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Tiempo Libre

Saratoga Wire

SaratogaArtsFest Off to Strong Start- Thursday Highlights Cuban Music Sensation

Saratoga Wire

Monday, September 30, 2013

by Dale Willman

SaratogaArtsFest is off and running.

On Wednesday, popular children’s books author Jeff Kinney helped to kick off ArtsFest 2013. He spoke on the Skidmore campus about his publishing career, and about how he became an illustrator.

Thursday night the jazz group Tiempo Libre brings its Cuban stylings to the Arthur Zankel Music Center.

Tiempo Libre is a group of seven Cuban musicians who now live in Miami. They will bring a style of music to Saratoga known as timba.

Timba is a wildly popular music in Cuba. It’s a difficult genre to pin down – it’s rooted in jazz, rock, funk, disco and more. But one thing it is known for is getting people to move. One reviewer a few years ago described a Tiempo Libre concert by saying it’s not just about sitting and listening to the music.  “It's about experiencing the music with your whole body.”

The group is well-known for inspiring people to dance – conga lines are common at concerts, weaving their way through the audience, sometimes led by band members themselves. Arts Fest organizers say they are making sure there is space down front at Zankel for people who can’t stay in their seats.

“We expect Tiempo Libre’s joyful, high-tempo timba music to get audience members out of their seats and dancing,” said SPAC Executive Director Marsha White in a news release on the band’s appearance. SPAC is presenting the concert at Skidmore.

Tiempo Libre’s music has been nominated for a Grammy three times. - See more at:

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