While growing up in Cuba, they would escape to their rooftops in the wee hours of the night and from make-shift radios listen to what they called “American music”—the beats of music legends such as the late, great, King of Pop Michael Jackson and their all time favorite Earth, Wind and Fire.

Tiempo Libre has come a long way.

On May 20, the Grammy-Award winning band will throw a concert at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in celebration of their recent album release, “My Secret Radio.”

“The idea for this album stemmed off our dream to live here [in the U.S.],” Jorge Gómez, the band’s musical director and keyboardist, says. “Now we are always on tour although we play timba, a relatively new genre of music in the United States.”

Gómez says that, while on tour, the group really enjoys spending time with the communities that they visit and empowering them musically.

“Before we get on stage for our concerts we give music classes in nearby schools and universities,” Gómez says. “Americans have this thirst for new things. They attend our concerts to see if they will like our music.”

“Then they decided they want to take our classes,” he added. “I personally enjoy teaching and being with the children who are interested.”

Before her passing, Celia Cruz took time to mentor the members of Tiempo Libre. Gómez says that her wisdom and advice helped them get to where they are today, both as musicians and as individuals.

“Her journey, her devotion was admirable,” recalls Gómez. “When she would speak, you would feel as though you were a member of her family.”

Excited to continue learning and growing, Gómez looks forward to what the future will bring Tiempo Libre. He says he yearns to work with others such as, “Calle 13, Wisin and Yandel and Pitbull.”

You can reach Alexandra Gratereaux at: Alexandra.Gratereaux@foxnewslatino.com

or via Twitter: @GalexLatino

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