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Tiempo Libre

Freihofer's Saratoga Jazz Festival 2022

Live: Freihofer's Saratoga Jazz Festival 2022


Tuesday, June 28, 2022

by Michael Hochanadel

Feeling fully blessed, I went back to the Wood where Cubans Tiempo Libre launched a dance-cruise for the Caribbean. Like Con Tumbao on the Main Saturday – and almost as powerfully as Red Baraat, also Saturday, and Cha Wa Sunday – Tiempo Libre got fans on their feet. Crossing the language barrier easily as a bulldozer, singing in Spanish, they transformed the familiar “Oye Como Va” into a jolting stop-and-go bump, eased up with a ballad, then got everybody singing “Guantanamera.” Singer Xavier Mili and keyboardist Jorge Gomez led while drummer Yissy García pumped the groove. Citing their classical training, they Latin-ized Bach’s “Minuet in G Major” (familiar as the Supremes’ “Lover’s Concerto”) and got fans clapping on their beats as horns jabbed in and out. Underdog compassion electrified their grooves without reducing the dance frenzy, while a mournful song about a fatal fire focused righteous concern.

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