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El Gran Combo: Experience and Recognition

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El Gran Combo constitutes one of the most popular Salsa groups in the entire Latin America, since they are considered to be an excellent Puerto Rican Salsa music orchestra.  In addition, El Gran Combo is made up by members who, at the same time, are legendary singers in different genres in Latin America.  In 1962, this amazing band was created by Rafael Ithier, who is, still, a core member of the band.  Their career, despite they were already professionals in the field, started when they were hired by Alvarz Guedes, a writer, comedian and businessman in order to support a well-known singer called Joseito Mateo in Puerto Rico.

On May 21, 1962, El Gran Combo was heard in a Puerto Rican radio broadcasting for the first time.  After that, they got to be an on-studio orchestra who played in the live TV show called “La Taverna India”.  When they released their first album called Agancana, success was waiting for them. With this album, they got to be in the first places in Panama, in New York and in Puerto Rico, of course.  In 1971, they changed their recording company and associated with one working with Rubén Blades and Celia Cruz, called Fania Records.  During the 80’s and 90’s, their line-up comprised amazing artists like Gilberto Santa Rosa and Tony Vega.

Among their successful albums, it is good to mention Aqui Estamos y de Verdad, 40 Aniversario 1962-2002, Breaking the Ice and Aqui no se Sienta Nadie.  In general, El Gran Combo has recorded more than fifty releases.  In fact, they have earned a Grammy nomination for El Gran Combo en Alaska (2000).  In 1982, El Gran Combo celebrated their anniversary No. 25 with a spectacular concert in Madison Square Garden.  Hence, El Gran Como is, without a doubt, an extremely famed icon not only in the Puerto Rican music, but also in every single place where people like good Salsa.

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