“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.”
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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Their debut album Pilon was a well-received introduction to the band and received critical praise from tastemakers including Wax Poetics, Vibe Magazine, and The Washington City Paper, amongst others. Wax Poetics states, “The groove to this music is deep,” while The City Paper boasts, “…its solid arrangements and lively original songs have impressed old-school salseros and young music fans alike.”
Los Hacheros revives folkloric styles like son montuno, guaracha and salsa, and often combine them with Bomba, a fiery rhythm from the mountains of Puerto Rico. “Los Hacheros has the magic of group improvisation,” adds bassist William Ash. “We play in a style that is swing oriented and emphasizes the Cuban clave like great ones of old: Arsenio, Reve, Ritmo…”
A band of only 5 musicians, Los Hacheros can sound like a conjunto of 12.
CHIA’s DANCE PARTY is a New York City-based Quintet. The band delivers a unique musical experience where infectious danceable grooves mix harmoniously with extensive compositional and improvisational work. The band performs original material inspired by the Colombian rhythmic and melodic traditions, yet explores different genres and compositional approaches. CHIA’s Dance Party has a distinct sound as a result of the diverse background of its musicians. Ben Stapp, an exceptional tuba player brings his vast experience in experimental, Jazz, classical and rock music.
Singer-songwriters Solange Prat (Argentina) and Gregorio Uribe (Colombia) came individually to New York City to develop and nurture their musical careers. Working in a city that is a mecca of art, culture and music, both artists have successfully been able to establish themselves in the Latin music scene with their own unique projects. Inevitably, through their music and performances, their paths crossed and they were able to come together to create. More recently Prat and Uribe have teamed up to form a singer-songwriter duo, where they not only perform together, but also co-write original songs that tell stories shared and experienced by both.
ED POLCER is known as an American classic jazz cornetist, band leader, and mentor of young musicians. He has appeared in hundreds of concerts, festivals and jazz parties throughout the U.S., Canada, Japan and Europe, including with Benny Goodman’s sextet, at the 1994 Congressional Ball in the White house, in Bangkok for the king of Thailand, and at the wedding of Prince Rainier and Grace Kelly in Monaco. In 2004 he was honored to play for the official opening of the Louis Armstrong House Museum, where he is now one of the docents, giving tours to students, while familiarizing them with his knowledge of” Pops” and the New Orleans/Dixieland style of jazz.
As the son of Ed, BEN POLCER grew up with jazz. In the early 2000’s, Ben helped found “Baby Soda”, a NYC jazz band that was made up of many different musicians at any given time, playing in parks, coffee houses and on street corners. In 2007 Ben made the big move to New Orleans and life as a full time musician. Since then, he has become one of the top young bandleaders in NOLA, performing at Preservation Hall, The House of Blues, Fritzels Jazz Pub and up and down Frenchmen Street.
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.
Jamaican-blooded, London-born and raised, and long-term New Yorker, PJ Cobbs paints the city in brilliant colors on silk and paper. Her work has been exhibited in New York and the U.K., and has been published in the New York Times, Time Out New York, Fiberarts Magazine and numerous publications
Melissa will be here with her own unique art projects for kids and families. Villalobos will offer henna-tattoos and her own one-of-a-kind, personalized cartoon work. Have you ever wondered how you’d look as a cartoon? Stop by Melissa’s table and find out!
Centro Cultural Barco de Papel joins Viva la Comida with an interactive art project. In collaboration with Intercultural Cartonera, the Barco de Papel Cultural Center will host a literature garden. Viva la Comida attendees will be able to build their own cardboard book or collaborate on a community book sculpture, and explore books from Latin-American artists.
We have chosen art to complement this celebration, as one of the oldest forms of human expression and to reflect on our urban environment. This project is made possible thanks to the collaboration of artists throughout New York City, the 82nd Street Partnership, art supplies and the team of volunteers from Centro Cultural Barco de Papel and Intercultural Cartonera.
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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.