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AAJ Readers Get Discount on Tickets to Tiempo Libre in NYC December 10

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AAJ readers can get special discount pricing for tickets to see Tiempo Libre when the band returns to New York City to perform in concert on December 10th.

Hot off its third Grammy nomination for “Best Tropical Latin Album" for Bach in Havana, the sizzling, dance-inducing Cuban music group Tiempo Libre will perform and generally throw one big Cuban party on Friday, December 10th at 8:00 p.m. in the Peter Jay Sharp Theatre at SymphonySpace (2537 Broadway at 95th St., NYC, 10025). Tickets are $38; day of show $43; member $32; under 30: $15. For tickets call 212-864-5400 or visit symphonyspace.org. AAJ readers will receive a special $15 discount by using the code “Tiempo" when purchasing tickets online or by telephone.

This is part of Symphony Space's Sonidos: A Celebration of Latino Arts. Sonidos, or “sounds," explores Latin culture through music, literature, dance and film.

Tiempo Libre's show is a dynamic, passionate performance of timba music—an exciting and engaging combination of Latin jazz and traditional Cuban son. Their goal is to serve as ambassadors to Cuba's musical heritage, while celebrating the American experience. There hasn't been a concert yet where people haven't gotten out of their seats to dance.

The members of the Miami-based Cuban music group, Tiempo Libre, come from all over Cuba—places like Santiago, Pinar del Rio and Camaguey. They all went to school together at La ENA, Havana's premiere Russian-style conservatory during the Special Period in Cuba. Individually they all fled Cuba for freedom, and reunited in Miami where they all enjoyed thriving careers in Latin music performing, touring and recording with such artists as Albita, Israel "Cachao" Lopez, Arturo Sandoval, NG La Banda, Gonzalo Rubalcaba and Isaac Delgado. In their free time, the seven musicians would come together to realize their collective musical dream: to create the first authentic all-Cuban timba band in the United States, and for this reason they named their group Tiempo Libre (free time). Now they are a sensation in the US, with concerts all around the country and three Grammy nominations.

The group often compares its timba music to a tomato. If you plant a tomato in Havana soil, it will taste differently than if you plant it in Miami soil or Los Angeles soil, but it will still be a tomato. Tiempo Libre's members are pure timberos. They listen to timba, they play it, they dance it, they live it. And as Cubans now living in the United States, they absorb the musical nutrients of this country—funk, hip hop, rap and jazz—which they also incorporate into their sound.

Tiempo Libre's latest Cuban music album, Bach in Havana, its first recording under its new deal on Sony Masterworks, was released in May, 2009. 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 true 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 premiere Russian-style conservatory La ENA by day and by night meeting up to play timba, Latin jazz as well as 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 1st 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); the C Minor propelling an intense ride over the rhythms of guaguanco, a Latin youthful courtship dance.

The group draws on its classical roots in other ways as well. 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 October 2nd Tonight Show and the Live From Lincoln Center January 21st PBS broadcast. In Fall 2008, Tiempo Libre recorded O'Reilly Street with leading flautist 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. You may see and hear more at www.tiempolibremusic.com.

Remember: AAJ readers will receive a special $15 discount by using the code “Tiempo" when purchasing tickets online or by telephone.

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