Charanga Tropical features the classic charanga instrumentation of flute, three violins, vocalists, and full Latin rhythm section. The group is one of just a few charanga groups performing in the United States. Band repertoire feature classic danzónes as well as a vibrant mix of modern salsa and original compositions. The ensemble has appeared at festivals and other venues throughout the Upper Midwest.
Charanga Tropical was founded in 2006 by longtime jazz saxophonist turned Latin flutist Doug Little. Little traveled to Cuba in 2002 as part of a Jerome Foundation Travel/Study grant. Over the next decade he returned to Cuba multiple times, spending nearly a year apprenticing with master Cuban musicians, composers, and musicologists.