El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico

50th Anniversary World Tour

The legend of the Caribbean, GRAN COMBO, will wow crowds in Japan this summer with thrilling infectious grooves after a two decades absence. Puerto Rico's No. 1 band will play four shows in Japan, including Tokyo on Sep. 21st and the 16th Isla de Salsa Borderless Music Festival in Fukuoka, as part of a 9-dates ¡Vívela! Salsa Tour in the Asia-Pacific region. Korea, Japan and Australia.

El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico, commonly known as El Gran Combo, is a Puerto Rican Salsa music orchestra. (Formed in 1962.) It is the king of the classic Salsa rhythm and a source of pride for all Puerto Ricans. Formed when Rafael Cortijo and Ismael Rivera disbanded, their mission has always been to make people dance. Although the band's personnel has changed over the years, the sound remains the same: a heavy rhythm section consisting of congas, timbales, bass, the bandleader on piano, a trio of vocalists offering rich chorus support, and a big brass section of trumpets, saxophones and trombone. Lyrics generally pertain to everyday life -- the streets, food, love interest -- and often possess a comical bent. Among their many famous songs are "Brujeria (Witchcraft)," "El Menu," and "Un Verano en Nueva York (A Summer In New York). "El Gran Combo have a reputation as a powerful live band, and their extraordinary choreography inspires spontaneous dance fever.

The band continues to receive numerous awards throughout Latin America. In 1984, they traveled to Alaska where they received a great welcome soon after they released their album titled Breaking the Ice which garnered them their first Grammy nomination. In 1982 they celebrated their 20th anniversary playing at Madison Square Garden. They also reached Europe that year playing in Paris, France.
In the early 90s, they were honored in the city of Madrid, Spain to open the decade on the right track. On March 29, 1992, they celebrated a huge concert in the Hiram Bithorn Stadium in front of 30,000 people.

In 2002, El Gran Combo celebrated their 40th anniversary with two sold-out concerts at the Ruben Rodríguez Coliseum in Bayamón, Puerto Rico. 
This celebration spawned a renowned album that was recognized as one of the best of the year. A year later, they received a Grammy for Best Tropical Album. Among other musicians, they are one of the "enduring superstars of the island".
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 Combo" in Colombia, a Paoli Award in their native Puerto Rico, an honorable distinction in Spain and countless others.

In 2006, they released their latest album titled Arroz con Habichuela ("Rice and Beans"). It has already spawned three hit singles. The first one titled "No Hay Manera" ("There's No Way"), the title song, and "Si La Vez Por Ahí".
In 2007, El Gran Combo performed two massive concerts at the José Miguel Agrelot Coliseum to celebrate their 45th anniversary.
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.
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. They also released a video with a positive introductory message which showed clips of working people in similarities with them playing instruments.

GRAN COMBO will stun audiences throughout Japan, Australia and South Korea on Vivela Salsa! tour organized by Fukuoka-based NGO Tiempo Iberoamericano, performing their inspirational music to an even wider world stage and enhancing their global reputation in the process.

Official Website