CHARANGA SOLEIL brings together three of the world’s greatest dance genres: Cuban salsa, Haitian compas, and Congolese rumba-soukous! In addition to the standard charanga instrumentation (flute, violin, piano, bass, conga, vocals and chorus), the group includes the Cuban tres and a full drum set, and sometimes even a 21-string West African kora (among other special guests).
The charanga ensemble – with its distinctive mix of violins and flute – migrated from Haiti to Santiago, Cuba in the late 18th century, with the addition of African-Caribbean percussion and vocal stylings in the 1920s. The modern Cuban charanga has endured as one of the most popular styles of Afro-Cuban music in the world, particularly in West Africa and Haiti.
All seasoned master musicians and bandleaders in their own right, the group’s regular members are: Cathy Lopez (vocals); Goussy Celestin (vocals); Prof. Yaa-Lengi (vocals); Hadar Noiberg (flute, vocals, musical director); Lewis Kahn (violin, trombone); Junior Rivera (tres, vocals); Fred Doumbe (bass), Sergio Rivera (piano); Diego Lopez (drums); and John Berdeguer (percussion, vocals). Taking its name from RADIO SOLEIL D’HAITI (http://www.radiosoleil.com), Charanga Soleil reintroduces the tradition of a radio station represented by an orchestra or big band. A pioneer in Haitian-American radio broadcasting 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in three languages (Kreyol, French and English), RADIO SOLEIL transmits on an FM sub-signal from Brooklyn, NY to a listener base of more than 600,000 Haitians across a five-state area, as well as an ever-expanding international Internet audience. Along with comprehensive news programming, the station remains a showcase for Haitian and other world musics.