[wpspoiler name=”Los Van Van perform Temba, Tumba, Timba” open=”true” style=”aatw-video”][/wpspoiler]

TIMBA is upbeat dance music that developed in the 1990s as a synthesis of Cuban jazz, rock, rumba, disco and funk. It’s a”street level” form whose lyrics focus on urban issues among Cuban youth. TIMBA has a similar tempo and rhythm to salsa and uses many of the same instruments, but the instruments are used somewhat differently. For example, so says Wikipedia’s entry on timba, “Salsa bassists have standardized on bombo-ponche bass tumbao. This is sometimes used in TIMBA, but much more often a clave-aligned tumbao is used, and it is often specific to the song in question, while the bombo-ponche tumbaos of salsa, by definition, always use the same rhythm from song to song. Most importantly, TIMBA bassists stop and start their tumbaos, one of the defining aspects of timba gears. In salsa, the bass tumbao is omnipresent.” Couldn’t be clearer! Seriously, while salsa bands rarely have a drum kit with a kick drum, in timba a drum kit is essential, or at least a timbale player adds a kick drum, which s/he plays while standing. Also, TIMBA is known for “crossing the clave,” meaning that some of the instruments may be playing the 3-2 clave while others will simultaneously be playing the 2-3 (look above for an overview of clave). Scandalous. Listen to La Timba Loca for an example.

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