Tour To Havana, Cuba | Festival Shows & Live CD Recording (para español, haga clic aquí)
Charanga Tropical is the first American ensemble ever invited to perform at the prestigious International Danzón Festival in Havana, Cuba. The biannual festival celebrates the musical style of danzón and features the top charanga bands in Cuba. From June 24th to 30th, 2015 Charanga Tropical will perform festival concerts at venues throughout the city. All shows will be professionally recorded. Following the festival a session in a Havana studio will also be recorded. The music will be later edited, mixed and mastered for the CD 'Charanga Tropical - Live from Havana.'
The Danzón Festival is thrilled that an American group will perform this year and we're equally excited about all the interaction we'll have with Cuban musicians, dancers, and other festival participants.
Through Kickstarter, you can part of this new era of American/Cuban relations. Charanga Tropical will be posting regular updates from both the US and Cuba and sharing great 'rewards.' There is even an opportunity for you to travel with Charanga Tropical to Havana and gain exlclusive access to shows and other locales. Read on for full details.
Below, the official letter of invitation for Charanga Tropical to perform at the 2015 International Danzón Festival in Havana. Click image for larger version or to view the English translation.
Founded in 2006, Charanga Tropical is an 11-piece ensemble based in
Minneapolis, Minnesota. The group performs traditional danzones mixed with a
spicy variety of modern
salsa. With an instrumentation that
dates back to the roots of Cuban music, Charanga Tropical blends the old with
the new to create a timeless sound. Music that is rich in harmony and melody,
fantastic for listening and superb for dancing.
trip we've put together an all-star edition of Charanga featuring Minneapolis
members as well as band alumni living in Chicago, New York, Bermuda, and
elsewhere. Two expert engineers and two professional photographers are joining
us to record our shows and capture the amazing images.
About International Danzón Festival
Danzón is the national dance of Cuba. It
evolved from contradanza, a musical style which arrived with 19th century French immigrants who introduced new
instruments to the island- piano, violin, and flute- which eventually combined
with bass and Cuban drums to create an instrumentation known as 'charanga
francesa' (French charanga), later known simply as 'charanga.'
Danzón Festival showcases charangas
performing throughout Havana at theaters, nightclubs, and open air venues. Multiple bands play each show so at every event Charanga
Tropical will be sharing the stage with top Cuban groups such as Charanga Rubalcaba and Orquesta Aragón. The
festival has featured ensembles and dancers from Mexico, Venezuela, and
Colombia but never any participant from the United States. Charanga Tropical is the first.
To commemorate the historic participation of an American ensemble, Charanga Tropical's repertoire will include Danzón music by Cuban composers from the 1930's and 40's that was inspired by and even quoted popular themes by American composers such as George Gershwin, Harold Arlen, and Cole Porter. This music recalls how close the countries once were and how a new era of artistic collaboration is upon us.
Why We Need Your Help
The longtime United States economic embargo on
Cuba remains in effect. Although diplomatic relations between the two countries
are normalizing, any transaction, including an American band accepting payment
to play a Cuban festival, is not allowed. Involving American corporate donors and nonprofits is similarly illegal
or otherwise impossibly difficult.
We are reaching
out to you- friends, family, fans, and others- so that this ground breaking tour and recording can happen. With your assistance Charanga Tropical can
become the first American band to perform at the Danzón Festival and also the
first American charanga ever to record in Havana. This tour and live CD project are symbolic that a new era of exchange and understanding is possible
for the United States and Cuba.
What is Kickstarter?
Kickstarter is a new way to raise money for creative projects
based on an all-or-nothing funding method. If you choose to become a supporter,
you make a pledge by selecting the “BACK THIS PROJECT” button. Choose a reward
level and then pledge the corresponding amount (or more). You’ll be asked to
enter payment information, but you won’t be charged unless we reach our goal.
