Best Latin Band (2008)

Tiempo Libre

Miami has its fair share of illustrious Latin bands. Still, the sizzling rhythms of Tiempo Libre stand far above the rest. Formed in 2001, Tiempo Libre — Free Time — plays in the style of timba, which blends traditional Afro-Cuban beats with fresh pop genres such as hip-hop, house, and jazz. Known for its ultravigorous live shows, the seven-member ensemble, led by pianist Jorge Gomez, is also a formidable studio band. Their brilliantly produced album Lo Que Esperabas/What You've Been Waiting For is packed with danceable tracks including "Manos Pa'rriba" and more traditional numbers such as "A Bayamo en Coche." That record earned the members a 2007 Grammy nomination for Best Tropical Latin Album. More important, Tiempo Libre's solid reputation as a first-class live band has turned the local boys into in-demand international touring celebrities. Still, the coolest place to catch them is in Miami, where all of their influences come together.


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