Kingsbridge Heights Octavitas Parranda Returns

Jose ‘Dr. Drum’ Ortiz (l) and Vanessa Pastrano discussed Aztlán, the legendary ancestral home of the Aztecs, during the workshop portion of the event.
Photo by Silvio Pacifico

Despite the frigid weather, the second annual Kingsbridge Octavitas Parranda on Saturday, January 13 helped warm residents’ holiday spirits through its unique Caribbean holiday caroling tradition. The event was made possible to the collective efforts of community activist Samelys Lopez, Jose ‘Dr. Drum’ Ortiz, BombaYo!, Miriam Quin Photography, BronxNet, Eduardo Christian Ramos, News 12 the Bronx, the Kingsbridge Merchants Association, Assemblyman Jose Rivera, Rexhep Myftari, La Cocina Nueva, St. James Park, Lynette Arroyo and Community Board 7’s Gloria Bent among many others.

(l-r) Samelys Lopez, Jose ‘Dr. Drum’ Ortiz, Miriam Quinones and Lynette Arroyo helped organized the annual cultural celebration.
Photo by Silvio Pacifico

Jose ‘Dr. Drum’ Ortiz (c) led the eager group in rehearsal prior to the parranda.
Photo by Silvio Pacifico

Jose ‘Dr. Drum’ Ortiz practiced an Octavitas carol with the group.
Photo by Silvio Pacifico

Gloria Bent (l) and Samelys Lopez rehearsed before their neighborhood trek.
Photo by Silvio Pacifico

Kingsbridge Octavitas Parranda marched through St. James Park to the beat of their drums and with a song in their hearts.
Photo by Silvio Pacifico

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