El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico

Presented by the Florida Marlins at their Super Saturday Concert Series

On an overcast night in late May, one of Puerto Rico’s greatest bands filled Dolphin Stadium with the salsa rhythms that have made them famous for 45 years. El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico, led by famed band leader Rafaél Ithier, stepped onto the makeshift stage just beyond the Marlins infield to delight the thousands of fans that remained after the Marlins’ game against the New York Mets.

View our El Gran Combo photo gallery

The performance was a part of the Marlins’ “Super Saturday” events, which feature concerts by internationally acclaimed recording artists following each of the Marlins’ 13 Saturday home games. Though a light rain peppered the grounds throughout the concert, the enthusiasm of the fans was not dampened and El Gran Combo responded with an electrifying performance.

“We just had our 45th anniversary,” said Jerry Rivas, lead vocalist for El Gran Combo. He was kind enough to speak to SocialMiami during the baseball game from the group’s luxury suite. “We have fans all over America, but our biggest following is in Miami and New York. I love Miami because of the sun and our many Latino fans. We play Miami 4 or 5 times a year and the fans are tierra caliente.”

Rivas has been with the band for more than 30 years and feels fortunate to have played with one group for so long. “It’s like a dream come true,” he said. “The relationships that we have are like a brotherhood.”

And Rivas is quick to credit the leadership of Ithier for the bands continued success. “He is a person with a lot of experience who enjoys what he does. He is an excellent leader who has understood how to keep the band together for so long. His best quality is that he listens to our thoughts and concerns.”

Super Saturdays in June promise more exciting concerts. On June 9th, following the Marlins game against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, disco queen Gloria Gaynor, five-brother singing group Tavares and the talented France Joli will entertain the post-game crowd.

On June 23rd, following the Marlins game against the Minnesota Twins, one of country music’s most successful female crossover stars will play. Jo Dee Messina is the first female country artist to record three multiple-week number one hits from the same album: “Bye Bye,” “Stand Beside Her” and “I’m Alright.”

The final Saturday in June brings to Miami ‘80s rock icon Joan Jett. She’ll be sure to put yet another dime in the juke box, baby, and jam out to the rock-n-roll crowd.

Visit floridamarlins.com, or call 1-877-MARLINS for more details.

View our El Gran Combo photo gallery

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