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Charanga Habanera

Home Base Established Albums Charts PTracks
Havana, Cuba 1988 6 0 0
This artist has albums available.
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Click on each album title for an expanded view.
Album Name Preview Style Price
Hey You Loca Timba $11.99 Buy_now
Soy Cubano Soy Popular Timba $12.99 Buy_now
Chan Chan Charanga Timba $10.99 Buy_now
El Charanguero Mayor Timba $11.99 Buy_now
Tremendo Delirio Timba $11.99 Buy_now
Pa que se entere La Habana Timba $10.99 Buy_now
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Led by David Calzado, Charanga Habanera is considered as a TIMBA institution and one of the most iconic cuban music groups of all time.

Soy Cubano Soy Popular

ENGLISH: bio by Kevin Moore and main photo
by Peter Maiden of www.TIMBA.com

David Calzado and Charanga Habanera have been on the cutting edge of Timba since they played a seminal role in defining the genre in 1992. The original Charanga Habanera recorded four indispensible classic albums before a whirlwind of personnel changes beginning in 1997 split them into three separate groups: Charanga Forever, Dany Lozada y su Timba Cubana, and David Calzado's new Charanga Habanera. This group of pages lays the foundation for all three groups and then follows the career of David Calzado and the band known today as Charanga Habanera. Each of the other groups has its own section of timba.com and we hope to soon add pages for the current groups of other ex-members of the original Charanga Habanera.

Charanga Habanera was chosen by the readers of timba.com as the greatest Timba band of all-time in the Timba.com awards of 2003 and CH members placed first in a number of other categories. Michelle White presented them with their awards on their February 2004 tour of Sweden and wrote a very interesting account of the presentation of the awards. To access an encyclopedia worth of info on Charanga Habanera and their music click on the following links:

CD review and discography
Educational Articles on the Bass, Piano and Percussion Styles
Live Concert Reviews
Interviews and Photo Galleries.

Concert Report by Michelle White of www.TIMBA.com
The Boys Are Back in Town - La Charanga Habanera Europe 2004

It's almost been exactly one year since I saw La Charanga Habanera for the first time in March 2003. Once you've seen them live, you find yourself going through withdrawal if you don't get a regular dose. So this year I took the opportunity to get a double dose seeing them twice in the same week: first in the small jazz club Nefertiti in Gothenburg and then in a larger concert venue in Stockholm.

As I have discovered previously, each concert has a unique character and it's really worth seeing the same group more than one if you have the opportunity. Nefertiti is a very small venue with a low stage that barely fits the entire band. This allows for a feeling of greater intimacy with the band, but also limits the Charangueros in their ability to perform some of the more acrobatic moves.

But even on this small stage they were able to live up to the fans' expectations and put on a very hot, sexy show. They seem to have some sixth sense about where everything is on stage, so they were able to do their choreography making full use of the little space available without crashing into each other or tripping over the microphone cords.

Even before the show started you could see there were going to be some changes because they now have electric drums set up next to Yulién's timbales. The concert started with Soy Cubano, Soy Popular followed by Muevete. But the third song was an 'estreno' from the new CD we've all been hearing gossip about: Charanga Suave, rumored to be a CD of ballads. The song was Por Tu Amor and it was not a ballad but a very catchy, danceable sort of pop-ish/salsa-ish song that you find yourself humming the next day. The mambos really stick with you.

Helder's tumbaos also give it a bit of a timba feel. It was very popular with the audience, and as David said "Charanga Suave, pero no es tan suave". The CD contains ballads and dance songs and will be available on the Cancio label later this year. Hardcore timberos will have to wait until the fall for more timba from La Habanera.

Another highlight of the show was the new Latin Jazz number featuring Helder, Osmani, Junio, Randolph, Orlando, Lázaro and Yulién. Here we saw the new electric drums come in. It was fantastic and a nice addition to the show. Other songs included Mambo # Cuba where they segued into boleros and then back into mambo, Chan Chan which they played by request, Timba con Moña, Somos Los Cubanos, Otra Mujer and Ella Es Como Es. Vuelve Junto A Mi was the only ballad they performed.

During Vuelve Junto A Mi, Lázaro Mengual switched to synth for the 'electric guitar' solo. In fact Lázaro was everywhere. He also took over timbales when Yulién was participating in the choreography. Of course it was over all too soon, but we got Nube Pasajera as the encore. Fortunately I still had the Stockholm concert to look forward to. It was held on Valentine's Day. And who better to spend Valentine's Day with than the Charangueros? In honor of the day they sang both Vuelve Junto A Mi and Entra En Mi Vida. The audience sang along on the chorus to Entra En Mi Vida.

