Tiempo Libre Brings Haggin to its Feet

by Rachel Williams

The seven musicians of Tiempo Libre, a Miami-based Cuban band, came together with one common dream: creating an authentic all-Cuban timba band in the United States.

Trumpet player Cristobal Ferrer Garcia, left, traveled through the audience at the concert.Timba is a dance-inducing mix of high-voltage Latin jazz and the sensuous rhythms of son, a type of music native to Cuba. Their eagerness to share their music with others led these multi-talented individuals to come together in 2001, between individual projects and careers, to develop their new style together, hence the name Tiempo Libre, which translates to “free time.” And last Friday night, Tiempo Libre came to Transylvania to share their new and unique style of music.

The concert began with just the instrumentalists on stage. When the vocalist came out to give us his unique style of performing, the mood changed just a bit, but not necessarily in a bad way. The members of the band were all fun-loving, energetic guys, from the thrusting vocalist to the bassist in a skirt. It was obvious that everyone on stage was enjoying himself to the extreme, which always makes a concert more enjoyable for the audience.

Tiempo Libre performed to a packed Haggin Auditorium.The trumpet player, whose name was Cristobal Ferrer Garcia, was intense. At one point, Garcia left the stage and appeared at the back of the auditorium and played the trombone as he advanced toward the stage. When he got there, he immediately returned to his trumpet and played a solo which pushed the limit of the instrument’s range. I was very impressed with the tact and tone with which he played such solos.

All the members of the group blended well together; each filling into everyone else’s sound. The balance among them was impressive, especially considering how loud as the music was. When it was time for a saxophone solo, you could clearly hear the instrument get louder and everyone else get softer. When it was the trumpet’s turn, that’s what you heard. Granted, they all had microphones and they are clearly professional musicians, but that is still impressive to me.

The experience was incredible until the entire audience decided to get up and dance in front of me. For basically the entire second half, I could not fully enjoy the music because my attention was focused on the dozens of audience members obstructing my view. I suppose this was a side effect of the high energy radiated by the band and the style of music they were playing, in which case I’m sure they enjoyed seeing the audience on their feet.

The Tiempo Libre concert was honestly quite different from what I had imagined. I don’t really know what I was expecting going in, but that’s not what I got. It was fun; there was so much energy and excitement in the room and it was a great way to end the week.


One Response to Tiempo Libre Brings Haggin to its Feet

  1. Ben Dover says:

    As the bum that was potentially in front of your reporter I just have to say, anyone who’s view was blocked during the concert should have joined in on the dancing fun, that’s what this music is all about!

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