Make Music Winter, Thursday, Dec. 21

Melrose Parranda | Bronx Music Heritage Center

The Bronx Music Heritage Center (BMHC) hosts its 3rd annual Make Music Winter event in the Melrose section of the Bronx, with a procession or parranda, the Puerto Rican tradition of caroling. Based in the music of plena, and other holiday songs from the island, this festive parade will be led by members of the Bronx music and cultural community, including Jorge Vázquez, Matthew Gonzalez, Bobby Sanabria, and others. Each stop along the parranda will be a different casita, the little houses that evoke the houses of the countryside in Puerto Rico. The parranda will begin at El Coquí Communty Garden and wind wind its way through Melrose Commons stopping at the various casitas/community gardens in the neighborhood, ending at the casita renowned for its musical legacy, Rincón Criollo Centro Cultural, aka “La Casita de Chema.”  This year the parranda will honor the island of Puerto Rico as it recovers from the devastation caused by Hurricane Maria. The parranda will open with poetry in honor of the island by Jesús “Papoleto” Meléndez and followed by Puerto Rico’s national anthem, “La Borinqueña”.

This program is co-sponsored by the Bronx Music Heritage Center, We Stay/Nos Quedamos Committee, Inc., Asociación Huerto y Cultura and the BX Collective.

Gather no later than 4:30 PM at El Coquí Community Garden’s Casita, 414 E. 163rd Street (around the corner of 163rd and Melrose Avenue).

Just come ready to sing, dance, and play!



Cutting-edge music has a deeply rooted history in the Bronx. Jazz legends, Hip Hop innovators, and a melting pot of sounds have proliferated in the borough for decades. While the music thrived, venues didn’t: over 20,000 live music seats in dozens of clubs and theaters were lost in the Bronx since the 1970s. Yet, to this day, artists from a wide array of cultural backgrounds make the Bronx their home, creating new work, collaborating across genres and generations, and innovating music forms in one of the most diverse counties in the nation. The Women’s Housing and Economic Development Corporation will develop the Bronx Music Heritage Center (BMHC), a performance and community space to showcase and amplify the Bronx’s rich musical legacy, scheduled for completion in 2017. In the meantime, the BMHC Lab is engaging artists and community members to gather, participate in performances, and express their vision for this new cultural facility. For more information visit This Is Bronx Music.


Illustration by Kyle Lambert of Callout Creative