Once you pledge, you’ll get exclusive updates about our progress. If
we meet our goal, you'll be charged the amount you pledged and will
receive an email message from Kickstarter notifying you that your payment has
We are excited
to share with you great thank-you rewards such as postcards form Cuba, signed
CDs, original photographs, house concerts, complimentary tickets to shows, meet
and greet at our CD release party, and more. Please see all the rewards at the right side of this page.
you have any questions about any of these rewards, please do not hesitate
to contact us via the 'Contact Me' button at the top right of this page or
email us directly at: email@example.com
How Funds Will Be Used
100% of funds will go towards completing this project. Those costs include transportation, lodging,
meals, CD recording, and artist compensation. Other costs
include 5% for Kickstarter, 3% for credit card processing (both required) and 5% for
promotion, reward costs, and other miscellaneous expenses. See image below or to review the complete budget click here.
Travel To Cuba- Come With Us!
fans can actually travel to Cuba with Charanga Tropical June 27th to July 4th
as part of a unique trip organized by Cuba Tours and Travel. Hear the soul
changing music of Havana, learn about the culture, and come to know the warmth
of the Cuban people. With Charanga Tropical you'll access the Danzón Festival and experience a side Cuban life that few tourists ever see. For more
information, pricing, and itinerary visit www.charangatropical.com/travel-to-cuba.
What Else Can I Do To Support This Project?
Kickstarter is an “all or nothing” funding method, we need to get the word out
as soon as possible and to as many people as we can. Please help us spread the
word! Here’s what you can do:
· Pledge! ·"Share this project" using the "Share" button near the top of this page. · Email your family and
friends ·"Like" us on
Facebook & meet others who've pledge in our Pledge Page · Follow and retweet
@charangatrop #charangacuba · Blog about Charanga
Tropical and our Kickstarter campaign (Click here for press release, press ready photos, etc.)
Charanga Tropical on Twin Cities Public Television (more videos in 'Updates')
Charanga Tropical at Varsity Theater Night Club in Minneapolis
Charanga Tropical at SummerDance festival in Chicago's Grant Park
Cuba Linda, orginal Arabic tinged arrangment by Charanga Tropical
Danzón 'Angoa' (excerpt) by Charanga Tropical
Danzón 'Guira de Melena' (excerpt) by Charanga Tropical
Risks and challenges
While touring to Cuba to record a live CD certainly has challenges, we are extremely invested in this project and have planned for its success. The musicians, photographers, and recording engineers are all expert professionals. Transportation and logistics are being handled by Cuba Tours and Travel. The agency has been active in Cuba for decades and coordinated activities for the San Francisco Opera, the American Composers Forum, and many other groups large and small.
We have come this far and know that with just a little help, from a lot of people, that the journey and its music are possible.
Bandleader Doug Little first met charanga musicians in 2002 while in Cuba for a two month travel study residency sponsored by the Jerome Foundation. In 2005 he attended the Danzón festival while in Havana for another three months of music research. In 2010 and 2013 he returned to Cuba for further study and met with the festival producers, presenting recordings and video of Charanga Tropical. An initial letter of invitation was secured in late 2014, which began the process of clearing many legal and financial hurdles to make this trip a reality. The final official letter of invitation was received March 10th, 2015.
YES, pack your bags! Cuba Tours & Travel is offering a licensed people-to-people tour from June 27th to July 4th. Led by experts, the itinerary includes Charanga Tropical concerts and other shows at the Danzón Festival. For complete list of activities and pricing click "Cuba Tours and Travel" in the "Supporters / Advocates" section above. For the most exclusive experience see pledge EXCLUSIVE ACCESS TOUR TO CUBA.
Unfortunately we do. Our project is a 7-day international tour for 15 individuals (11 musicians, 2 photographers, and 2 recording engineers) that includes travel, lodging, meals, and modest artist compensation. That comes out to $6,400 per person, which also covers the cost of recording and manufacturing our CD "Live from Havana."
Regarding income, Kickstarter will be our sole source. Due to the longstanding United States embargo we cannot accept any payment from any Cuban entity, including the Danzón Festival. The U.S. ban on economic activity has made raising funds from American corporate and nonprofit sources extremely difficult. Additionally, the combination of the embargo and the socialist economy in Cuba have stifled competition in the travel industry resulting in very high flight and hotel costs.
Notably Charanga Tropical does have a nonprofit fiscal agent for individuals or organizations that require a 501(c)3 nonprofit to make a contribution. For complete program budget please see links in the section above "How Funds Will Be Used."
