Harold López-Nussa – Timba a la Americana


  1. Funky (4:11)

(Harold López-Nussa/Michael League)

  1. Cake a la Moda (4:43)

(Harold López-Nussa/Michael League)

  1. Mal du Pays (4:48)

(Harold López-Nussa/Michael League)

  1. Rat-a-Tat (4:25)

(Michael League)

  1. Conga a la Americana (3:13)

(Harold López-Nussa/Michael League)

  1. Afro en Toulouse (5:31)

(Harold López-Nussa/Michael League)

  1. Tumba la Timba (5:07)

(Harold López-Nussa/Michael League)

  1. Mamá (1:48)

(Harold López-Nussa)

  1. Tierra Mía (4:57)

(Ernan López-Nussa)

  1. Hope (3:01)

(Harold López-Nussa)


Harold López-Nussa: Piano & Fender Rhodes

Ruy Adrián López-Nussa: Drums, Bombo Legüero, Handclaps, Vocals

Grégoire Maret: Chromatic & Bass Harmonica

Luques Curtis: Acoustic Bass

Bárbaro “Machito” Crespo: Congas, Clave, Shekere, Campana, Bombo Legüero, Batá, Vocals

Michael League: ARP Omni, Moog Matriarch, Minimoog, Mellotron, Prophet 6, Handclaps, Vocals

Produced & recorded by Michael League






Harold López-Nussas Debüt bei Blue Note Records, das von Snarky Puppy-Gründer Michael League produziert wurde, zeigt den kubanischen Musiker mit mitreißender Vitalität und Virtuosität. Der Pianist und Komponist hat sich in den letzten zwei Jahrzehnten, seit dem Gewinn der prestigeträchtigen Montreux Jazz Piano Competition im Jahr 2005, kontinuierlich eine weltweite Fangemeinde im Jazz und darüber hinaus aufgebaut.

Zusammen mit seinem enorm dicht spielenden Quartett fesselt er das Publikum mit einer ansteckenden Lebendigkeit, die „Generationen und Genres überbrückt” (Billboard). Seine Musik spiegelt die ganze Bandbreite und den Reichtum der kubanischen Musik wider, mit ihrer unverwechselbaren Kombination aus klassischen, folkloristischen und populären Elementen sowie ihrer Begeisterung für die Improvisation.

An der Seite von Harold López-Nussa ist Grégoire Maret zu hören, ein mit einem Grammy ausgezeichneter Mundharmonikaspieler, der bereits mit Herbie Hancock, Pat Metheny und Prince gespielt hat. Bassist Luques Curtis hat die Bühne mit Legenden wie Gary Burton und Eddie Palmieri geteilt. Die Band vervollständigen der Schlagzeuger Ruy Adrian López-Nussa, Harolds Bruder, sowie Perkussionist Bárbaro “Machito” Crespo.

Harold López-Nussa ist in angesehenen Konzertsälen aufgetreten, wie dem Kennedy Center und dem SFJAZZ Center, sowie bei einigen der besten Jazzfestivals der Welt: Newport, North Sea, Monterey, Montréal und Detroit.


Harold López-Nussa has been building a global following over the past two decades since winning the prestigious Montreux Jazz Piano Competition in 2005. He has captivated audiences across the world with his thrilling performances, released nine acclaimed albums as a leader, and was featured as part of the 2011 all-star project Ninety Miles with Stefon Harris, David Sanchez, and Christian Scott. Born into a musical family in Havana, his music reflects the full range and richness of the Cuban musical tradition with its distinctive combination of folkloric, popular, and classical elements, as well as its embrace of improvisation.

“I’d been talking with Don for some time when I was still in Havana,” López-Nussa recalls of his conversations with Blue Note President Don Was. “We’d have these discussions just talking about music – records he loves, records I love. Eventually it became about me joining Blue Note. After the contract was done, that was a heavy moment for me. I felt this huge responsibility because of the history of the label. Don totally understood that. He had a lot of confidence in us, which gave us confidence. He wanted us to do what we were feeling, what we wanted to share.”

López-Nussa felt a strong urge to escape the conventional thinking about song form and structure that’s defined Latin jazz since the 1950s. In collaboration with Michael League, the bassist and founder of Snarky Puppy, the two sought new settings for the clave patterns that are the heartbeat of Cuban music. They grabbed elements of danzon, the foundational dance that began in Matanzas in the late 1800s, and the stately son tumbao riffs that frame the songs of Beny More and so many others. They worked with ancient bata drum rhythms used to summon the deities, then incorporated them into the choppy polyrhythmic agitations of modern improvising collectives. They linked the catcalling mambos of Dizzy Gillespie and Machito to modern ideas about song structure.

The result is López-Nussa’s most expansive and ambitious work to date, a provocative, lavishly colorful song cycle that amounts to a top-to-bottom modernization of Latin jazz. Cuba provides the anchoring point of origin; from there López-Nussa and his band volley ideas in a spirit of cosmopolitan modernity that transcends regions and genres and eras.

Timba A LA Americana also marks the first time López-Nussa has recorded using electric instruments and synthesizers. “Michael really encouraged me to explore that this time. We had this nice Rhodes and then he brought in some other equipment and we got really into mixing these electronic sounds. That was directly because of Michael. He understood about my need to respect tradition, but he also picked up on my restlessness. He got me out of being comfortable.”

López-Nussa credits League with cultivating a creative fearlessness in the studio. “He wants whatever can expand the possibilities – he just gets ideas flying around. And what amazed me, as we went on, was how he stayed inside the energy we had when we first played together.”

“There are some tunes you can think of as having the classic rhythms from long ago, rumba and conga and so on,” López-Nussa says. “Then there are some tunes where the foundational rhythm is not that obvious, and there is some complexity, which I also love. But I didn’t want to lose the groove. I love to dance and I always love it when people are dancing. It says to me that the music is alive.”


  1. 07. 23 – Stuttgart – Jazz Open
  2. 09. 23 – Mannheim – Alte Feuerwache

PR Radio

Universal Music Jazz (Deutsche Grammophon GmbH)


Stralauer Allee 1, 10245 Berlin

Blue Note Records / Universal Music

CD 00602448875297 / LP 00602448875334

VÖ: 25.08.2023


21.07.23 – München – Unterfahrt

22.07.23 – Stuttgart – Jazz Open

06.09.23 – Mannheim – Alte Feuerwache

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