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El Gran Combo De Puerto Rico

El Gran Combo De Puerto Rico

El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico, commonly known as El Gran Combo, is a Puerto Rican Salsa music orchestra based in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2012, it is Puerto Rico's most successful musical group, and is considered "the most popular Salsa group that has ever existed". 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 (including Celia Cruz, Héctor Lavoe and La India).The Salsa Orchestra was founded in May 1962, by Rafael Ithier. Ithier is still nominally its musical director, and is the only remaining members from the band's original lineup. 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. They are still actively performing after 50 years together. The group was scheduled to celebrate its 50th anniversary on 11 November 2012 at the Coliseo de Puerto Rico. The group started its celebration with a grand world tour that took them to five continents.Current membersSingersCharlie Aponte (1973–present)Jerry Rivas (1977–present)Luis "Papo" Rosario (1980–present)OrchestraRafael Ithier - leader, director (1962–present); piano (1962–2006)Willie Sotelo piano (2006–present)Freddie Miranda - tenor saxophone (1980–present)Luis "Taty" Maldonado - trumpet (1970–present)Victor "Cano" E. Rodriguez - trumpet (1980–present)Moisés Nogueras - trombone (1991–present)Freddy Rivera - double bass (1989–present)Domingo "Cuqui" Santos - timbales (1988–present)Miguel "Pollo" Torres - conga (1979–present)Richie Bastar - bongo (2001–present)Jorge Torres - sound engineerDavid Marrero - support personnelSingersPellín Rodríguez (1962–1972)Andy Montañez (1962–1977)Marcos Montañez (1972-1973)Chiquitín Garcia (1962)Daniel Vazquez (1962)PercussionMilton Correa - timbales (1962–1970)Miguel Malaret Marrero - timbales (1970–1979)Edgardo Morales - timbales (1979–1988)Roberto Roena - bongos (1963–1969)Martín Quiñones - conga (1962–1977)Martín Quiñones, Jr. - conga (1977–1979)Daniel "Maninin" Daniel Vazquez Verdejo - bongos (1962)"Baby" Serrano - bongos (1969-1984)Michell Laboy - bongos (1984-2001)BassMiguel Cruz - bass guitar (1962–1975)Fernando Perez - bass guitar (1975–1989)Jaime Valentin - bass guitar (1995–1997)Brass sectionEddie "La Bala" Perez - alto saxophone (1962-2013)José "Keko" Duchesne - saxophone (19691980)Epifanio "Fanny" Ceballos - trombone (1971–1991)Toñito Vázquez - trombone (1991)Nelson Feliciano - trumpet (1979-1980)Gerardo "Grillo" Cruz - trumpet (1969-1979)Elias Lopez - trumpet (1964-1969)OthersHector Santos (1962–1969)Rogelio "Kito" Vélez (1962–1964)Daniel Vázquez (1962)Mickey Duchesne (1962–1969)Elias Lopez (1964–1969)Edwin Cortés (1969)Edwin Gonzalez (1979)Tommy Sánchez (1969)Mike Ramos- Coreógrafo y Coros (1969–1980)Paquito Guzman (Coros; Recording Sessions 1971–1976)Elliot Romero (Coros; Recording Sessions 1973–1977)Yayo "El Indio" (Coros; Recording Sessions 1977–1979)Tito Henriquez (Coros; Recording Sessions 1978)Eddie W. Feyjoo (Trumpet; Recording 1980)