"Share" this project and encourage friends, family, and others to pledge. If you know of a specific blogger, journalist, philanthropist, or someone else you think we should contact directly please let us know via the 'contact us' button.
The above section "What Else Can I Do To Support This Project?" has full list of actions you can take.
Although this project previously qualified as a "permitted cultural exchange," new policies announced in December 2014 eliminated thousands of dollars in required lawyers fees for layers of applications. The less cumbersome bureaucracy is very helpful though the challenges related to the economic embargo remain. Your pledge helps promote a new era of openness, understanding and exchange between the United States and Cuba.
DIGITAL PRINT by Walter Horishynk: You'll receive a high quality digital download of one of professional photographer Walter Horishynk's favorite images from his time in Cuba. Also includes mp3 of "Cuba Linda"
POSTCARD FROM HAVANA. A card to you with a note of thanks for contributing to campaign, to be sent late June. Note: due to the still challenged nature of US/Cuba relations, if your address is in the US, this card may take some time to arrive- 3 months or more. But when it arrives you'll have that cool Cuban stamp! Also includes mp3 of 'Cuba Linda.'
GUEST LIST for ONE YEAR + CD!
Never pay a cover, at least for a year. You'll get in at no charge for Charanga Tropical at any nightclub show for ONE YEAR. Walk in, say "I'm on the list," then get your salsa on! Also includes CD "Charnaga Tropical - Live from Havana"
OUT OF TOWNER SPECIAL
Can't make a show in Minneapolis or Chicago? Receive 3 CDs signed by various band members, 1 CD signed by ALL band members, and a postcard sent direct from Havana, Cuba. Also includes mp3 of "Cuba Linda" PLUS Guest list for you and a guest when we tour to your city (set it up and we're there :)
VIP SPECIAL + LINER NOTES THANKS
Includes Cuba Linda mp3, Postcard from Cuba, signed CD by all band members, 2 comp tickets good for a year to see Charanga at any nightclub show, and "Thank you" the liner notes of the CD itself.
Receive the best of tour photos by Jacob Little and Walter Horishnyk + postcard from Havana and a signed CD by the entire band. The collection of photos presented in book format will share the city of Havana through the eyes of two master visual artists. [note: this book, sometimes referred to as 'exclusive tour photos,' will also given at all reward levels ASSOCIATE PRODUCER and above]
GUEST LIST PLUS ONE for ONE YEAR + TWO CDs!
You AND your guest list never pay a cover for Charanga Tropical at any nightclub show for ONE YEAR. Walk in, say "we're on the list," then get your salsa on! Also includes Cuba Linda mp3 and TWO copies of CD "Charnaga Tropical - Live from Havana"
VIP + LINER NOTES + PHOTOGRAPHY DELIGHT Receive all rewards associated with VIP SPECIAL + LINER NOTES THANKS as well as the best of tour photos by Jacob Little and Walter. The collection presented in book format will the city of Havana through the eyes of two master visual artists. [note: this book, sometimes referred to as 'exclusive tour photos,' will also given at all reward levels ASSOCIATE PRODUCER and above]
ASSOCIATE PRODUCER - You will receive FIVE signed CDs, FOUR tickets to the CD release show, your name as an associate producer in the liner notes, plus a postcard from Havana and exclusive tour photos. PLUS Guest List access for you AND a guest (pay no cover) for any Charanga Tropical nightclub show for ONE YEAR. Also includes a personal thank you call from music director Doug Little and a note of thanks signed by everyone in Charanga Tropical (whew! what a great reward!).
PRODUCER - You will receive TEN signed CDs, TEN tickets to the CD release show, name prominently listed as an executive producer in the liner notes, a postcard from Havana, book of tour photos, AND GUEST LIST access for one year for you and a guest to all Charanga Tropical night club shows. Also includes a personal thank you call from music director Doug Little and a signed photo by everyone of the band in Havana.
