BiographyCuba's Charanga Habanera has had its share of troubles. When they perform in Florida, they confront protesters who believe every dollar the band earns heads straight to Castro's wallet. In Cuba, the group was banned from television and foreign travel after a band member made overtly sexual gestures on a live broadcast. And leader David Calzado at one point lost his entire band (it's never been clear if they were fired or if they quit) and had to invite a young band, los Chicos de la Salsa, to join him and be restyled as the new Charanga Habanera. Underneath all the controversies, the music roils -- Charanga Habanera is one of the most vibrant bands in Cuba's current timba scene. They've scored hit after hit in Cuba and have wowed European audiences when they tour, and they're noted for the insanely complicated arrangements that underlie their infectious, forward-looking dance music.
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