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Tiempo Libre

The State News, Michigan State University

Tiempo Libre to Bring Latin Taste to the Wharton Center

The State News

Wednesday, October 19, 2022

by Liz Nass

Grammy Award-winning Afro-Caribbean music group Tiempo Libre is bringing hybrid Latin flavor to the Wharton Center. The group will perform on Oct. 21 at 8 p.m. at Cobb Great Hall.

The group is traveling internationally to concert halls and jazz clubs to spread their niche music taste. They experiment with jazz harmonies and Latin rhythms to entertain audiences from every part of the globe. They got their start in Miami in 2001 and ever since they've been working to redefine cultural music.

“They're incredible and they're high energy," Wharton Center manager of public relations Bob Hoffman said. "They're lots of fun. You just want to dance and move your body with them.”

Hoffman had the ability to talk to the founder of Tiempo Libre, Jorge Gomez. Hoffman said his personality matched the high-energy vibes of the band.

Gomez grew up in a Cuban household, restricted from the American music he wanted to explore. Gomez would climb onto the roof and connect to the antenna to get this glimpse into the rest of the world. Chasing these dreams led him to disobeying his parents more and more.

“His dad wanted him to be a classical musician and that wasn't anything that he necessarily wanted to do," Hoffman said. "He really appreciated the fact that his dad pushed him into music, but he said he was kind of wild.”

From this, Gomez found his love for the music he produces now.

"He really got into Cuban music and wanted to promote Cuban music," Hoffman said. "With that said, he also does a lot of mix within the band. There's jazz harmonies within there. There's Afro-Caribbean music within them. He calls himself an ambassador for (the music) but he kind of mixes the genres.”

President of Wharton Students Marketing Organization Rayna Gold said that Tiempo Libre's excitement and musical depth made them the perfect candidate for events at the Wharton Center picked specifically for students.

At these events, student tickets will start at $19. There will be activities unique to this event for students to take part in.

“Honestly (I chose Tiempo Libre) just seeing that the show would be most exciting to college students this fall and because of the music," Gold said. "It's not something that you hear every day, so it is also a chance to come to listen to something new.”

Wharton Students also works with other organizations throughout campus to make the Wharton Center more accessible.

“We reached out to the Spanish club that is helping us pair with the group … and some other cultural organizations that we have on campus too. Then we kind of go from there," Gold said. "(We decide) what food we want, decorations and how we're gonna market to students.”

Tiempo Libre has previously performed on the Tonight Show and Dancing With the Stars. Hoffman thinks their energy is contagious, bringing in audiences of all backgrounds to the Wharton Center to check out their Latin heat.

“You're gonna be in a good mood because it's so rhythm based and (you need it) especially during midterms week," Hoffman said.

read the full article: The State News, Michigan State University