Pledge $1,000 or more
All rewards listed at PRODUCER plus 10 postcards from Cuba to persons and addresses of your choice, Charanga Tropical will announce your support and thank you at the opening, middle, and conclusion of our CD release show in Minneapolis. ALSO you support will be announced from all stages at festival venues in Havana, Cuba We capture video of at least one of the announcements in Havana and make that recording available to you to post online.
AFTERNOON ACOUSTIC HOUSE CONCERT- TRIO. Receive all rewards associated with EXECUTIVE PRODUCER level PLUS a trio of Charanga musicians will perform in your home in an acoustic setting for three hours anytime from the late morning through the afternoon. Trio of choice may be classical string trio, Jazz bass-piano-sax trio, or Latin trio of piano, percussion, and flute. Concert available in Twin Cities area and select other cities. Exact date of performance subject to availability but should be scheduled before August 31st, 2016.
EVENING ACOUSTIC HOUSE CONCERT- TRIO. Receive all rewards associated with EXECUTIVE PRODUCER level PLUS a trio of Charanga musicians will perform in your home in an acoustic setting for three hours anytime including popular Friday and Saturday nights. Trio of choice may be classical string trio, Jazz bass-piano-sax trio, or Latin trio of piano, percussion, and flute. Concert available in Twin Cities area and select other cities. Exact date of performance subject to availability but should be scheduled before August 31st, 2016.
AFTERNOON or EVENING ACOUSTIC HOUSE CONCERT- SMALL CHARANGA (aka 'CHARANGUITA') Receive all rewards associated with EXECUTIVE PRODUCER level PLUS six Charanga musicians will perform in your home in an acoustic setting for three hours anytime. Ideal for smaller spaces or tight rooms. Concert available in Twin Cities area and select other cities. Exact date of performance subject to availability but should be scheduled before August 31st, 2016.
EVENING ACOUSTIC HOUSE CONCERT Charanga Tropical live in your home in an acoustic setting for three hours Also receive signed copy of CD, thanks in the liner notes, and a postcard from Havana. Concert available only in Minneapolis area. Exact date of performance subject to band availability.
AFTERNOON ACOUSTIC HOUSE CONCERT- Charanga Tropical. Receive all rewards associated with EXECUTIVE PRODUCER level PLUS entire Charanga Tropical will perform at your home in an acoustic setting for three hours anytime from the late morning through the afternoon. Make your brunch a Latin brunch or serve up the band poolside on hot afternoon. Concert available in Twin Cities area and select other cities. Exact date of performance subject to availability but should be scheduled before August 31st, 2016.
EVENING ACOUSTIC HOUSE CONCERT - Charanga Tropical. Receive all rewards associated with EXECUTIVE PRODUCER level PLUS entire Charanga Tropical will perform at your home in an acoustic setting for three hours anytime including Friday or Saturday nights. Turn a regular party into a real fiesta Havana style. Concert available in Twin Cities area and select other cities. Exact date of performance subject to availability but should be scheduled before August 31st, 2016.
EVENING AMPLIFIED CONCERT Receive all rewards associated with EXECUTIVE PRODUCER level PLUS Charanga Tropical performs in larger venue such as for a banquet hall or outdoor festival. Includes additional option to purchase signed CDs for guests at discounted price of $5 per CD. Concert available in Twin Cities area and select other cities. Exact date of performance subject to availability but should be scheduled before August 31st, 2016.
TOUR ADVOCATE Receive all rewards associated with EXECUTIVE PRODUCER and have the name or you or your organization's name printed on the back cover of CD. The name will be announced at shows in Havana and CD release show in Minneapolis. You will have the right to purchase additional signed CDs for $5 each and unsigned for $3 each. You will also receive recognition on our web site and in social media posts beginning at the start of the Cuba tour and concluding with our CD release event.
EXCLUSIVE DOCUMENTARY to VIRTUALLY TOUR with Charanga Tropical to Havana, Cuba. Receive all rewards associated with EXECUTIVE PRODUCER plus receive a personalized documentary that will not be uploaded or otherwise viewable on any web site. The video will begin with a special thank you from the entire band to you or whomever you wish to dedicate the film. Shot by multiple cameras carried by the Charanga band and crew themselves, the documentary will capture the music and experiences of the first American band ever to travel to Cuba for performances at the International Danzón Festival. Experience the concerts, the recording studio, and the ageless beauty of Cuba, known as "The pearl of the Caribbean." Final video editing and production by Jacob Little (past credits include several years as at Harpo Studios, Oprah Winfrey's production studio). A film exclusive, you will have the option to order multiple DVD copies at $2 each. An utterly unique reward.
