El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico

From Wikipedia for FEVERv2
Jump to navigation Jump to search

El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_table_infobox_0

El Gran Combo de Puerto RicoEl Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_header_cell_0_0_0
Background informationEl Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_header_cell_0_1_0
Also known asEl Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_header_cell_0_2_0 El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_cell_0_2_1
OriginEl Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_header_cell_0_3_0 Puerto RicoEl Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_cell_0_3_1
GenresEl Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_header_cell_0_4_0 SalsaEl Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_cell_0_4_1
Years activeEl Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_header_cell_0_5_0 1962 (1962)–presentEl Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_cell_0_5_1
Associated actsEl Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_header_cell_0_6_0 La Sonora PonceñaEl Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_cell_0_6_1
WebsiteEl Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_header_cell_0_7_0 El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_cell_0_7_1
MembersEl Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_header_cell_0_9_0 El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_cell_0_9_1
Past membersEl Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_header_cell_0_11_0 El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_cell_0_11_1

El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico, commonly known as El Gran Combo, is a Puerto Rican salsa orchestra based in San Juan, Puerto Rico. El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_sentence_0

Celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2012, it is often considered Puerto Rico's most successful musical group. El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_sentence_1

The group received the moniker La Universidad de la Salsa (The University of Salsa) in Colombia, due to the sheer number of famous salsa musicians and singers who developed their careers with it, who started with the group (particularly Andy Montañez), or who were occasionally backed up by the band and La India. El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_sentence_2

The salsa orchestra was founded in May 1962, by Rafael Ithier. El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_sentence_3

Ithier is still nominally its musical director, and is the only remaining members from the band's original lineup. El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_sentence_4

As of 2010, Willie Sotelo, who joined the group in 2006 as pianist, has become the band's de facto musical director on tours, with Ithier conducting the group and playing occasionally in select live performances. El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_sentence_5

They are still actively performing after 50 years together. El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_sentence_6

The group was scheduled to celebrate its 50th anniversary on 11 November 2012 at the Coliseo de Puerto Rico. El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_sentence_7

The group started its celebration with a grand world tour that took them to five continents. El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_sentence_8

History El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_section_0

Inception El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_section_1

Rafael Ithier had been a member of Rafael Cortijo's "Cortijo y su Combo" orchestra. El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_sentence_9

After singer Ismael Rivera faced legal drug possession problems when arriving from Panama, some of the group's musicians departed, with Ithier relocating temporarily to the eastern United States. El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_sentence_10

Rafael Álvarez Guedes, the Cuban-born owner of the Gema recording label (and brother of comedic actor Guillermo), recommended to record an album with legendary versatile Dominican singer "JOSEITO MATEO". El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_sentence_11

so many of his former colleagues return to the studio. El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_sentence_12

For their first recording sessions, the orchestra included some musicians from Cortijo's original lineup, including saxophonist Hector Santos, trumpet player Rogelio "Kito" Velez, and percussionists Martín Quiñones, Miguel Cruz and Roberto Roena. El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_sentence_13

Alvarez Guedes wanted to name the group Rafael Ithier Y Su Combo In relations to Cortijo, but Ithier refused the name and the name El Gran Combo was born, as to refer to the musicians' former affiliation, but addressing their regrouping as a "new and improved" version of Cortijo's orchestra. El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_sentence_14

The FIRST album they recorded was titled "Menéame Los Mangos" El Gran Combo de Puerto rico con (DOMINICANO)Joseito Mateo the phrase translates as (Shake Your Mangos). El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_sentence_15

The group met again to define the foundations of a proper orchestra and chose singers Daniel Vázquez, Pellín Rodríguez and Chiquitín García (who later composed among other major EGC hits, "No Hago Más Ná",'and many of Gran combos Hits. El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_sentence_16

On May 21, 1962, El Gran Combo was heard for the first time on Puerto Rican radio. El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_sentence_17

Later on, they became the in-studio musicians of the live television show, "La Taberna India", sponsored by India Beer. El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_sentence_18

After their live debut at Hotel La Concha in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Chiquitín García left the orchestra. El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_sentence_19

Vocalist Sammy Ayala, who had also played with Ithier in the Cortijo orchestra, recommended the hiring of Andy Montañez. El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_sentence_20

