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Tiempo Libre

Jorge Gomez- Musical Director

Jorge Gomez Musical Director
JORGE GÓMEZ- Musical director and pianist of Tiempo Libre and Alta Havana

Celebrating 22 years since arriving in the U.S., Havana-born Jorge Gómez is one of the most prominent Cuban musicians working outside of his native country. A graduate of Cuba’s legendary Escuela Nacional de Arte, Gómez’s three-time Grammy-nominated band, Tiempo Libre, has been named “a world class act” (London Evening Standard) for its “dance music of sophistication and abandon” (New York Times), and even “Best Latin Band” (Miami New Times) in the band members’ adopted home of Miami. The music of Tiempo Libre is called timba – a unique, sophisticated and powerful mix of Latin Jazz and Cuban traditional rhythms.

To date under Gómez’s musical direction, Tiempo Libre have released 8 albums, 3 of which - Arroz con Mango, Lo Que Esperabas and Bach in Havana – were nominated for Grammys. On each album, Gómez served as composer, arranger, and producer. Latin Jazz Network called Bach in Havana “A landmark recording in the sense that Miles Davis’s Kind of Blue was approximately 50 years ago. Nothing short of miraculous!”

The group has appeared on The Tonight Show as well as Live from Lincoln Center, Dancing with the Stars, NPR and virtually every entertainment program on Univision and Telemundo. They have recorded and performed with such artists as Joshua Bell, Sir James Galway, Gloria Estefan, Paquito D’Rivera, and Yosvany Terry. Tiempo Libre have played many of the world’s most prestigious venues and festivals in 48 of the 50 states and in 20 countries.

The members of Tiempo Libre were all classically-trained in the Russian-style conservatories of Cuba. As such, they have been embraced and respected by the classical symphonic world, having appeared with The Cleveland Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, Detroit Symphony, Houston Symphony, National Arts Centre Orchestra, Toronto Symphony, Jerusalem Symphony, among many others.

Gómez arranged and wrote original music for flutist Sir James Galway on the album O’Reilly Street, on which Gómez played as well. The album contained Gómez’s Cuban-flavored reworking of the Claude Bolling Suite. He wrote original music for violinist Joshua Bell which Bell later recorded for SONY and performed with Gómez on his PBS Special, The Seasons of Cuba. He later arranged for and performed with Joshua Bell and Gloria Estefan on Bell’s holiday album, Musical Gifts, performing the same live on The Queen Latifah Show.

Gómez wrote the score, served as musical director, and performed with Tiempo Libre live on stage every night during the sold out, five-week run of the multi-award-winning musical theatre work, Cuba Libre, based on the collective histories of the bands members. Cuba Libre premiered in October, 2015 in Portland OR, produced by Artists Repertory Theatre. Prior to Cuba Libre, Gómez wrote, musical-directed, and performed in the original musical Miami Libre, produced and promoted in Miami by the Adrienne Arsht Center.

Gómez graduated from La ENA (Escuela Nacional de Arte in Havana), Cuba's premier music conservatory, with a degree in classical piano pedagogy and performance. From the very first touring dates performed by Tiempo Libre, music education has been an integral part of the band’s touring identity. Passionate about his Cuban music roots, Gómez has given hundreds of classes on Cuban music to students of all ages and abilities, from pre-school to seniors – from conservatories to music schools at major universities.

In Fall 2016, Gómez became a proud resident of New York State’s Capital Region, living in Saratoga Springs, NY. In addition to Tiempo Libre, Gómez plays with his locally-formed Cuban band, Alta Havana, which brings Capital Region Cuban/Latin American artists together to share the music of their countries with audiences throughout the region.