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September 12, 2019


Food, music and culture returns to the streets of Jackson Heights.

Jackson Heights, NY- Back for the 8th year in a row,  Viva La Comida food and music festival in New York’s most fabulous melting pot, Jackson Heights, Queens! This multicultural festival puts a spectacular show with an eclectic array of street food vendors, local restaurants, artists, and live musicians bringing New York, Latin American and Afro-Caribbean flavor to the streets.

Viva La Comida is a production of the 82nd Street Partnership and a celebration of diversity and culture in NYC. This festival not only brings a grand fiesta to the neighborhood, but it also provides an economic boost to the local businesses and participating food vendors.

This year’s festival will be held on Saturday, September 21st, 2019, from 12:00 pm to 7:00 pm along 82nd Street, between Roosevelt and Baxter Avenues.

Distinctive Street Flavors

Viva La Comida will be bringing attendees traditional foods representing 13 countries from South and North America, the Caribbean, and Asia. This year festival will be anchored by some of NYC’s favorite food vendors, including treasured street food vendor Arepa Lady; Vendy Vegan Cup winner Mysttik Masala, and Mom's Momo.  

Returning festival favorites include: Roosevelt Avenue mainstays Tortas Nezas, with their supersized Torta Pumas; Ricas Botanas, which will serve freshly made churros and other Mexican treats; and Oscar’s Chuzos & Corn will be present as well. Also returning are Viva La Comida superstars Rosa’s Piña Colada and her daughter Evelyn’s Kitchen, who will be serving Peruvian ceviche. Mama Food, serving her delicious and spicy Xinjiang-style grilled squid and lamb skewers will also be present. 

Two exciting additions to our festival are Kong Bab, a Korean BBQ cart, and TongNYC with their yummy Bangladeshi Street foods.

Long-term community restaurants will also be present.  Delicias Colombianas will have morcillas (blood sausages) and the traditional Bandeja Paisa. Sabor Ecuatoriano will offer traditional Yaguarlocro, a dish cooked with lamb tripe from the Andean region of Ambato in Ecuador. Casa Rivera, an old-style butcher, market, and restaurant, serving traditional South America foods and treats—this market has an exceptional variety of hard-to-find Latin American products.

Best Rhythms in Town

Mixing sounds from jazz and Cumbia to Flamenco, this year’s performers will bring to the stage a mixture of lively sounds unique to NYC.  

Grupo Rebolu
This Jackson Height based Afro-Colombian musical ensemble is comprised of some of the finest Colombian musicians in the United States. The group was created from their desire to promote the rich musical traditions of their ancestors; the afro-descendants of Colombia's Caribbean coast. From traditional songs to original compositions, the entirely of Rebolú's repertoire is loaded with energy, history, and danceability. They bring a unique reinterpretation of traditional Afro-Colombian rhythms such as Gaita, Tambora, Chalupa, and Bullerengue, among others.

Jay Rodríguez y Su Conjunto Latín Swing  

A two times Grammy winner, Jay Rodriguez is one of the busiest men in jazz, and one of the few playing most all the reeds as a leader and sideman with wildly diverse musicians, synthesizing these experiences within his projects. He is also the Musical Director and founding member of the New York City phenomenon Groove Collective. In its over two-decade career, the band has opened for and jammed with James Brown, backed Tupac Shakur, and shared the stage with Isaac Hayes, Erykah Badu, The Roots, and B.B. King, among others.  To Viva La Comida, Jay is bringing a Latin Swing ensemble that reinterprets the blues and swing rhythms under the light of the clave. 
Los Habaneros NYC
This explosive band is a force to behold on stage. Mixing musical styles from their home in Cuba with the diversity of sounds they encountered when they made New York City their home. Los Habaneros transcend traditional musical genres to create a real fusion that provokes fans into hip-shaking abandon. The band is comprised of a young generation of Havana-trained musicians, including artistic director and pianist Axel Tosca Laugart, and percussionist Yusnier Sanchez Bustamante. 

Flamenco with Alfonso Cid & Dueto Andaluz

Alfonso Cid's performances consist of demonstrating and transmitting the multidisciplinary art of the Andalusian Gypsy culture through Flamenco music, singing and dancing originated in the southern part of Spain and recognized and appreciated throughout the world. 
The “Dueto Andaluz” plays Jazz, Classical and Mexican music with the Mediterranean and Andalusian touch and sound. The Duet is composed of the guitarist, composer and arranger Daniel Pimentel and the dancer Natalia Loza who apart from the zapateado masterfully manages the castanets, shawl, and fan. Both are a reference to Flamenco in Mexico.

Rafael Castillo-HalvorseenTrio

Rafael Castillo-Halvorseen is a trumpeter, composer, singer, and bandleader born in Boulder, CO, where he grew up listening to the Beatles, merengue, and Louis Armstrong.  With his trio, you can find him performing all over New York City, playing a wide variety of music, from ragtime and son montuno to bebop.  This Trio is a blend of cultures and musical influences.

Interactive Arts Projects and Kids Activities

Returning for a second year is the John Lennon Education Tour Bus, a state-of-the-art mobile audio and HD video recording, and production facility. 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, visitors can learn how to write, record, and produce original songs, music videos, documentaries, and live multi-camera video productions – all in one day!

Jackson Heights artists Derick Melander will be offering an art workshop for kids that explores the textures and forms of everyday clothing.  Derick is best known for creating large, geometric sculptures from carefully folded and stacked second-hand clothing. Derick has exhibited his work extensively, most recently creating two monumental sculptures for Swire Properties in Hong Kong.  He is currently holding an open studio at 35-59 82nd Street until September 30th.

Other kids’ activities will include puppet making with Firefly and face painting with Annabel Popa.

Press Contact for further information:
Leslie Ramos
P. 718.335.9421
The 82nd Street Partnership is a non-profit neighborhood development organization that supports the local business community by providing sanitation, beautification, marketing, and advocacy services. Our mission is to enhance the shopping environment along 82nd Street, one of New York City's most vibrant, authentic, and diverse neighborhoods. 

This event is made possible by the support of our sponsors and community partners.  

Platinum Sponsors


Silver Sponsors

Jackson Heights Beautification Group
Schneps Media 
Target Foundation

Bronze Sponsors

Louis Lefkowitz Realty 
Heritage Tower
Business Center for New Americans 
Queens Chamber of Commerce 
Mark Medical
Anna Maria Bazan Law

Local Partners

Elmhurst Hospital
Centro Cultural Barco de Papel
FireFly Puppets
Annabelle Popa
Derick Melander
Infinity Square Production

Copyright © 2019 82nd Street Partnership, All rights reserved.

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