Andy Montañez was singer for a trio in Puerto Rico and had never sung salsa? El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_sentence_21

First albums El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_section_2

On November 20, 1963, El Gran Combo de Puerto rico released their FIRST group album, Menéame los mangos, with DOMINICAN legend JOSEITO MATEO as lead singer. El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_sentence_22

Later came Acángana This album became a number-one hit in New York City, Panama and Puerto Rico. El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_sentence_23

Their success opened doors for them in many Latin American markets and they gained an exclusivity spot on the Puerto Rican television show El Show de las 12. El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_sentence_24

The album also reached gold status. El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_sentence_25

On 1964, trumpet player and arranger Elías Lopes joined the orchestra, coinciding with the group's first popularity wave. El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_sentence_26

With their daily TV appearances and extensive touring, however, demand for the group declined due to overexposure. El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_sentence_27

Still, in 1967, their album Boogaloo con el Gran Combo also reached gold status. El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_sentence_28

In 1969, Roena and Lopes left the orchestra to form the Apollo Sound together. El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_sentence_29

Despite all this, that same year the group was awarded an Agüeybana de Oro in Puerto Rico. El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_sentence_30

Also, in 1969, Rafael Ithier hired dancer/choreographer Mike Ramos to implement dance routines, which became a signature of El Gran Combo's live performances. El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_sentence_31

Mike came from the world-famous New York City Palladium Ballroom scene. El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_sentence_32

Prior to joining El Gran Combo, Mike danced along Tito Puente Orchestra and Perez Prado Band among others. El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_sentence_33

The 1970s El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_section_3

In 1970, El Gran Combo's contract with Gema Records was not renewed. El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_sentence_34

Despite offers from other record companies including the Motown label, the group decided to self-release recordings under their own newly created independent label, Combo Records (alternatively known as EGC Records). El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_sentence_35

The first album released on the label was the 1970 album entitled Estamos Primeros. El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_sentence_36

On February 15, 1970, the members of El Gran Combo shared a near death experience. El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_sentence_37

They were at Venezuela, and scheduled to fly the following day to Las Américas International Airport in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_sentence_38

After landing they were told about the Dominicana Airlines DC-9 that crashed off the Caribbean coast which occurred the night before. El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_sentence_39

Therefore, the tale about a group member having a bad feeling regarding that flight while stranded at the Santo Domingo airport is not true, since they did not arrive there until the day after the crash. El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_sentence_40

In 1971, El Gran Combo introduced the trombone to their instrument mix. El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_sentence_41

The trombone was played by Fanny Ceballos. El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_sentence_42

Soon after, their production named De Punta a Punta was released. El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_sentence_43

In 1972, they released the album "Por el Libro", which marks the 10th anniversary of the orchestra. El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_sentence_44

Pellín Rodriguez left the group to embark on a solo career. El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_sentence_45

Rodríguez was replaced by Charlie Aponte at the recommendation of Jerry Concepción and the well known sportscaster Rafael Bracero, both friends of Ithier. El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_sentence_46

In 1973, El Gran Combo sang in front of 50,000 fans at the famous Yankee Stadium in New York City with Dominican Johnny Pacheco and recording label "Fania All-Stars"sold out concert. El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_sentence_47

Montañez left the band in early 1977 and went to live in Venezuela where he replaced Oscar D'León in another orchestra, Dimension Latina. El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_sentence_48

Jerry Rivas was then chosen to join the orchestra. El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_sentence_49

The success of this new duo was proved with their 1977 album International and 1978's En Las Vegas which reached gold record status. El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_sentence_50

In 1966, En Navidad, a Christmas album, was released, with Martín Quiñones appearing as Santa Claus in the album's cover. El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_sentence_51

After an automobile accident in early 1977, Quiñones was replaced in the band by his son, Martín Quiñones Jr. El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_sentence_52

He stayed until 1979, being replaced by Miguel “El Pollo” Torres. El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_sentence_53

Recent years El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_section_4

The band continues to receive numerous awards throughout Latin America. El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_sentence_54

In 1984, they traveled to Alaska where they received a great welcome soon after they released their album titled In Alaska: Breaking the Ice which garnered them their first Grammy nomination. El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_sentence_55

In 1982 they celebrated their 20th anniversary playing at Madison Square Garden. El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_sentence_56

