Trinidad and Tobago feels so deeply Caribbean that I keep forgetting that Trinidad is only a few kilometres off the South American mainland! One of the neatest cultural crossovers between those narrow straights is parang. Parang originated as Venezuelan folk music but has become a mainstay of Christmas music in Trinidad and Tobago.
Here’s a really high quality documentary on parang – with great performances from parang musicians. They also touch on the genre’s history, connection with Venezuela and Christmas, and how it has evolved on Trinidad and Tobago.
Parang has also taken on lots of influence from soca and calypso, and is almost now a catchall term for Christmas music. Here’s DJ Ana again with a soca parang mix for Christmas (I know, it’s still October!)