When I introduced my Timba Vibes Spotify playlist to the world a few months ago it was six hours long. It has since grown to over eleven hours!
It occurred to me recently that I likely listened to more timba this summer than any other non-native Spanish speaker on the planet. Seriously. My eccentricity represents an opportunity: For fun and––I hope––as a service to the musicians whom I appreciate so much, I plan to publish a quarterly or semi-annual roundup of new timba music. My hope is that I will help to make timba more accessible to the English-speaking world.
You can see the first edition of TimbaRoundup here.
A few notes and a disclaimer below.
If you’re reading this and thinking “WTF is timba,” I advise you to peruse SonYCasino.
There is also Timba.com. Unfortunately, its interface has a real “early 2000s” vibe and it’s currently plastered with jazz music news. It could use a makeover. It’s also occasionally in Spanish. In other words: It’s got some problems.
Finally, there is an excellent guide to timba rhythms written by Rueda con Ritmo, the San Francisco Bay Area’s exemplary organizers of Cuban-style dance.
Now for the disclaimer: Compared to the above sources, I am a dilettante. I am not an expert in anything musical or Cuban. My Spanish isn’t even very good. Yet I’ve written this before and I’ll write it again: What I lack in expertise I hope to make up for with enthusiasm.
I love this music and the musicians behind it. That means I’m writing with the same refined critical voice that you’d expect from a child reviewing candy loot the night after Halloween.
Finally, I’ve decided to publish the TimbaRoundup on Substack. I’ve done this because I suspect that the overlap between people who want to read tongue-in-cheek commentary on the failures of American public school physical education curricula and also want to subscribe to discover new timba is not as large as you might think. You’ll find the former here and the latter there.