Celebrating Caribbean Christmas traditions — parang, food, drinks & dance

Recording artiste, Cheryl Vincent.

In the spirit of preserving and celebrating the traditions of Caribbean-Americans in New York City, the Cultural Committee of St. Paul’s Church in the Village of Flatbush in Brooklyn, has invited the public to their annual Dinner and Dance — a Pre-Christmas Parang & Soca Parang Night, scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019, 7 pm.

The event which includes a dinner of traditional Caribbean Christmas foods and beverages, live Parang and Soca Parang, as well as DJ music designed to induce dancing, will feature the popular group Las Reinas de la Cancion and recording artiste Cheryl Vincent. The Master of Ceremony of the event will be Community Organizer, Gerry Hopkin of Afterwork Networking Wednesdays in Brooklyn.

Parang is a popular genre of seasonal (Christmas) folk music found in most Caribbean states, especially Trinidad and Tobago. The tradition was brought to Trinidad and Tobago by Venezuelan and Colombian migrants during and after the period of colonization in the West Indies. These migrants were primarily of Amerindian, Spanish, Mestizo, Pardo, Cocoa Payol, and African heritage. This mix of ethnicities is strongly reflected in the music itself. Over time, this genre of music spread throughout the Caribbean, and is especially appreciated, played and sung in Grenada, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Barbados and Guyana.

Soca Parang, which is the off-spring of Parang, is a crossover genre of music that incorporates Parang chord structures and instruments with lyrics sung in English, as opposed to Spanish — the language of original Parang.

The venue of the Dec. 7 Dinner Dance & Diversion — Pre-Christmas Parang & Soca Parang Night, is the St. Paul’s Auditorium, located at 157 St. Paul’s Place, corner of Church Avenue.

Those interested in obtaining tickets for this special event of traditional Caribbean foods, drinks, music and dance, in advance, may call the St. Paul’s Church Office at 718-282-2100; Judith Lewis at 347-782-7921; or Jemma Barker at 646-600-1077.

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