From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Music of Cuba
General topics
Related articles
Specific forms
Religious music
Traditional music
Media and performance
Music awards Beny Moré Award
Nationalistic and patriotic songs
National anthem La Bayamesa
Regional music

Pachanga is a genre of music which is described as a mixture of son montuno and merengue. This type of music has a festive, lively style and is marked by jocular, mischievous lyrics. The name came about to describe the genre in Cuba in 1959. Pachanga is also a Cuban dance style.


Charanga a style of music in Cuba played with violin, flute and drums as danzón, danzonetes and cha cha chá, as well as the [clarification needed]. In Cuba in 1955, Los Papines fused the violin-based music of charanga with the trumpet-based music of conjuntos Eduardo Davidson's La Pachanga, recorded in 1959 by Orquesta Sublime (which was in the USA). But, after Fidel Castro seized power in Cuba in 1959, the epicenter of Cuban music moved to other islands and USA.[citation needed] José Fajardo brought the song La Pachanga to New York but in the Cuban charanga genre. The confusion of the words arose because Johnny Pacheco called pachanga the dance that people dance to Fajardo's charanga orchestra.

Eduardo Davidson's tune, La Pachanga, with rights managed by Peer International (BMI), achieved international recognition in 1961 when it was licensed in three versions sung by Genie Pace on Capitol, by Audrey Arno in a German version on European Decca, and by Hugo and Luigi and their children's chorus. Billboard commented "A bright new dance craze from the Latins has resulted in these three good recordings, all with interesting and varying treatments."[1]


As a dance, pachanga has been described as "a happy-go-lucky dance" of Cuban origin with a Charleston flavor due to the double bending and straightening of the knees. It is danced to the downbeat of four-four time to the usual mambo offbeat music characterized by the charanga instrumentation of flutes, violins, and drums.[2]


  1. ^ Billboard, 20 March 1961, p. 99
  2. ^ White, Betty (1962). Ballroom DanceBook for Teachers. David McKay Company, Inc., p. 327. Library of Congress Number 62-18465

External links[edit]