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Tiempo Libre


Tiempo Libre: From Cuba to Terre Haute


Thursday, August 26, 2010

by TribStar

TERRE HAUTE — Hot off its third Grammy nomination for Best Tropical Latin Album for “Bach in Havana,” the dance-inducing Cuban music group Tiempo Libre will perform at 8 p.m. Sept. 11 in Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology’s Hatfield Hall.

Tiempo Libre performed Oct. 27 on TV’s “Dancing with the Stars,” in which the Cuban music group performed the song “Tu Conga Bach.” The performance is viewable online at

Tiempo Libre’s show is a dynamic, passionate performance of timba music – an exciting and engaging combination of Latin jazz and traditional Cuban songs. Their goal is to serve as ambassadors to Cuba’s musical heritage, while celebrating the American experience.

The members of the Miami-based Cuban music group Tiempo Libre were all classically trained at La ENA, Havana’s premier Russian-style conservatory during the Special Period in Cuba. Now they are a sensation in the U.S., with concerts all around the country and three Grammy nominations.

Tiempo Libre’s latest Cuban music album, “Bach in Havana,” its first recording under its new deal on Sony Masterworks, was released last May. The album takes Bach as a starting point from which to explore a wide range of Cuban music forms and rhythms and features guest tracks with Yosvany Terry and Paquito D’Rivera.

The album is a reflection of the two worlds of Tiempo Libre’s Cuban musical upbringing. Tiempo Libre’s seven members led “double” lives studying classical music at Cuba’s premier Russian-style conservatory La ENA by day and by night meeting up to play timba, Latin jazz and the rumba and in tambores. In Bach, Tiempo Libre found a kindred spirit: a composer who wrote music in both the secular and the spiritual traditions. It was only natural that they would be interested in weaving their classical roots into a new musical tapestry.

Among many other keyboard works, both Bach’s “C Major and C Minor Preludes & Fugues” from the first book of the “Well-Tempered Clavier” make appearances on the album, the “C Major” opening onto a sonic world of the interplay of Batá (African percussion), with the “C Minor” propelling an intense ride over the rhythms of guaguanco, a Latin youthful courtship dance.

In addition to recording the duet “Para Tí” with virtuoso violin player Joshua Bell (featured on Bell’s new album “At Home With Friends,” released last September), the group also performed with Bell on the Oct. 2 “Tonight Show” and the Jan. 21 PBS broadcast “Live From Lincoln Center.” In fall 2008, Tiempo Libre recorded “O’Reilly Street” with leading flute player Sir James Galway, which included an Afro-Cuban take on music from the jazz suites of Claude Bolling.

In spring 2009, the group earned another high-octane accolade: The Cuban family behind Café Bustelo decided for the first time in 80 years to change the Café Bustelo can design to feature the group along with a free download from the album.

Tiempo Libre’s concert will include music from “Bach in Havana,” as well as their two other Grammy-nominated timba albums, “Lo Que Esperabas” and “Arroz Con Mango.”

read the full article: TribStar