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Tiempo Libre

Short Biography

Three-time Grammy-nominated Afro-Caribbean music group Tiempo Libre is one of the hottest Latin bands today.  Equally at home in concert halls, jazz clubs, festival stages and dance venues, Tiempo Libre is celebrated for its sophisticated tropical music featuring an irresistible, exhilarating mix of jazz harmonies, contemporary sonorities and seductive Latin rhythms.  

“World Class Act…” – London Evening Standard

Throughout the past 14 years, the band has appeared around the globe and has been featured on television shows including The Tonight Show, Live from Lincoln Center, and Dancing with the Stars as well as many entertainment programs on Univision and Telemundo. Since the group’s formation in Miami 2001, its members have been on a mission to share their Afro-Caribbean heritage with as wide an audience as possible, reinterpreting and reinvigorating music born from the meeting of their musical origins with their new American experience.

“Dance Music of Sophistication and Abandon” – The New York Times

Newly signed in 2015 to Universal Music Latin Entertainment in partnership with Universal Music Classics, the group will release its new album Panamericano on June 30. Tiempo Libre premieres two singles from Panamericano on May 19: “Dime Que No” featuring guest artist Jean Rodriguez and “Somebody to Love Me” with Yunel Cruz.   Additional guest artists include Descemer Bueno, Frankie J, and Luis Fernando Borjas.

“So hot and danceable that even when you talk about the group, you find yourself moving your hips” – Richmond Times Dispatch

Tiempo Libre’s 2015-16 season finds the band promoting the new album in places as far afield as Beijing, China, on a two week tour of Spain, as well as on a week-long tour in the United Kingdom culminating with a performance at the London Jazz Festival. Highlights of their concerts in the U.S. include multiple performances in New York City’s hottest new Latin club Subrosa, as well as concerts in Chicago and Los Angeles.  Later in the season they will travel back to New York City for a return appearance at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art.Tiempo Libre will perform live on stage every night during the five-week run of the new musical, Cuba Libre, which will receive its world premiere on October 10, 2015 at the Winningstad Theatre in Portland, Oregon. Driven by extraordinary dancing and exhilarating music, Cuba Libre is a contemporary musical based on the collective histories of the members of Tiempo Libre, featuring a book by playwright Carlos Lacámara, the band’s own music, as well as a company of 21 actors, dancers and musicians.

Tiempo Libre made its U.K. debut in summer 2014, with performances at London’s prestigious Jazz Café and a stop at the Latitude Festival.  The group’s touring schedule in the United States has included performances at the Playboy Jazz Festival at the Hollywood Bowl, Miami’s JVC Jazz Festival, Yoshi’s in Oakland, CA, SOB’s in New York City, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Jazz at Lincoln Center, Celebrate Brooklyn, New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, Festival International de Louisiane, Rochester International Jazz Festival, the Royal Conservatory in Toronto, the Lincoln Theater in Napa Valley, Boston’s Sculler’s Jazz Club, Society of the Performing Arts in Houston, the Kimmel Center, Orange County Performing Arts Center, California Center for the Arts, New Haven Jazz Festival, California World Fest, Lotus Music Festival, New York’s River-to-River Festival, aswell as the Tanglewood, Caramoor, Colorado, Interlochen, Santa Fe Chamber, Bravo! Vail Valley, Green and Eastern music festivals.  

Since their formation, the breadth of their audience has been extraordinary.  In Summer 2002 at their Ravinia Festival debut opening for Celia Cruz, Tiempo Libre dazzled the crowd of 12,000 people.  Quickly reengaged by Ravinia to share the bill with Aretha Franklin in Summer 2003, they performed before an enthusiastic crowd of 20,000, and the band has since returned to the Festival four times.  Summer 2003 included performances at the Heineken Jazz Festival in Hua Hin, Thailand where Tiempo Libre were the undeniable Festival sensation.  Return trips to Asia have included sold out shows at Hong Kong’s Kwai Tsing Theatre and the Dewan Filharmonik Petronas in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, as well as concerts for the Java Jazz Festival in Jakarta, Indonesia, the Singapore Sun Fest and the Gwangju World Music Festival  in South Korea.  The group has also performed at the Jerusalem Theater, the Tel Aviv Opera House, Adelaide Festival Centre and Guatemala’s Festival Internacional De Styler, who joyously danced to Tiempo Libre’s music.  

Prior to signing with Universal Music Latin Entertainment, Sony Masterworks released the group’s two previous recordings. My Secret Radio (2011) pays homage to Tiempo Libre’s teenage years in Cuba, a time when the government forbade its citizens to listen to American music, and Russia pulled its support from the island.  Tiempo Libre’s first recording for Sony Masterworks, Bach in Havana (2009) was nominated for a Grammy award for “Best Tropical Latin Album” and features tracks with Paquito D’Rivera and Yosvany Terry.  The group performed “Tu Conga Bach” from the CD on Dancing with the Stars.  In conjunction with the release of Bach in Havana, the family behind Bustelo Café – for the first time in 80 years – changed its Bustelo Café coffee can to feature Tiempo Libre with a free music download.

“A landmark recording in the sense that Miles Davis’, Kind of Blue was approximately 50 years ago. Nothing short of miraculous!” – Latin Jazz Network

Tiempo Libre released its debut album on the Shanachie label – Arroz con Mango (2005) – which was both a tribute to their Caribbean roots and a celebration of the members’ new life in the U.S.  Arroz con Mango received tremendous attention in the press, including Latin Beat, Hispanic Magazine and NPR’s Latino USA.














updated: 2 years ago