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Tiempo Libre

Daily News

Getting busy with Timba

Daily News

Thursday, May 24, 2007

by Daily News

Got any free time?
Despite what the name might suggest, the members of Tiempo Libre - literally, Free Time - don't have any.
Each of the seven Cuban-born musicians used to perform with some of the biggest names in Cuban music.
"In our free time, we'd get together at someone's home to jam a bit and play dominoes," says musical director and pianist Jorge Gómez. "But it got complicated and now we don't have free time."
That's what happens when you put out two Grammy-nominated albums in a row and people fall for your music - in this case timba, an energetic Cuban rhythm that's not as well-known as son or mambo.
"Timba is kind of dying in Cuba," Gómez says, "because nothing ever happened with it like it did with son."
"It's the mixture of jazz with traditional son cubano. You cross Buena Vista Social Club with Chick Corea."
Sound interesting? Tiempo Libre will play two shows Monday at S.O.B.'s, 204 Varick St.
The band made its debut opening for Celia Cruz in 2002. Its members studied together at conservatories in Havana, eventually reuniting in Miami. "We are grateful to the United States," says Gómez.

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