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Christmas gets a Cuban twist

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Traditional Christmas carol favorites receive a Latin facelift courtesy of the Cuban band, Tiempo Libre.

The three-time Grammy-nominated music group will have Santa dancing a salsa and the Little Drummer Boy showing off his rumba in their upcoming holiday concert on Dec. 18 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

According to Jorge Gomez, founder and musical director of Tiempo Libre, “We’re going to play a concert with Christmas songs, Cuban style. It’ll be the first time with Tiempo Libre you can dance a salsa with the Christmas melody.”

The museum’s live art series is exploring contemporary innovations through the lens of their exhibitions inviting artists, performers, curators and thought-leaders to collaborate with the museum for on-site performances.

This will be Tiempo Libre’s first time performing a holiday concert in their 14-year-long career. The seven childhood friends will encourage the audience to sing along to the known words of “Santa Claus is Coming to Town,” “Feliz Navidad,” and dance the night away with help from the band’s riveting sounds.

Alongside the Christmas classics, the band will also play music from their 2009 album, “Bach In Havana,” which can be heard on more than 170 radio stations.

“It’s going to be Christmas slash Bach In Havana, it’ll be a long set,” Gomez said.

Tiempo Libre will perform tracks in English and Spanish.

Tiempo Libre at the MET Museum [1000 Fifth Ave. between 82 and 83 streets in Manhattan, (212) 535-7710, www.tiempolibremusic.com or www.metmuseum.org] Dec. 18, 7 pm; $65 for adults, $1 for up to three kids ages 7-16.

Reach reporter Alley Olivier at (718) 260–8310 or e-mail her at aolivier@cnglocal.com. Follow Alley on Twitter @All3Y_B.
Updated 11:49 am, December 2, 2015
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