Wed 26 Sep 2012

“Not a traditional group but musical tradition itself.” Frances Aparicio “Listening to Salsa”

“… standard-bearers … for an entire culture.” New York Times, Feb 2012

For the first time in their fifty-year history, Puerto Rico’s most internationally successful salsa orchestra, the legendary El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico, visits Australia as part of their mammoth 50-concert global golden jubilee tour.

With over 40 albums and 2 Latin Grammys under their belt, El Gran Combo are one of the most iconic salsa bands ever; have sold over 150 million records worldwide; hold the record for the most No.1 Latin hits across the Latin Music Charts; continue to play the world’s most prestigious venues in around 200 concerts in 45 countries yearly, from Madison Square Garden to stadiums holding 30,000 fans and, over the last decade, four of their albums went to No. 1 on the Billboard Tropical Album Chart.

Recently featured in The New York Times’ honour roll of the world’s top 4 international bands celebrating their golden jubilees in 2012, El Gran Combo were positioned alongside other musical luminaries The Rolling Stones, The Beach Boys and The Chieftains, hailed as the ultimate ambassadors of tropical music, and legends of the Caribbean.

Suffice to say that El Gran Combo is to salsa what The Rolling Stones are to rock.

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 full brass section of trumpets, saxophones and trombone. Lyrics generally pertain to everyday life - the streets, food, love interest - and often possess a comical bent.
El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico

Wednesday 26 September
The Palace Theatre, Bourke St

with supports Emma Peel (PBS FM), Del Barrio Orchestra and DJ Dwight Escobar