Thursday, August 18, 2005

The Fairmont State Office of Student Affairs and the School of Fine Arts will present two events as part of the celebration of National Hispanic Heritage Month in September.

Tiempo Libre will appear live in concert at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 28, in the Student Activity Center. Admission is free for FS students, $10 for the general public and $8 for seniors. For tickets, call the Wallman Hall Box Office at (304) 367-4240.

There will be a Latin Dance Party at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 14, in the Turley Center Ballroom to give those interested an opportunity to sharpen their salsa dancing skills prior to the concert. DJ Saenz will provide the music and dance instruction, as well as experienced dance partners. Admission to the dance party is free and open to the public.

Tiempo Libre, a Miami-based Latin band whose music reflects its Cuban roots, combines jazz, traditional Cuban and Afro-Cuban music. The "timba" band was created by seven musicians who were Cuban immigrants and old friends from Havana.

Tiempo Libre is Jorge Gomez, director and piano; Fernando Pina, drums; Joaquin Diaz, vocals; Leandro Gonzalez, congas; Tebelio "Tony" Fonte, bass; Eduardo Quintana, flute and saxophone; and Angel "Pututi" Arce, drums.

Schooled in different Havana conservatories and all enjoying thriving careers in Latin music, the musicians came together to realize their collective musical dream and to create a new musical style by fusing their diverse individual talents. Their eagerness to share their music with others led these multi-talented musicians to come together between projects to develop their new style, hence the name Tiempo Libre (which means Free Time).

Since its formation in 2001, Tiempo Libre has been on a mission to share its musical heritage with as wide an audience as possible, re-interpreting and re-invigorating traditional Cuban music with a youthful, modern sound. In the summer of 2002, at the group's Ravinia Festival debut opening for Celia Cruz, Tiempo Libre performed for a crowd of more than 12,000. In 2003, the group shared a bill at Ravinia with Aretha Franklin, performing before a crowd of 20,000. In the fall of 2002, the band's performances at New York's famous Latin hot spots Nell's and Village Underground resulted in immediate invitations for performances in spring 2003.

Summer 2003 also included performances at the new Heineken Jazz Festival in Hua Hin, Thailand, where Tiempre Libre were the sensation of the festival. Return trips to Asia included sold-out shows at Honk Kong's Kwai Tsing Theatre and the Dewan Filharmonik Petronas, the concert hall at the foot of the famous twin towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and at the 2005 Java Jazz Festival in Jakarta, Indonesia. In the U.S., Tiempo Libre's touring schedule has included performances at Miami's JVC Jazz Festival; Yoshi's in Oakland, Calif.; SOB's in New York; Lincoln Center's MidSummer Night's Swing; the Brooklyn Latin Festival; the Colorado, Interlochen and Green music festivals; New Haven Jazz Festival; California World Fest; Lotus Music Festival; and New York's River-to-River Festival at the South Street Seaport. Back at home, Tiempo Libre has been featured on many of Miami's highest-rated Spanish-language shows such as "Mikimbin," "Payo" and "Tropicana."

For more information on Tiempo Libre, visit www.tiempolibremusic.com.