Guest Artist Bio
The three-time Grammy-nominated Cuban music group Tiempo Libre, which collaborates with the Oregon Symphony for the first time at these concerts, is one the hottest young Latin bands today.
Now based in Miami, the group’s seven members were all classically trained at Cuba’s finest conservatories, and they were all enjoying thriving individual careers in Latin music when they came together to realize their collective musical dream: to create the first authentic all-Cuban timba band in the United States. Their eagerness to share their music is what brought them together between projects to develop a new style, hence the name Tiempo Libre (free time).
Since their formation in 2001, the members of Tiempo Libre have been on a mission to share the musical heritage in which they grew up, reinterpreting and reinvigorating traditional Cuban music and forging a new sound born from the meeting of their Cuban roots and their American experience.
The group’s new Sony Masterworks timba recording, My Secret Radio, will be released May 3. The album pays homage to the musicians’ teenage years in Cuba, when the government forbade its citizens to listen to American music and Russia had pulled its support from the island. Inspired by their Afro-Cuban tradition, but eager to catch the new trends and sounds coming from the United States, Tiempo Libre’s members would fashion homemade antennas and secretly listen to the music pulsating from Miami radio stations at night. These secret radio sessions fueled Tiempo Libre’s dreams of living in America, while helping them gather the strength that it took to leave it all behind – families, friends, a country, a life – to pursue those dreams.
Tiempo Libre includes musical director Jorge Gomez on keyboard; Raúl Rodríguez, trumpet; Leandro González, congas; Tebelio (Tony) Fonte, bass; Armando (Pututi) Arce, drums; Joaquin (El Kid) Diaz, lead vocals; and Luis Beltran Castillo, saxophone and flute.
More information is available online at tiempolibremusic.com