What is a Parrandero?
The term “Los Parranderos” is close in meaning to the expression “The Party Goers” and refers to happiness, laughter, and good disposition to enjoy life.
The group started back in 1996 when a small circle of friends, all of them Venezuelan immigrants, decided to revive the Venezuelan tradition of going door-to-door singing Christmas Carols to their neighbours around the Student Residences on campus at the University of British Columbia.
FIRST PUBLIC PRESENTATION
The first time Los Parranderos “dared” to go public was during the Christmas season of 1997. That year, Los Parranderos performed at the Granville Island Annual Christmas Fair. They have been invited to participate every year ever since.
Los Parranderos celebrated their 10-year anniversary in style at the Capilano Banquet Hall of the Best Western Sands by the Sea Hotel, Downtown Vancouver. In typical fashion, the ‘parranda’ goers partied until the hall was closed and great fun was had by all.
We are currently in the planning stages for our 20th Anniversary. Stay tuned for more details coming soon. #20YearsOfParrandas
Los Parranderos Today
Nowadays, the group consists of about 16-20 participants and is currently under the direction of Ivan Contramaestre-Luces. Los Parranderos was previously directed by Maria Luces, whose dedication, knowledge, and patience have been instrumental in shaping this group of amateur musicians.
The group starts its performances in November and continues all through the Christmas season, having shows in Granville Island, Canada Place, Cypress Mountain, Local Schools, Grouse Mountain, Churches, Community Centres, Restaurants, Senior homes, and other venues around the Metro Vancouver area.
Los Parranderos are not musicians. Instead, they are “happy people with musical homesickness” whom are thrilled to share their rhythms and enthusiasm with Vancouverites, Canadians and their guests.
As an additional note, members of this group felt the need to expand its activities and repertoire outside of Christmas themes and perform year-round with the additional aim to include music from the rest of Latin America as well.
The idea gave birth to several additional groups:
- Fusion Latina, Vancouver’s First Latin American Choir: It aimed at promoting music from all over the Latin America region. Sadly, Fusion Latina is no longer performing.
- Asi Somos, a quintet performing Afro-Venezuelan music. In 2014, Asi Somos appeared at the Opening Gala for the Vancouver Latin American Film Festival (VLAFF). Most recently, they have performed in various festivals in the Metro Vancouver area.
Some of our members also perform in other similar groups, which we want to acknowledge and give a shout-out:
- Viene Sonando, under the direction of the magnificent Marianella Ramos. This smaller choir has performed in multiple venues in Metro Vancouver and are not to be missed.
- SongPati Latin Band, Vancouver’s own Gaitas ensemble and Latin Band. In 2015, they performed in Calgary as the opening artists for the legendary Latin music band Guaco. They also host Vancouver’s Major Latin Dance Series. Check their website for more details.