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Friday, Sep. 14, 2012

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Don't hold the salsa: El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico brings the sound of the Caribbean island to Japan next week.

Salsa university to come to Japan

Staff writer

The sounds of Puerto Rican music will reverberate in venues across Japan this coming week when El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico brings its salsa orchestra to town.

Winners of multiple Latin Grammy Awards, the orchestra is celebrating its 50th anniversary. Since its formation, the orchestra has been called a standard-bearer of high-quality salsa, and its music has been included on more than 40 albums, according to the orchestra's Japan tour organizer NPO Tiempo Iberoamericano in Fukuoka. The orchestra is holding live performances in Fukuoka, Hiroshima, Osaka, Nagoya and Tokyo as part of a tour that includes other Asian cities.

El Gran Combo is also known as the "University of Salsa" because many of its graduates have gone on to become giants of the genre. The group is famous for such hits as "Me Libere" ("I Was Liberated") and "No Hay Cama pa Tanta Gente" ("There are No Beds for Many People").

El Gran Combo plays the Borderless Music Festival's Isla de Salsa at Seaside Momochi, Jigyohama in Fukuoka on Sep 15-16 (7:30 p.m.; ticket prices vary, check www.isla-de-salsa.jp); Blue Live in Hiroshima on Sep 17; Club Quattro Umeda in Osaka on Sep 19; Club Quattro Nagoya on Sep 20; and Studio Coast in Tokyo on Sep 21. For more information, visit www.elgrancombodepuertorico.net or www.vivela.jp .

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