Tiempo Libre may be a group of seven young Cuban musicians but their music will now take a new approach, this time for the Broadway-scale musical Cuba Libre, produced by Artists Repertory Theatre. The production made its premiere in Portland, Oregon and is making a splash all over.
Cuban singer José “Pepito” Gómez will kick off the World Music Institute's third season of the dance-party series “World to Brooklyn." Gómez is a Cuban vocal sensation with humble beginnings. He started by playing with local bands in his hometown of Camagüey, Cuba, and has grown to become lead singer of Maravilla de Florida, the Charanga Latina Orchestra and Habana Ensemble. He has toured with the late Compay Segundo of the Buena Vista Social Club, and was a lead singer of the Cuban mega-band Pupy y Los Que Son Son before moving to the U.S. His vocals range from heart-wrenching romantic ballads to high-octane timba arrangements, replete with torrents of improvisations and frenzy-inducing call-and-response.
Ballet dancers of the much lauded National Ballet of Cuba seem to be taking matters into their own hands. That is, most dancers are defecting during their tours outside the Cuban threshold, hitching their way to the U.S.