VOCES JOVENES pulled off another successful edition of Start de Parang last Saturday at the Lions Cultural Centre. The group which has been in existence for the last 21 years hosts the event in an effort to “keep the tradition alive”.
The seventh edition of Start de Parang featured six bands including host Voces Jovenes with special guest Pal Joey Lewis. The evening was full of traditional, instrumentals and soca parang music which was provided by Los Ruisenores, La Familia de Carmona Y Amigos, Los Sonidos, and Los ALumnos de San Juan. The stage was dwarfed by two huge banners showing off the event.
La Familia de Parranda provided a prelude to the event, playing as patrons arrived. Hundreds of patrons jammed the venue which also provided room for dancing.
The action got going with La Familia De Carmona Y Amigos followed by Los Sonidos. Several door prizes were given away during the set-up time.
Voces Jovenes played in position three and after a great set honoured musical director, lead singer, quatro player and arranger Candice Corbie who joined the band 18 years ago. The group also asked the audience to sing happy birthday to retired Commodore Anthony Franklin who celebrated his birthday on Saturday.
Los Ruisenores, the debutant at Start de Parang, has been in existence for 30 years and the present players are all second generation friends and family. Before they played they promised to give patrons music to make them dance and that they did and had patrons dancing especially to the instrumentals. Lead singer Sadi Waterman also plays the quatro and “rattles out” Spanish lyrics with ease. It was quite obvious the audience was awaiting nine times National Parang champion Los Alumnos de San Juan. Even before the band was finished setting up there was a surge of patrons towards the stage. The champions did not disappoint as they “nailed” their performance with wonderful singing and dancing.
They paid tribute to Holly Betaudier, a man who kept the tradition of parang music alive throughout his lifetime. And after Los Alumnos’ performance all that was left to do was dance to the sweet sound of ballroom music by Pal Joey Lewis.