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Tiempo Libre

UT San Diego

Tiempo Libre's San Diego return

UT San Diego

Friday, April 20, 2012

by George Varga

Transforming Bach’s C Minor Fugue into a brassy dance-happy Latin jazz rave-up called “Tu Conga Bach” may seem unlikely, but the members of the expatriate Cuban timba band Tiempo Libre make it sound easy and natural. The group, which headlined a 2010 SummerPops show here with the San Diego Symphony, returns to perform Saturday as part of the La Jolla Music Society’s ongoing Latin Jazz Concert Series at the all-ages Birch North Park Theatre.

Now based in Miami, Tiempo Libre’s seven members all grew up in Cuba, where they received their musical training. Since relocating to the United States, they have emraked on a quest to bridge borders through a winning combination of skill and enthusiasm.

While the band has recorded with such classical music stars as flutist James Galway and violinist Joshua Bell, it is on their own that Tiempo Libre shines brightest, especially when the its musical focus shifts from sleek to sizzling A particular standout is keyboardist Jorge Gomez, whose fleet-fingered performances dance whether laying down an Afro-Latin groove, gliding through a bebop-inspired solo or jazzing up the classics.

Whether recasting Bach’s “Air on A G String’ as a bolero, or performing an upbeat original composition, the group injects infectious verve into its music. Saturday's concert here will be preceded by a 7 p.m. on-stage interview with members of Tiempo Libre, to be conducted by radio station KSDS Jazz 88.3 host Chris Springer.

read the full article: UT San Diego