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Tiempo Libre - at a point that bands dream about / Miami New Times

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Fourteen years since its formation, the Miami-based Tiempo Libre is at a point in its career that most up-and-coming bands dream about. Three Grammy nominations, worldwide recognition on stages and television, and several albums later, the group is in the midst of a promotional tour for its first release under Universal Music Latin Entertainment, Panamericano.

The journey of achieving freedom and fame since fleeing Cuba has played an essential role in forming the sound and style of Tiempo Libre, comprising Luis Beltran Castillo on flute and saxophone, Raúl Rodriguez on trumpet, Xavier Mili on lead vocals, Wilvi Rodriguez on bass, Israel Morales Figueroa on drums, and Leandro González on congas. All members came to the U.S. legally after leaving the island.

For founder Jorge Gómez, who is also the band's pianist and musical director, this high point in the band's career happens to coincide with the 15th anniversary of when he left the familiarity of his home and country for a new one - one that has led to an exceedingly bright life. So much of Tiempo Libre's music has been about the experiences of immigrants in the United States, but Panamericano focuses on embracing Miami's wonderful diversity. "We have been living in Miami for 15 years," Gómez says. "We are part of Miami. We all in the band, we are citizens. So Miami now is the Cuba that we left before, because we have the same food, the same friends - the whole family is living here."  READ THE FULL Miami New Times ARTICLE