Led by pianist and musical director Rafael Ithier, El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico is one of Puerto Rico’s greatest dance bands. Decades after its inception, the 13-piece salsa group continues to inspire dancers with its horn-punctuated Latin rhythms and lush vocal harmonies.
This performance will be opened by salsa musician, trombonist, and bandleader Edgar Joel alongside vocalist Anthony Colón.
About El Gran Combo
Officially named “Ambassadors of Our Music” by the Puerto Rican Senate, El Gran Combo’s many hits include such classics as “El Menu” and “Timablero.” Their 1978 album, En Las Vegas, sold more than one million copies, while its follow-up, In Alaska: Breaking the Ice, was nominated for a Grammy Award.®
A longtime member of popular Latin band Cortijo y Su Combo, Ithier formed El Gran Combo in 1962 with eight of his bandmates, including percussionist, dancer, chorus singer, and salsa bandleader Roberto Roena. The Puerto Rican release of the group’s debut album, Acángana, recorded two days before the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, was delayed until it had already been released in Mexico, Panama, Venezuela, and the United States. El Gran Combo continued to expand its following in the early ’60s, performing to enthusiastic crowds in New York, the Dominican Republic, Panama, Colombia, and Venezuela.
August 13th, 2023
August 13th, 2023
Concert Hall at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
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