Nils Fischer's drumming is a familiar sound at TD Sunfest. Whenever you hear sustained virtuosic drum beats or a killer salsa groove, there’s a good chance you’ll find him on stage as the tireless musician and bandleader. Nils is one of the top percussionists in Europe, who tours and records constantly with an array of projects, including, for twelve years, Drums Unlimited (showcased several times at TD Sunfest). Although he hails from The Netherlands (via Germany, the land of his birth), the founder and leader of Timbazo – as well as the groups CaboCubaJazz and Nueva Manteca – has had a special fondness for the music of Latin America since the day when, as a child, his sister brought home a Paquito D’Rivera record with Daniel Ponce on congas. (Twenty years later, he found himself performing with Paquito in San Juan, Puerto Rico.)
This year TD Sunfest is proud to present Nils Fischer & Timbazo for the first time. Nils has released two albums with Timbazo. The first, entitled ¡Gracias Joe Cuba! (2007), was a tribute to veteran percussionist Joe Cuba and featured the talents of top artists like Brian Lynch, Alain Pérez and José “Pepe” Espinosa. The CD received rave reviews at home and abroad and was pre-nominated in four categories for the 2008 Latin Grammy Awards. Rumberos a Montón is the 2015 follow-up to ¡Gracias Joe Cuba! The new recording is a joyful testament to the power of Cuban rumba, expertly arranged and fiercely performed with plenty of corazón. This album might be Nils’s best to date, combining the high-intensity of timba and salsa dura with Timbazo-style originals and the lyricism of some of Cuba’s classic compositions. The lineup smokes with luminaries like Lucrecia, Changuito, Calixto Oviedo, Alexander Abreu, Carlos del Puerto and Julito Padrón.