They also reached Europe that year playing in Paris, France. El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_sentence_57

In the early 1990s, they were honored in the city of Madrid, Spain to open the decade on the right track. El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_sentence_58

On March 29, 1992, they celebrated a huge concert in the Hiram Bithorn Stadium in front of 30,000 people. El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_sentence_59

The new millennium El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_section_5

In 2002, El Gran Combo celebrated their 40th anniversary with two sold-out concerts at the Ruben Rodríguez Coliseum in Bayamón, Puerto Rico. El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_sentence_60

This celebration spawned an album. El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_sentence_61

In the same year, they were awarded the Billboard Latin Music Lifetime Achievement Award. El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_sentence_62

A year later, in 2003, they received a Grammy for Best Tropical Album. El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_sentence_63

Among other musicians, they are one of the "enduring superstars of the island." El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_sentence_64

As of 2006, the orchestra has released over 40 albums or CD's, and it has received many awards, including golden albums, a "Calendario de Plata" in Mexico, a "Golden Congo" in Colombia, a Paoli Award in their native Puerto Rico, an honorable distinction in Spain and countless others. El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_sentence_65

In 2006, they released their album titled Arroz con Habichuela ("Rice and Beans"). El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_sentence_66

It has already spawned three hit singles. El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_sentence_67

The first one titled "No Hay Manera" ("There's No Way"), the title song, and "Si la ves por ahí". El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_sentence_68

Around 2006, Rafael Ithier became ill and decided to take a back seat for live performances and although he mostly still tours with the band, Ithier is just conducting the combo rather than playing the piano, however he is still very much the bandleader of the group. El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_sentence_69

Willie Sotelo has taken the place of Ithier on the piano and has also taken on some of the travel management duties as well. El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_sentence_70

In 2007, El Gran Combo performed two massive concerts at the José Miguel Agrelot Coliseum to celebrate their 45th anniversary. El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_sentence_71

In 2010, two tribute albums were released, one by former member Andy Montañez and another by the bank Banco Popular, as part of their annual music series. El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_sentence_72

In August 2011, El Gran Combo rewrote the lyrics to their own hit "No Hago Más Ná", or "I Don't Do Anything Else" that sang in satire about the day of a lazy person to a more positive "Echar Pa'lante" or "Moving Forward" which sang about the virtues of going to work. El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_sentence_73

They also released a video with a positive introductory message which showed clips of working people in similarities with them playing instruments. El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_sentence_74

The group is still going strong and working continuously. El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_sentence_75

Some music historians have dubbed them La Universidad de la Salsa (The University of Salsa), which is also the title of their hit 1983 album. El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_sentence_76

Recent changes have occurred within the last several years. El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_sentence_77

On August 9, 2013 Founder musician Eddie "La Bala" Perez died due to health complications. El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_sentence_78

On December 12, 2014, Charlie Aponte, one of the vocalists of El Gran Combo for 41 years, retired for personal reasons and launched his own orchestra. El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_sentence_79

His last performance was in Cali, Colombia on December 30, 2014. El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_sentence_80

On January 24, 2015 Anthony Garcia became the new vocalist, as Aponte's replacement. El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_sentence_81

Later in the year, El Gran Combo received the Latin Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_sentence_82

Two years later, they were presented with the ASCAP Latin Heritage Award. El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_sentence_83

In early 2019, Luis "Papo" Rosario, the main choreographer and third vocalist since 1980, retired. El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_sentence_84

Joselito Hernández was added as Rosario's replacement. El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_sentence_85

Discography El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_section_6

Current members El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_section_7

Singers El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_section_8

El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_unordered_list_0

  • Jerry Rivas (1977–present)El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_item_0_0
  • Anthony Garcia (2015–present)El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_item_0_1
  • Joselito Hernández (2017–present)El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_item_0_2

