Cuban Charanga bands originated from 19th century French orchestras called Charanga Francesas. Charanga Francesas developed in the New World in the aftermath of the forced migration of French landowners and Haitian slaves from Haiti to Cuba after the Haitian war for independence. Later Charanga Francesas became known simply as Charangas. Over the years, Charangas have transformed their instrumentation and musical styles in response to changing popular musical tastes. The original large tympanis were replaced by the more portable, versatile "pailas criollas". The "pailas criollas" were later replaced by the timbales and guiro. Towards the end of the 1880s the charangas replaced the clarinet with the five hole ebony flute. A critical aspect of the charanga sound emerged when in 1899 the piano was added. Another event of in the evolution of charanga was the introduction of the tumbadora (a drum used largely by the conjuntos that played sons) in the 1940s. The violins, the flute and the piano dominated the various sections and the quality of the solo performances and henceforth acquired special importance.

Charangas are best known for playing dance music called danzon. The origins of the Danzn lie in the Cuban and French contradanza of the 19th century. Within a few years Danzn became so popular (especially among middle class Cubans) that by the early 20th century Danzn was considered Cuba's national dance.

Subsequently composers and arrangers incorporated other Cuban music forms into their danzones. The introduction of afrocuban influences into the charanga sound helped increase its popularity among all Cubans in middle and upper class social circles.



1. A Comer Chicharrn 2. Son A Los Grandes 3. Piln #2 4. Controlate 5. Guajiro Cubano 6. Dejenme Vivir 7. Si Te Mueres No Me Lleves 8. Que Es Lo Que Hace Usted 9. Aprovechame 10. La Comparsita 11. Un Dia Despues