“Viva La Comida! puts the spotlight on the ethnic food of the city’s most diverse borough – Queens”
“A culinary and entertainment extravaganza!”
“A celebration of amazing food, beautiful culture, and Jackson Heights, a wonderful, vibrant community in Queens.”
82nd Street between Roosevelt Ave. & Baxter Ave.
Take the to 82nd Street!
Viva la Comida is a festival highlighting the cultural diversity of Queens, combining food with music, art, dancing, entertainment and more on a street known for its outpouring of vibrancy.
With local food trucks, an art exhibition, an open market atmosphere, and dancing amid live music from a collection of latin, jazz, and roots bands, this is a pure celebration of what makes 82nd Street the heart of the city.
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Martin Vejarano’s (Chia’s Dance Party, La Cumbiamba eNeYé) music projects draw from a festive repertoire of Colombian Cumbia standards. These all-time favorite Cumbia hits will take you back to the golden years of the genre, as well as inspire you to dance and contemplate the joy and energy that these rhythms bring along. Featuring tuba, accordion, clarinet, percussion and voice, the band delivers a captivating fresh sound.
Queens Council on the Arts’ Artist Commissioning Program will present at Viva la Comida the world premiere of Salsa Masala: A Jackson Heights Block Party, a new work completed by ACP awardee in music composition Neil Padukone.
Neil’s project employs intersectional approach to music: “Walk down Roosevelt Avenue in Jackson Heights, Queens, and you hear Bhangra and Bollywood on one side, Cumbia and Bachata on the other,” says Neil. “What would happen, I wondered, if we all brought our instruments out and had one big block party?”
His project, Salsa Masala: A Jackson Heights Block Party provides the soundtrack for this fusion. Inspired by the music of Latin America, the Indian subcontinent, and Black music of the US, Salsa Masala creates “that special mix”—the Spanish and Hindi translations of the work’s title.
His project speaks to the role places like Queens play in an increasingly diverse America: creating connections across communities that demonstrate that “we all feel similar emotions and rhythms, even if they’re in different languages.”
SPANGLISH FLY is part band, part celebration: 12 musicians igniting a party that quickly spreads to the audience. They have been hailed as the premier band of the Latin boogaloo revival,”single-handedly reviving sixties bugalú in NYC” (NBC New York).
Boogaloo! That mix of Latin and soul/R&B that emerged from the clubs, the street corners, the transistor radios and the pool halls of 1960s Spanish Harlem, “El Barrio.” Inspired by Latin boogaloo, or bugalú, SPANGLISH FLY plays irresistible grooves that blend Afro-Caribbean rhythms with the fervor, the feeling, and the harmonics of 60s soul. SPANGLISH FLY “roars through covers, originals, and transformations of previously untouched soul hits” (Village Voice), paying homage to the boogaloo genre while refreshing it for a new generation.
NYC Gaita Club is a Traditional Colombian music collective. This group places an arrangement of folkloric Colombian music. It’s main instruments are drums and Gaitas, an indigenous flute of Colombia.
Sebastián’s newest project featuring original songs, Colombian rhythms, and creative improvisation propelled by an electric power trio.
Featuring world class improvisers Stomu Takeishi (Henry Threadgill, Coung Vu, Tronzo Trio, Myra Melford) on bass, and Satoshi Takeishi (Ray Barretto, Eliane Elias, Erik Friedlander, Antony Braxton, Theo Bleckmann/Ben Monder) on drums, alongside Sebastian Cruz’ guitar (Coba, Lucia Pulido ensemble, La Cumbiamba eNeYé) Sebastián Cruz Trio is both Colombian and universal, and is as much about sensitive songwriting as it is about creative musical explorations.
Yailyn’s passion for music and her Mexican heritage manifests through her devotion to singing rancheras, which she brings to life with her melodic and powerful voice.
DJ Michael Noonan was bred and spread within the rhythmic diversity of Jamaica, Queens and his music collection mirrors this. He feels at home whether the party calls for salsa dura, astral jazz, percussive funk, or heavy rock and more, and he tends to blend styles in surprising ways.
Jackson Heights resident and artist, Caroline Picard, will lead two printmaking workshops for children 5 and older. At the end of the workshops, kids will have learned to make their own stamps and have a beautiful work art to take home.
Jackson Heights resident, Paul VanDeCarr will be providing free puppet making lesson at Dunnnigham Triangle, starting at noon
This year, the John Lennon Educational Tour Bus joins our celebration. The bus is a state-of-the-art mobile audio and HD video recording and production facility where young people will be able to participate in free digital media production workshops, and the production of giant peace signs. Assisted by three on-board engineers, students can learn how to write, record, and produce original songs, music videos, documentaries, and live multi-camera video productions – all in one day!
Queens World Film Festival team will host a Pop-Up-Film-School. This project is designed to engage the public in activities that will expand their knowledge of the photographic and filmmaking capabilities of their cell phones. They will also host a Red Carpet where Viva la Comida attendees can learn how to make the perfect selfie, how to post incredible photos and boost engagement across social media.
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The 82nd Street Partnership is an award-winning neighborhood development group founded in 1990 that serves nearly 200 businesses in Jackson Heights and Elmhurst, Queens. Its mission is to improve neighborhood quality of life and support small business growth by creating a more inviting and vibrant commercial corridor.
Funding for the event is provided by private and public sponsors.