Orchestra El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_section_9

El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_unordered_list_1

  • Rafael Ithier - leader, director (1962–present); piano (1962–2006)El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_item_1_3
  • Willie Sotelo piano (2006–present)El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_item_1_4
  • Freddie Miranda - lead alto saxophone (1980–present)El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_item_1_5
  • Luis "Taty" Maldonado - trumpet (1971–present)El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_item_1_6
  • Moisés Nogueras - trombone (1991–present)El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_item_1_7
  • Freddy Rivera - double bass (1989–present)El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_item_1_8
  • Domingo "Cuqui" Santos - timbales (1988–present)El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_item_1_9
  • Miguel "Pollo" Torres - conga (1979–present)El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_item_1_10
  • Richie Bastar - bongo (1999–present)El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_item_1_11
  • Virgil Rivera - alto saxophone (2013–present)El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_item_1_12
  • Jorge Torres - sound engineerEl Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_item_1_13
  • David Marrero - support personnelEl Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_item_1_14

Former members El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_section_10

Singers El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_section_11

El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_unordered_list_2

  • Pellín Rodríguez (1962-1972) (deceased)El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_item_2_15
  • Andy Montanez (1962-1977)El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_item_2_16
  • Charlie Aponte (1973-2014)El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_item_2_17
  • Luis "Papo" Rosario (1980-2019)El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_item_2_18
  • Marcos Montañez (1972–1973) (deceased)El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_item_2_19
  • Chiquitín Garcia (1962)El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_item_2_20
  • Daniel Vazquez (1962) (deceased)El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_item_2_21
  • Joseito Mateo (1962) (deceased)El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_item_2_22

Percussion El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_section_12

El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_unordered_list_3

  • Milton Correa - timbales (1962-1970)El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_item_3_23
  • Miguel Malaret Marrero - timbales (1970-1979) (deceased)El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_item_3_24
  • Edgardo Morales - timbales (1979-1988) (deceased)El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_item_3_25
  • Roberto Roena - bongos (1962–1969)El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_item_3_26
  • Martín Quiñones - conga (1962-1977) (deceased)El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_item_3_27
  • Martín Quiñones, Jr. - conga (1977-1979)El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_item_3_28
  • Daniel "Maninin" Vazquez Verdejo - bongos (1962)(deceased)El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_item_3_29
  • Baby Serrano - bongos (1969–1984) (deceased)El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_item_3_30
  • Michell Laboy - bongos (1984–2001) (deceased)El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_item_3_31

Bass El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_section_13

El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_unordered_list_4

  • Miguel Cruz - bass guitar (1962–1975) (deceased)El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_item_4_32
  • Fernando Perez - bass guitar (1975–1989)El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_item_4_33
  • Jaime Valentin - bass guitar (1995–1997)El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_item_4_34

Brass section El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_section_14

El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_unordered_list_5

  • Eddie "La Bala" Perez - alto saxophone (1962–2013) (deceased)El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_item_5_35
  • José "Keko" Duchesne - saxophone (1969–1980) (deceased)El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_item_5_36
  • Epifanio "Fanny" Ceballos - trombone (1971–1991) (deceased)El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_item_5_37
  • Toñito Vázquez - trombone (1991)El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_item_5_38
  • Nelson Feliciano - trumpet (1979–1980)El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_item_5_39
  • Gerardo "Grillo" Cruz - trumpet (1969–1979) (deceased)El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_item_5_40
  • Elias Lopez - trumpet (1964–1969) (deceased)El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_item_5_41
  • Víctor “Cano“ E. Rodríguez - trumpet (1980-2015) (deceased)El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_item_5_42

Others El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_section_15

El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_unordered_list_6

  • Hector Santos (1962–1969) (deceased)El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_item_6_43
  • Rogelio "Kito" Vélez (1962–1964) (deceased)El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_item_6_44
  • Mickey Duchesne (1962–1969)El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_item_6_45
  • Edwin Cortés (1969)El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_item_6_46
  • Edwin Gonzalez (1979)El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_item_6_47
  • Tommy Sánchez (1969)El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_item_6_48
  • Mike Ramos- Coreógrafo y Coros (1969–1980)El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_item_6_49
  • Paquito Guzman (Coros; Recording Sessions 1971–1976)El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_item_6_50
  • Elliot Romero (Coros; Recording Sessions 1973–1977) (deceased)El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_item_6_51
  • Eladio "Yayo El Indio" Peguero (Coros; Recording Sessions 1977–1979) (deceased)El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_item_6_52
  • Tito Henriquez (Coros; Recording Sessions 1978)El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_item_6_53
  • Eddie W. Feyjoo (Trumpet; Recording Sessions 1980)El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico_item_6_54


Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico.