Two-time Grammy-nominated Tiempo Libre is one the hottest young Latin bands today. Equally at home in concert halls, jazz clubs and dance venues, the members of the Miami-based band are true modern heirs to the rich tradition of the music of their native Cuba.
Tiempo Libre's members were all classically trained at La ENA, Cuba's premiere conservatory during a time when it was illegal to listen to American songs on the radio. Now, the group is a hit in the U.S. and abroad, celebrated for its incendiary, joyful performances of timba, an irresistible, dance-inducing mix of high-voltage Latin jazz and the seductive rhythms of son.
Recently signed to Sony, the group will release a new album Bach in Havana--a fusion of Bach with Afro-Cuban rhythms featuring guest tracks by Paquito d'Rivera and Yosvany Terry--on May 5, 2009. The music of Bach has been an inspiration to the members of Tiempo Libre since their early school days studying in Havana, and many of Bach’s masterpieces make appearances on the album, including the C Major and C Minor Preludes & Fugues from the 1st book of the Well-Tempered Clavier, with the C Major opening onto a sonic world of the interplay of Batá (African percussion); the C Minor propelling an intense ride over the rhythms of guaguanco, a Latinyouthful courtship dance.
In fall, 2008, Tiempo Libre brought its dynamic Afro-Cuban beat to leading flutist Sir James Galway’s album, O’Reilly Street, released by the RCA Red Seal label. The album features an exciting new Latin jazz arrangement of music from the Claude Bolling Jazz Suites including “Baroque and Blue”, as well as a timba take on Bach's “Badinerie” and a number of vibrant new compositions all by Tiempo Libre’s musical director and pianist Jorge Gomez. The result is rich in the traditions of multiple genres, authentic yet emotionally seductive, transcending the borders between classical, jazz and Cuban music.