El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico launches its first Christmas album in more than 35 years

The veteran salsa orchestra El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico, recently nominated for a Grammy for her album “En Cuarentena”, presented her new production, “De trulla con El Combo”, her first Christmas album in more than 35 years.

The new album, released under the Rimas label, contains ten songs with humorous, social and party themes typical of the Christmas season in Puerto Rico, as explained by some of the members of the orchestra at a press conference in San Juan.

It is the first Christmas album since “La Fiesta de Pilito” (1985) and the third in the history of the orchestra, which soon turns 60 years of career.

Rafael Ithier, 95 years old and conductor of the orchestra, stressed that this time they produced the album quickly while before it took “between ten and twelve years to make a Christmas record.”

“So, I was captivated by the idea and we succeeded. We did it in record time, and more in time of a pandemic. I was sick and I’m still busted, but giving fire “, he claimed.

For his part, Willie Sotelo, pianist of the legendary group, which carries among its nicknames “The University of Salsa”, emphasized the opportunity of having released two albums in the same year, the other being “In quarantine”.

“The time has changed. We had the good fortune to make this new work, with ten unreleased songs, ten songs that have the sound of the Great Combo, which is what we were always looking for ”, Sotelo explained.

The pianist pointed out that the musical arrangements of the songs are “simple and danceable” and expressed his hope that this album “will not be for this Christmas, but for many Christmases.”

Likewise, Jerry Rivas, the most veteran singer of the three that make up the orchestra, emphasized that most of the Christmas songs carry the Puerto Rican colloquial language with them but, even so, fans from other countries appreciate them.

“We made a record (in which) there is everything and what you are going to hear is the sound of the Gran Combo, but more partying. And we hope that outside of Puerto Rico our message and our idiosyncrasy will be understood ”, said.

The songs that make up the album are “No Hay”, “De Trulla con El Combo”, “Coro, coro, coro”, “When they give twelve o’clock”, “They bring me ajorao”, “Around there, around there, around there “,” It is not going to be able to “,” The parranda of the friend “,” The diet of Christmas “and” Peace for the peoples “.

The album “De trulla con El Combo” can now be purchased in stores and will be available on digital music platforms starting this Friday.

Legendary Puerto Rican salsa singer Roberto Roena, 81, passed away on Thursday night. The salsero was part of international orchestras such as La Fania all-stars and El gran combo. (Source: America TV)

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