Electrifying Cuban Jazz
For the past 16 years, Havana-born Jorge Gómez has been pianist and musical director of the three-time Grammy nominated Cuban music group Tiempo Libre. Today, Jorge has taken his American dream one step further by creating an intimate quartet he calls Tiempo Libre’s “Bohemia.”
Explains Gómez, “In 2009, our friend, the legendary flautist Sir James Galway, invited us to perform with him, and together we recorded O’Reilly Street, an Afro Cuban take on the jazz suites by Claude Bolling. Tiempo Libre scaled down to a quartet for that, and it was an incredible experience, so in the back of my mind adding a smaller band was always an option. And now this idea has come to fruition.”
“With Bohemia, we can play in a more intimate way,” says Gómez. The group performs beloved, traditional Cuban sons, chachachas and boleros including “Guantanamera,” “El Manicero,” and “un Monton de Estrellas.” And while the quartet’s concerts are sensual, thrilling, sophisticated and evocative, there is nothing sentimental about them. Like Tiempo Libre, Bohemia pays homage to its Cuban heritage by delivering treasured songs with contemporary excellence and engaging everyone in an exhilarating shared experience of community.
“We all studied classical music in Havana,” continues Gómez, “But we all loved jazz — Chick Corea, Chaka Khan – and traditional Cuban music as well.”
All the musical styles come together in Gómez’s Tiempo Libre, which continues to perform its exhilarating, joyful, hip-shaking and dance-inducing music to packed houses. “Dance Music of Sophistication and Abandon” praised The New York Times. “World Class Act…” wrote the London Evening Standard. “The master mechanics of the Latin groove,” says Cadence magazine. “High-voltage, infectiously danceable Afro-Cuban rhythms with conservatory-bred classical chops,” raved the Oregonian.
Not surprising for such top-tier musicians, Tiempo Libre has cultivated a diehard jazz following. The band’s gigs have included Ravinia, Tanglewood, the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, The Playboy Jazz Festival at the Hollywood Bowl, and Jazz at Lincoln Center. And now with Bohemia, Tiempo Libre offers fans a new way to share its sophisticated arrangements and electric performances in more intimate settings around the world.
Tiempo Libre “Bohemia” is comprised of Jorge Gómez, Xavier Mili, Leandro Gonzalez and Fabian Alvarez.
What Other People Have Been Saying...
“(Tiempo Libre’s) Timba is…tribal, joyful, genial vibe that demonically possesses the body from the waist down.” – Miami New Times
“With a group this talented, it was just a matter of surrendering – and enjoying.” – Sioux City Journal
“[Timba is] a difficult genre to pin down – it’s rooted in jazz, rock, funk, disco and more. But one thing it is known for is getting people to move.” – Saratoga City Wire