This venue had a much larger stage which allowed for Noel to do his midair flip into the splits move. The Stockholm concert was longer than the Gothenburg concert and included many of the same songs and then a few more such as Señora, Abusadora and the Pelicula one that I don't remember the full name of. Por Tu Amor and the Latin Jazz number also being very well received in Stockholm. One new piece of information was that pianist Helder Rojas is the composer of the Latin Jazz song. Very impressive.

Also from Charanga Suave they sang a song I don't know the name of, but you'll recognize the chorus "Mami, si tú me lo das/ yo te lo daré/ay que rico será/Lo que vamo'acer", which the audience enjoyed and during which Orlando performed his dance on the congas much to the delight of the ladies. Unfortunately I didn't get a picture of it so you'll just have to see it at the show. Stockholm concerts are known for the large number of ladies who like to join the band on stage and despelotearse. But this year there's a new twist. A 'papiriki coro' has been added to El Boni: "Pa' que tú bailas con el papiriki/tienes que soltar el guanikiki".

The ladies who wanted to dance with Eblis had to tuck some money into his waistband. No money, no dance. I think he must have earned a few hundred crowns extra that night. They had some other great coros depending on the circumstances, but I'll leave these to be a surprise for those of you who are going to see the show. Ladies, remember to have some money handy, the Charangueros are back in town!

ESPAÑOL: información official de www.charangahabanera.net

Nube Pasajera
LA CHARANGA HABANERA fue creada en 1988 por un grupo de jovenes y talentosos musicos graduados de las escuelas de arte de Cuba, para desarrollar un proyecto de musica popular cubana enmarcado en los anos 40 - 50 y cumplir con un compromiso en el Sporting Club de Montecarlo. El exito del proyecto propicio que se extendiera por cinco años.

Durante este tiempo compartieron escenario con figuras de amplio reconocimiento internacional como Stevie Wonder, Donna Summer, Barry White, James Brown, Ray Charles, Frank Sinatra, Charles Aznavour, Jerry Lewis, Kool and the Gang y Whitney Houston. Tambien graban su primera produccion discografica con la firma DOM.

La calidad interpretativa, el sabor y la entrega artistica merecieron los elogios tanto de espectadores como de la critica. David Calzado, sin embargo, no se confio del exito. Fue una constante del periodo perfeccionar la puesta en escena y ampliar los generos en su repertorio.

Con la entrada de los 90, la musica popular cubana comenzo a acusar una nueva forma de hacer con una verdadera revolucion melodico-armonica e impresionante polirritmia, que no escapo de la vista de David Calzado. Su experiencia internacional (incluyendo su fecundo trabajo con la orquesta Ritmo Oriental) unida a su inagotable energia le permiten ponerse a tono con el momento con jovenes musicos, versatiles y con amplio goce por el concepto espectaculo incluyendo coreografias atrevidas donde participa toda la banda. A la par se hacen modificaciones timbricas con la entrada de nuevos instrumentos y se forma lo que hoy se conoce como "la mecanica" de la CHARANGA HABANERA. El nuevo despegue y las nuevas grabaciones, ahora con la firma Magic Music-Universal. Desde las primeras sentaciones sube la popularidad "hasta el techo". Comienzan, a la par, largas giras internacionales. Decididamente la CHARANGA HABANERA se gana un puesto en el TEAM CUBA.

En 1998 alcanza el premio de la orquesta mas popular del ano. Manteniendo cuatro temas durante el periodo 98-99 en los primeros lugares de la Radio y la Television. En 1999, 2000 y 2001 vuelve a obtener el mismo resultado Ha realizado giras por Japon, Europa, Mexico, Argentina, Peru,Estados Unidos de Norteamerica y el norte de Africa resentandose en importantes escenarios como son: Festival de Campanille (Italia), Feria del Pacifico (Peru), Hard Rock (Mexico), entre otros.

Ha sido nominada a los premios Grammy Latinos en el año 2003 con el disco "LIVE IN THE USA". EN 2005 fuimos nominados en ORGULLOSAMENTE LATINO en tres categorias mejor video, mejor album, mejor grupo. Cubadiscos y Lucas son muchos de los premios recibidos anualmente por el grupo.