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It might come as somewhat of a shock to learn that the Charanga Habanera — the popular timba orchestra that has been seducing Cuban youth with its furiously contemporary lyrics and over-the-top choreographies for nearly three decades — actually started out as a project inspired on traditional Cuban music that was geared at an overseas audience. You might be equally surprised to hear that David Calzado – who’s been directing the band for over twenty years — was on the verge of setting off for the Soviet Union to train as a concert violinist when a juicy offer got him to reconsider his plans and stay in Cuba.

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