The Township of North Bergen honored Grammy award winning resident Erika “Kika” Parra with a proclamation last week for her musical achievements.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
She recently won three Grammy Awards for her role as one of the recording musicians for the Disney movie “Encanto,” for which she also won an Oscar Award.
“A Grammy and Oscar award is a testament to Erika’s exceptional talent and hard work, and North Bergen couldn’t be more proud to call her one of our own,” state Senator (D-32)/North Bergen Mayor Nick Sacco said in a statement.
“We are thrilled to honor Erika with this proclamation and celebrate her achievements with the entire community.”
A graduate of the Lincoln School as well as the North Bergen High School, Parra has always had a passion for music. Under her father’s guidance she started playing percussion at the age of 13 and later studied with Moris Canate, her musical mentor and Rebolu bandmate.
She enrolled at the Boys & Girls Harbor Conservancy in New York, where she studied and performed with both the Colombian and Latin Jazz ensembles under the direction of Pablo Mayor and Louis Bauzo.
“It brings me immense joy to congratulate Ms. Parra for her many achievements. We are all incredibly proud of her and thrilled to see a former student reach such lofty heights. We wish her nothing but continued success in the future,” added Superintendent of Schools Dr. George Solter.
In addition to her contributions to the silver screen, Parra has also performed at festivals and events such as Montreux Jazz Festival, Montana Folk Festival, Richmond Folk Festival, Lincoln Center Outdoors, Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage, Kimmel Center, SXSW, Mundial Montreal, Carnaval de Barranquilla, the Library of Congress, Getty Center, Hollywood Bowl, and many more.
A graduate of Berklee College of Music with a BM in Music Education, Parra has since worked and collaborated with FolkColombia, center for Traditional Music and Dance, Folklore Urbano, Gregorio Uribe Big Band, La Cumbiamba Eneye, Mestizo Dance Compan, Toto La Momposina, Sonia de Los Santos, Ruben Rodriguez, Miss Yaya and C&C Music Factory. She is currently teaching at Avenues: The World School.
She received her proclamation at the board of commissioners meeting on Wednesday, March 8th.