TOUR ADVOCATE + CONCERT Receive all rewards associated with TOUR ADVOCATE and Charanga Tropical will perform an acoustic or amplified concert at a time and location of your choosing in the Twin Cities area or other select cities including Chicago. Exact date of performance subject to availability but should be scheduled before August 31st, 2016.
TOUR SPONSOR Receive all rewards associated with TOUR ADVOCATE and have the name or organization LOGO printed on the back cover of CD. The name will be announced at all shows in Havana and Minneapolis FOR ONE YEAR. For that year you will also receive recurring recognition on our web site, in social media posts, and in interviews on radio, tv, and print media. Other rewards negotiable. 501(c)3 contributions available through non-profit project supporters Nachito Herrera Foundation and Project Por Amor.
GIANT CUBAN FIESTA Receive all rewards associated with TOUR ADVOCATE and host the the most amazing Cuban themed party ever. Featuring 3-hour amplified performance by Charanga Tropical, professional Cuban dancers, Latin DJ, a cigar roller, and insider advice and assistance on menu and decorations to create a Havana themed party in your home or for your company. One of our biggest pledges and certainly our most fun. ¡Viva Cuba! Exact date of performance subject to availability but should be scheduled before August 31st, 2016. Available in Twin Cities and Chicago metro areas exactly as promoted with limited travel friendly versions of same fiesta for elsewhere in the United States.
PERSONAL TOUR GUIDE TO CUBA for TWO for early 2016. Receive all rewards associated with EXECUTIVE PRODUCER. Then go "off the grid" with Charanga Tropical music director Doug Little. This pledge does NOT include travel, lodging, or food costs HOWEVER you'll have a personal guide, practically a concierge, for over a week to discover 'The Pearl of the Caribbean.' Ideal for couple or two couples traveling together.
Little will advise you on your travel before you get there and be on hand every step of the way with an individualized itinerary that highlights your interests. Besides Havana, option to visit other cities and regions such as Santiago de Cuba, Cienfuegos, Trinidad, and Viñales. Dates to be arranged with your scheudle though recommended for January through April 2016. This 8-day trip is not through a major agency but instead simply 2 to 4 travelers discovering Cuba with experienced guide and Cuba music and culture expert. Though the economic embargo limits travel to Cuba by U.S. citizens, your independent travel will be designed, coordinated, and legally vetted to ensure it is accordance with all U.S. laws.
EXCLUSIVE ACCESS TOUR TO CUBA for TWO. Receive all rewards associated with EXECUTIVE PRODUCER. This EXCLUSIVE ACCESS pledge elevates the current people-to-people Danzón Festival tour to a VIP level. This reward is ONLY available to those who have ALSO confirmed travel with Cuba Tours and Travel for June 27th to July 4th at a cost of $4,295 to $4,745 per person
In addition to the tremendous group activities in the Cuba Tours and Travel program (see section 'Travel To Cuba- Come With Us!'), your trip will include exclusive access to artists, shows, and experiences. Limited to a just a few individuals, this VIP group will be able to go backstage at the Danzón Festival and meet some of Cuba's greatest musicians. You'll attend Charanga Tropical's recording session at a legendary Havana studio. We'll arrange portrait shoot at Havana's landmarks to be shot by award-winning tour photographer Walter Horishnyk.
Most uniquely, for most of the time in Havana, June 30th through July 4th Charanga Tropical music director Doug Little will be on hand as interpreter and guide. You'll be able to participate in the Cuba Tours & Travel program as designed or pursue a more individualized itinerary with a group of just 1 to 4 travelers. Little is a music and culture expert who is fluent in Spanish, conducted research throughout Cuba, and lived in Havana for nearly a year. You'll cruise in old cars like the Cubans and see a side of Havana only the natives and experts know.