A septet of young musicians classically trained at a premier Havana music conservatory, the now-Miami-based Tiempo Libre not only specialize in timba, a fiery blend of Latin jazz and Cuban son, but also innovative fusions of classical, jazz, and Cuban music. The band will play two distinctly different performances at the Dakota. Thursday's show will be a collaboration with renowned classical flutist James Galway, who's also something of a musical maverick, and will likely draw heavily from last year's O'Reilly Street. That album's centerpiece is a vibrant reworking of Claude Bolling's jazz suites, adeptly integrating Afro-Cuban rhythms with the classical-jazz fusion that created a hit for Bolling and flutist Jean-Pierre Rampal in the '70s. Tiempo Libre leader and pianist Jorge Gomez also contributed several similarly styled compositions as well as a lively arrangement of Bach. The latter was a precursor to TL's new Bach in Havana, which spectacularly intertwines a wide range of Cuban music (conga, bolero, cha-cha, guaguancó) with some of Bach's most widely known pieces. Friday will be all—and probably all-out—Tiempo Libre, which promises a Cuban dance party fueled by its sizzling timba.
Thu., Aug. 6, 7 p.m., 2009