Chicago Cuban Charanga Band
This Chicago Cuban Charanga Band is the only band that plays this kind of music in the Midwest. This traditional ensemble plays styles which include the Mambo, Salsa, Cha-Cha-Cha, Danzon, Guaguanco, Guajira, Son and Charanga. Chicago's Traditional Cuban Charanga sound is very unique compared to the overly loud and boisterous salsa bands throughout the states.
Cuban Charanga Band style
The Chicago Cuban Charanga Band plays a light, elegant, sprightly music which include a flute lead, legato strings (violins and/or cello), rhythm section (crisp timbales, conga, güiro, bass, piano) and unison of voices which play traditional music from Cuba's 40's, 50's 60's and 70's (which is considered "The New York Style"). This band is different from your ordinary salsa bands that have the same rhythm section but without the loudness of horns that can sometimes be too much of any event. Instead of horns, this band has a lighter approach and incorporate a string section (violins and cellos) and a flute so our approach is a lighter one.
Cuban Charanga Band venues
This Chicago Cuban Charanga Band has been playing in the Chicago-land area for about 3 years. Some of the venues which they have performed are The Drake Hotel, The Underground Wonder Bar in Downtown Chicago, The Green Dolphin, Old Town School of Folk Music, University of Chicago, The Cubby Bear in Wrigleyville, Chicago's Annual Cuban Festival, Alhambra Palace, Mambo Cafe, Puerto Rican Arts Alliance, Erie Neighborhood House, Young Professionals Advisory Council, Abbey Pub, Lalo's on Maxwell Street, Lake Forest Country Club, Indian Trails Library District, The Terrace at The Siver Place in Waukeegan, and other venues.
The musicians of this traditional Chicago Cuban Charanga Band include some of Chicago's finest musicians all of which were classically trained. One of the violinist has worked with artist from Stevie Wonder, Ray Charles, Janis Joplin, Yes, Chick Corea, Jamiroquai, Dave Weckl, Sepultura to Pantera. The other violinist has worked with Maestro Glymph and the String Orquestra at NEIU, the Alaria Chamber Ensemble at The Manhattan School of Music, The Young Eight (the only African American Octet ensemble in America) and others.
The percussionist is a Latin Grammy nominated percussionist who plays with many great Chicago bands. He is also an educator and teaches at Columbia College, Roosevelt University, Prarie State College and is a residency artist for the Chicago Jazz Institute. The drummer studied drums from Donald Skoog and has performed with Ricky Minor, Jesus Enrique, Lamar Jones, Khari Parker, Nicole Mitchell and others. The self taught flute player has played for more than 40 years. He started playing and still plays with different bands including this Chicago Cuban Charanga Band.
The pianist is not only the pianist of this Chicago Cuban Charanga Band but also the arranger and the music director. In addition to co-founding and arranging for this great band, he has launched many musical productions throughout the Chicago-land area. Finally, the leader of the band studied cello playing classical music as a youngster and discovered this great genre of music called "Charanga" during his college years. This is when he fell in love with the combination of classical music and traditional Cuban Music combined together. In the summer of 2012, he partnered up with the pianist to launch this great Chicago Cuban Charanga Band in the Chicago-land area.