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The Ninety Miles project wasn’t just about the three American musicians involved with it and the fact that they traveled to Cuba to lay down some tracks. Really, it was a recording-studio summit between saxophonist David Sánchez, trumpeter Christian Scott, vibraphonist Stefon Harris, and Havana-based pianists Rember Duharte and Harold Lopez-Nussa, made possible by recently eased U.S. travel restrictions. The result was one of the best Latin jazz albums of 2011, a brilliant collection of original music that could only have come from a collision of American and Cuban traditions. (A live performance, recorded in Havana days after the initial sessions and issued last year, was one of 2012’s best.) But now that the songs are out there, they can be taken on the road, and the American delegation, now with trumpeter and keys player Nicholas Payton in place of Scott, is still tearing them up and making something new of them with every performance. Duharte and Lopez-Nussa remain in Cuba for the time being, but in these songs, the nation manages to get under your skin.
Ninety Miles performs at 8 p.m. at the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center at the University of Maryland, College Park. $35. (301) 405-2787. claricesmithcenter.umd.edu.