Tiempo Libre is one of the top Cuban timba bands

Tiempo Libre plays Cuban timba at The Performing Arts Center at SUNY Purchase College in Purchase, New York (White Plains) on Sunday, April 7, 2019 at 3pm. From $11.25

Get tickets at www.artscenter.org

Cuban Timba

Timba is Cuban pop dance music that came up in the 1970s and 80s. Now legendary bands like Irakere led by Chucho Valdes, and Los Van Van led by Juan Formell, mixed salsa, American funk/R&B and Afro-Cuban folk music with a level of virtuosity that made everyone get up and dance.

Timba was Cuban music made in Cuba for Cubans, but it also brought outside influences in.

Cuba has a very good classical arts education system. It produces such good artists that it’s easy to think that all Cubans are just supernaturally talented.

But in the early 1990s, the island lost the patronage of the Soviet Union which had collapsed. During the hard times of the so-called “special period” timba provided an outlet for the frustrations of young people. When times are hard, you just have to dance harder. Cuba’s amazing classically-trained musicians drove the music forward.

Dancing styles changed with timba too. It isn’t shy about being naughty.

Cubans brought the sound with them to Miami. Nowadays, everybody loves timba. It’s a high energy, very polished and danceable sound.

Some people use the term “salsa” to mean all Latin music, but timba goes places that the salsa won’t go.

Tiempo Libre

Tiempo Libre is one of the most successful of the bands that brought timba to Miami and the U.S. They were teenagers in Cuba when timba was brewing.

Their second album ‘Arroz con Mango’ (Rice with Mango) earned a Grammy nomination for Best Salsa/Merengue Album in 2005.

“Lo que esperabas’ (What you’ve been waiting for) earned a Grammy nomination for Best Tropical Latin Album Grammy in 2006.

‘Bach in Havana’ (Sony Masterworks) earned a Grammy nomination for Best Tropical Latin Album Grammy in 2009.

“Tiempo Libre” means “free time” in Spanish. It has a double meaning.

  1. There’s the need to cut loose and be free when times are hard
  2. The way timba freed Latin music from the limitations of salsa

Follow the band at tiempolibremusic.com

Tiempo Libre Tickets

Tickets are available at the Box Office in the Performing Arts Center lobby, by phone, and online

Box Office

Wednesday-Friday, 12-6pm
Extended hours before performances


(914) 251-6200



The Performing Arts Center at Purchase College

735 Anderson Hill Road, Purchase, NY, 10577

You can get to Purchase College on Metro North’s Harlem and New Haven lines.


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