Redefining the Classroom

UPDATED: Sizzling, Grammy-nominated Cuban band to warm up cold spring at LSSU

Posted: April 13th, 2013

UPDATED: As part of their visit to Sault Ste. Marie this week, Cuban music group Tiempo Libre will present “An Introduction to Cuban Music” at 1:30 p.m. on Friday, April 19, in the Arts Center auditorium.

The members of the group will talk about their native country and what it was like to grow up in Cuba. They will illustrate their talk with examples of the forms of music for which Cuba became famous, including danzón, cha-chá, son and timba.

This is Tiempo Libre’s most popular class, as it is appropriate for all ages. The 45-minute presentation is free and open to the community. It is sponsored, in part, by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Groups of 20 or more should call in advance, 906-635-2184.

SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. -- Hot off its third Grammy Best Tropical Album nomination for “Bach in Havana,” and the release of its new album, “My Secret Radio,” the sizzling, dance-inducing Cuban music group Tiempo Libre will throw one big Cuban party on April 19 at the Lake Superior State University Arts Center.

The concert begins at 8 p.m. Tickets are on sale at the LSSU Norris Center box office, 906-635-2602, or online at Seats are $20 general admission, $15 for seniors, and $8 for students.

Tiempo Libre’s show is a dynamic, passionate performance of timba music – an exciting and engaging combination of Latin jazz and traditional Cuban song. The band’s goal is to serve as ambassadors to Cuba’s musical heritage while celebrating the American experience. According to band members, there hasn’t been a concert yet where people haven’t gotten out of their seats to dance.

Cuban ambassadors Tiempo Libre

The seven-man band started as friends who were influenced by Miami radio stations that they pulled in to their radios through a coat-hanger antenna. The group eventually made it to Miami, and it wasn’t long before they were nominated three times for Grammy Awards.

Mother Jones magazine noted, “Their music is contagiously celebratory. The snappy motion of Afro-Cuban conga beats creates the illusion of a fast-forwarded video clip. It's no wonder timba music is associated with twisting, thrusting hips and shoulders. High notes pop off the keyboard, while funk is pulled through the bass. A sort of call-and-response plays out between the jazzy trumpet, saxophone, flute, and swinging Spanish lyrics mourning love lost and liberties gained.”

Tiempo Libre has performed its timba music all around the world, and still enjoys mixing their cultural beats with sounds of America, including jazz and cultural music.

At LSSU, the band will perform high-energy music featuring songs from “My Secret Radio,” a CD inspired by the band’s days of secretly listening to American radio, “Bach in Havana,” as well as selections from two other Grammy-nominated timba albums, “Lo Que Esperabas” and “Arroz Con Mango.”

You may see and hear more at the Tiempo Libre website. Tiempo Libre’s performance at LSSU is supported, in part, by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

For more information, call 906-635-2602. -LSSU-

CONTACT: Tom Pink, 906-635-2315;; John Shibley, 635-2314,; Tom Davis, 635-2184,