|“This album is their tribute to the many powerful voices that rocked their world, and the country that sang to them its siren song—via their secret radios.”||
Photo Credit: Tom Ehrlich. Courtesy of…
My Secret Radio
Allison Ravenscroft/Jane Covner
Tiempo Libre’s show is a dynamic, passionate performance of timba music—an exciting and engaging combination of Latin jazz and traditional Cuban son. The group’s sound honors their Cuban musical heritage, while celebrating their new American experience
My Secret Radio is an Afro-Cuban love letter to the music, which the band members secretly listened to on American radio stations when they were growing up during the “special period” in Cuba. During that difficult time following Russia’s withdrawal of support from the island, there was little to eat and it was illegal to listen to American music on the radio. As musicians, Tiempo Libre’s members were fueled by their Afro-Cuban tradition, yet they were also eager to devour any scraps of sounds and styles that reached the island from Miami radio. So, like all teenagers who desire most things that are most off limits, they salvaged aluminum foil and metal clothes hangers to fashion homemade antennas, and climbed up on their rooftops at night to secretly listen to the music which pulsated from Miami airwaves. This music of the night fueled their dreams of living in America, free to perform their songs, and live their lives the way they wanted. It gave them the desire and the strength that it took to leave it all behind—families, friends, a country, a life—to pursue those dreams. This album is their tribute to the many powerful voices that rocked their world, and the country that sang to them its siren song—via their secret radios.
Now living in Miami, the members of Tiempo Libre were all classically trained in Havana’s Russian-style conservatories. Today they are a sensation in the U.S. and around the globe with three Grammy nominations. There hasn’t been a concert yet where people haven’t gotten out of their seats to dance. Recently Tiempo Libre made its debut at the Playboy Jazz Festival and the group has appeared on many programs including The Tonight Show and Dancing with the Stars in addition to programs on NPR, Telemundo and Univision. For a preview of the concert please visit the group’s performance on Dancing with the Stars: