Last Saturday, parang music lovers were transported back into a time when icons like Daisy Vosin, Gloria Alcazar, the Lara Brothers and Charlene Flores ruled the roost during the Christmas season.
The Lions Cultural Centre came alive with the sound of great parang music as Voces Jovenes held its eight annual Start de Parang Fiesta which had patrons dancing.
Six bands performed for the very appreciative audience and it was refreshing to see the passion and energy displayed by so many youths as they performed.
The evening kicked off with a pre-show by the National Secondary School Champions, Armonias Magnificas, a combination of 20 students from Queen’s Royal College and Bishop Anstey High School. This group has not been together for a year but they are on point with the music and voices. They left the audience in awe with a performance filled with grace and style.
Another injection of youth graced the stage as La Familia de la Parranda was introduced. This small group is made up of members of the Gooding family who started as a source of entertainment for the children.
The group consists of Christina (vocals) and her brothers Luke (vocals and guitar), Joshua (box bass) Liam (vocals and maracas), Nicholas (vocals, cuatro and mandolin) who was trained by Clarita Rivas. They were joined by their cousin Matthew Newallo on cuatro while both Christina and Liam also played the steelpan. Their treatment of the hit Despacito received tremendous applause from the audience.
Host Voces Jovenes came on stage, welcomed the audience then proceeded to thrill them with parang music of a time past. They showed why they are the reigning parang champions.
They made way for Los Alumnios de San Juan led by Alicia Jaggasar and they performed some of Charlene Flores' hits along with a couple of theirs and the much requested Despacito.
Los Sonidas joined the mix and again there was the presence of youth among the players. This band is a combination of past and present students from Bishop Anstey and Trinity College East and once again the audience witnessed a passion for parang music from a group of youngsters.
Los Ruisenores from Princess Town brought the curtain down on the live performances with distinct mandolin playing throughout the songs they performed.
Nadie la Fond and Clarita Rivas were both in the audience enjoying the music from the performers. After the live performances DJ Kabuki entertained the audience until the end of the event.