Loz Speyer's Time Zone + Special Guest Omar Puente

Loz Speyer's Time Zone + Special Guest Omar Puente

1st December 2019

Six-piece Time Zone play an innovative 'deep fusion' of Cuban music and jazz. Soulful, catchy and rhythmically provocative, it has great spirit and really takes the audience on a journey of the heart.

We're delighted to announce that joining the band is the outstanding Cuban violinist Omar Puente. Internationally renowned for his masterful performances in a variety of musical styles, he's nothing short of a true virtuoso.

After establishing himself as an accomplished musician on his native Cuban soil, Omar moved to England in 1997, and has since supported and shared the stage with a host of stars, including Tito Puente, John Williams, Nigel Kennedy, Courtney Pine and Wynton Marsalis.

Having maintained close links with traditional Cuban music, classical genres and jazz, Omar's latest album, Best Foot Forward, is rich with energy, colour, creative arrangements and originality. 

Fellow violinst Nigel Kennedy said this of Omar: "Omar Puente’s contribution to 20th and 21st Century violin playing has now become legendary. His generous nature, his commitment to good music, his enjoyment of life and his respect for his colleagues are all characteristics which make him a true violin great."

Leader Loz Speyer’s particular Cuban-Jazz crossover grew out of the collision of Cuban culture with his own when, between 2001-09, the London-based trumpeter spent more than a year in Santiago de Cuba, studying Afrocuban music, working with Son bands, collaborating with Cuban musicians, and starting his own Anglo-Cuban family. His compositions took a similarly unexpected turn, and back in the UK he began touring and recording them with Time Zone. 

Back in Cuba, Loz had recorded three Time Zone pieces with a Cuban band in 2005, one of which was later released on the Babel compilation Now’s The Time II. And in 2009 his collaborative band, Proyecto Evocación, with master percussionist Rafael Cisneros of Ballet Folklorico Cutumba - featured in Santiago's Festival del Caribe, resulting in the 2010 CD Roots en Route – Raices en Viaje.

The current line-up came together in 2012, with a tour that played here. It features maverick guitarist Stuart Hall, ebullient saxophonist Martin Hathaway, conga maestro Maurizio Ravalico, time-wise bassist Dave Manington and emotive drummer Andy Ball.

Drawing on a great breadth of individual musical experience to interpret Loz’s bilingual, bi-cultural compositions, their interaction is the key to this joyful and highly rhythmic music.

Loz’s sleeve notes for the group's new album, Clave Sin Embargo, reference global instability and migration, though without mention of his daughter’s long-distance connection with family in Cuba, or his own ancestors’ migrations.

Individually the band members draw on a huge range of experience, with combined credits including work with Django Bates, Radiohead, Mike Westbrook, Loose Tubes, Tim Berne, Hermeto Pascoal, Roberto Pla, Kenny Wheeler, Dennis Rollins, James Taylor Quartet, Jamiroquai, Clifford Jarvis and Yann Tiersen. 

Loz Speyer (Trumpet), Omar Puente (Violin), Martin Hathaway (Saxophones), Stuart Hall (Guitar), Dave Manington (Double Bass), Andy Ball (Drums), Maurizio Ravalico (Congas).

"An ensemble led by a trumpeter/composer who has absorbed the essence of Cuban music and distilled it quite cunningly into an improvisatory context, with no compromise to either culture. Gritty, graceful sounds with a dark-light intensity." - Kevin Legendre, Echoes

"An impressive solo debut, ambitious in scope and featuring some great playing from a star-studded line-up.’” – The Jazz Man on Omar Puente

"Speyer’s ear for the exultant horn harmonies of traditional Cuban dance music informs a probing crossover composer’s intelligence, in which time signatures are shuffled and idioms overlaid. The result was a consistently intriguing set." - John Fordham, The Guardian

“This album marks his graduation to a bandleader, arranger and composer to match the accomplished soloist.” – Jazzwise on Omar Puente 

Tickets £15 / £13 Concessions. Students £6.
Jazz Express Offer: Book for any three gigs and get tickets for just £10 each!
Doors open 7pm, starts 7.30pm.
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