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45 Charleston musicians collaborate on new song 'Cha Cha Charleston'

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Gino Castillo organized 45 local musicians for collaborative new song "Cha Cha Charleston." File/Hector J. Salazar/MeanStream Studios/Provided

A new, upbeat dance song about Charleston features 45 musicians from the area.

It's called "Cha Cha Charleston," and a socially distanced music video features contributing artists performing their parts from home.

The endeavor was organized by local Afro-Cuban jazz musician Gino Castillo. 

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"This beautiful collaboration is between some of the most talented and loving people in Charleston," Castillo shared. "I wish I could invite every single one, because we have so many great musicians and humans in this town that are not on the video."

Among contributing musicians are Grammy Award-winning Gullah group Ranky Tanky members Quiana Parler, Charlton Singleton and Quentin Baxter.

"I walk on King Street and feel the '30s here," sings Singleton. "I hear jazz in the Market, rock and roll across the street." 

Former "American Idol" finalist Elise Testone and powerhouse local singer Zandrina Dunning also are featured vocalists. There are dance performances by Jenny Broe of Dance Lab and salsa dancer La Quinn Mims, among others, intertwined with videos of a variety of instrumentalists. 

"Dance with me, my cha cha Charleston," the lyrics repeat in the chorus, then in Spanish: "Baila, mi cha cha Charleston." 

Castillo said the song was meant to unify Charleston and shed light on the talented local music scene in the middle of a global pandemic. You can watch the video now on YouTube at youtu.be/Qm_IiEbWXTs.

Reach Kalyn Oyer at 843-371-4469. Follow her on Twitter @sound_wavves.