Ring in the new year with music, parties in Auburn

Pick a place to be when the clock strikes midnight
By: Krissi Khokhobashvili, Journal Features Editor
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Event organizers have been hard at work making sure the music is fun, the dance floors open and the champagne flowing freely New Year’s Eve.

NYC artist performs at art gallery
J. Ross Parrelli said one of the best things about returning to her hometown is that everybody calls her Jamie. It is, after all, her real name – J. Ross Parrelli is the name she uses as a rapper in New York City.

She’s changing things up for New Year’s, though, when she’ll play a mix of jazz, reggae and soul at PlacerArts’ Rockin’ New Year’s Eve Party in The Arts Building downtown.

Angela Tahti, executive director of PlacerArts, said there will be light refreshments, a no-host bar and a midnight champagne toast at the third annual event, which is a PlacerArts fundraiser.

“It’s fun, it’s magical, and of course with the art as the backdrop it’s a really beautiful space,” Tahti said.

Jamie Ross is a graduate of Placer High School and California State University, Long Beach. She has lived in New York for two years, where her main focus is music, writing songs and playing at venues like the Bitter End and Webster Hall.

Ross said she’s excited about where her music is headed – she recently released her first album, “Lov’n Mak’n Music.”

Ross’ musical roots reach back to Auburn, where she became interested in hip-hop while spying on her older brother, Jarret, as he jammed with friends.

For New Year’s Eve, Ross and guest musicians will offer what she describes as “boogie-down music” that will keep people dancing.

Auburn gets spicy with Mumbo Gumbo
The Auburn Event Center is gearing up to be a hot place to be Saturday night, when popular band Mumbo Gumbo takes the stage. The Davis-based band has been performing for more than 20 years, giving audiences their unique blend of Cajun, reggae, rock, blues and swing.

“Mumbo Gumbo is a perfect name for them,” said event promoter Scott Holbrook. “What gumbo is, is you just throw in what you’ve got around the kitchen, and it always tastes great.”

Bill Fairfield, a founding member and former keyboardist, said the band loves playing in Auburn thanks to the music-loving vibe here.

“What sets Mumbo Gumbo apart is we have two great women singers up front, backed up by a great rhythm section,”?Fairfield said.

Also performing Saturday night is Placerville band the Empty Wallets. There will be a midnight champagne toast and food available.

“When I think of fun, I think of Mumbo Gumbo right off the bat,” Holbrook said. “To be that fun, you’ve got to be incredible musicians.

Reach Krissi Khokhobashvili at


New Year’s Eve Parties

New Year’s at the Event Center
What: Mumbo Gumbo concert, bar, food available, party favors, champagne toast
When: Doors open at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 31
Where: Auburn Event Center, 145 Harrison Ave., Auburn
Cost: $20 per person. All ages; ID for bar. Buy tickets at, Cherry Records, Tribal Weaver, Briar Patch Co-Op and all Dimple Records.

PlacerArts’ Rockin’ New Year’s Eve
What: Fundraiser featuring J. Ross Parrelli concert, champagne toast, no-host bar and refreshments.
When: Doors open at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 31
Where: The Arts Building, 808 Lincoln Way, Auburn
Cost: $20 in advance; $25 at the door. Includes champagne toast. 21 and over only. Buy tickets at
Information: (530) 885-5670