature live entertainment from the Little Kings and Sting Ray Vasquez. Cajun cuisine from the Quarter's regular menu will be offered all night long, and the festivities begin at 9:30 p.m. In addition to the music, your $10 admission also includes party favors and a champagne toast at midnight. The French Quarter is located at 3146 E. Grant Road. For further details, head to frenchquarterinc.com, or call 318-4767.

The Santa Catalina Ballroom at Westward Look Resort will host a dance party with live music courtesy of East2West, who play classic rock and soul covers ranging from the Allman Brothers to Wilson Pickett. Your $40 wristband also includes a ticket for a well drink and party favors, and at midnight, a champagne toast and fireworks. Doors open at 7 p.m. Or, if you prefer, you can treat yourself to one of three dinner packages, each of which will be created by Chef Jamie West of The Gold Room; those packages include entry to the ballroom. Costs for dinner packages are $40, $55 and $85, depending on which menu you choose. The Westward Look Resort is at 245 E. Ina Road. For more information, go to westwardlook.com or call 297-1151.

Famous Sam's No. 18 will offer free live entertainment by The Freeze from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. The restaurant and sports bar will also offer a champagne toast, noisemakers and hats for the celebration. You are urged to arrive early, as seating is limited. This Famous Sam's location resides at 7129 E. Golf Links Road. Call 296-1245 for additional information.

Downtown's Armory Park Center will be featuring an intimate catered dinner, followed by dancing to live music by The New Santi Trio, all in a nonsmoking environment. Tickets are $20 per person, and only 100 will be sold. The Armory Park Center is located at 220 S. Fifth Ave. Please call 791-4865 for further details.

The European Multi-Ethnic Alliance of Tucson will sponsor a dinner and dance at the Doubletree Hotel at Reid Park, featuring live music from the big band era, the '50s and the '60s, courtesy of the Street Minstrels, from 8:15 p.m. to 12:15 a.m. You'll have a choice of three dinner entrées, and admission also includes a champagne toast at midnight and party favors. Tickets are $65 per person, and reservations are required. (Deadline for reservations is Dec. 27.) This Doubletree Hotel is located at 445 S. Alvernon Way. For further details, call 777-8187 or 326-7330, or see the write-up in the City Week section of this guide.

There seems to be a celebration for everyone this year, and Deadheads are no exception. Grateful Dead fans can get their groove on at The Hut, which will host Dead cover band Xtra Ticket. Things get rolling at 9 p.m., and the cover is only $5. The Hut is located at 305 N. Fourth Ave. For more info, call 623-3200.

The place to be tonight for jazz aficionados is the JW Marriott Starr Pass Resort and Spa, where the Tucson Jazz Society will kick off its 30th anniversary year with a celebration that includes a three-course dinner and a star-studded lineup of performers, in the Marriott's grand ballroom. Dinner will be served at 7:15 p.m., followed by a performance by Brian Bromberg's Jazz All-Stars Band, which, in addition to bassist Bromberg, includes trumpeter Rick Braun, pianist Jeff Lorber, drummer Dave Weckl and saxophonist Gary Meek. Then it's R&B from the George Howard Band and salsa music by Flaco Diaz, for dancing until midnight. Jeff Haskell will serve as master of ceremonies. Admission is $125 per person, which also includes champagne and valet parking; an overnight package for two runs $379. For more information and to purchase tickets, contact the TJS at 903-1265 or log on to tucsonjazz.org; you can also contact the JW Marriott Starr Pass at 792-3500, or head to marriottstarrpass.com. The resort is located at 3800 W. Starr Pass Blvd. You can see our City Week section in this guide for more info, too.

Casino del Sol will be ringing in the new year with The New Year's Eve Tejano Spectacular, which will take place in the casino's Bingo Hall. The event will include an all-you-can-eat buffet and champagne, plus live performances by Jimmy Gonzales y Grupo Mazz, Bob Gallarza and Friends with special guest Jimmy Edwards, and Hermanos Cuatro. Doors open at 7 p.m., and tickets are $75 for general admission seating or $125 for reserved VIP seating. Tickets may be purchased in advance at ticketmaster.com, or at the Club Sol booths at Casino Del Sol and Casino of the Sun. For more information, call (800) 344-9435. Casino del Sol is at 5655 W. Valencia Road.

Plush's New Year's Eve Bash will feature the bastardized Delta blues antics of headliner Bob Log III, plus vintage-sounding rockabilly from opener Al Foul, who kicks the night off at 9 p.m. Advance tickets are available for $10 at virtuous.com; they'll be $12 at the door. Plush is at 340 E. Sixth St. For additional details, call 798-1298.

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