NEW YORK (Top40 Charts/ Sony Masterworks) - The Cuban music group TIEMPO LIBRE has received a Grammy Award nomination in the category of Best Tropical Latin Album for its latest CD BACH IN HAVANA on Sony Masterworks. Bach in Havana has enjoyed 18 weeks in the Top 20 on Billboard's "Classical Crossover" chart. In October, Tiempo Libre brought Cuban music to the national stage by performing on "The Tonight Show With Conan O'Brien" with violinist Joshua Bell; and on ABC's "Dancing With The Stars" performing the Bach in Havana single "Tu Conga Bach." It's the group's third consecutive Grammy nomination, the musicians were previously were nominated for the timba albums Arroz Con Mango
and Lo Que Esperabas.
Bach in Havana includes guest performances by the Cuban legend Paquito D'Rivera and the Cuban born sax player Yosvany Terry. The CD is produced by multi-Grammy winner Steve Epstein (Yo-Yo Ma, Wynton Marsalis, Placido Domingo) who is also nominated this year for a Grammy in the Best Producer, Classical category. Jorge Gomez is the co-producer.
On Bach in Havana, Tiempo Libre takes the classical compositions of Johann Sebastian Bach as a starting point from which to explore Cuban music and rhythms. The album is a true reflection of the two worlds of Tiempo Libre's Cuban musical upbringing: its 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 (the rituals of the Santeria religion) - music forbidden at La ENA because of its Afro-Cuban roots. 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
"Some of my most indelible memories of Cuba are of coming home from a rumba or tambor, with those rhythms in my head and then drifting off to sleep as my father [one of Cuba's most prominent classical pianists] played Bach downstairs. I suppose that it was inevitable that the two would eventually merge creatively," explains Jorge Gomez, Tiempo Libre's musical director and pianist.
Of the Grammy nomination, Alex Miller, General Manager of Sony Masterworks says, "Tiempo Libre created an album that is unique in sound and spirit. They deserve this nomination and I am proud of them both personally and professionally."
After growing up during the "Special Period" in Cuba, Tiempo Libre's members left everyone and everything behind to flee to the land of opportunity. In Miami they came together to play music whenever they had free time (hence the name Tiempo Libre) from working with legendary artists like Albita, Cachao, Arturo Sandoval and Roberto Torres. Against predictions that a broad international audience would not embrace the timba music native to their homeland, they formed their group in 2001. Equally at home in concert halls, jazz clubs and dance venues, the Miami-based band has become known worldwide for its incendiary, joyful performances of timba - an irresistible, dance-inducing mix of high-voltage Latin jazz and the seductive rhythms of son. Their goal is to serve as ambassadors to Cuba's heritage, while celebrating their new American experience.
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