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In Honor Of El Gran Combo

Rep. Dennis J. Kucinich

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Mr. Speaker, I rise today in honor of El Gran Combo, and welcome the legendary salsa group to Cleveland.

Founded in May, 1962 by Raphael Itheir, El Gran Combo is Puerto Rico's most successful musical group and one of the most popular salsa orchestras across Latin America. The 13-piece salsa group captivates its fans with their Latin rhythms and vocal harmonies. The group has released over 50 albums throughout the years and continues to produce new music and perform live shows throughout the world.

The Puerto Rican Senate has hailed El Gran Combo as the ``Ambassadors of Our Music'' and in Colombia they are known as La Universidad de la Salsa due to their unique role in launching the career of countless musicians and performers. El Gran Combo has received many awards over the past several decades, including golden albums, a Grammy for Best Tropical Album in 2003, a ``Calendario de Plata'' in Mexico, a ``Golden Combo'' in Colombia, a ``Paoli Award'' in their native Puerto Rico, and an honorable distinction in Spain.

Mr. Speaker and colleagues, please join me in honor and recognition of El Gran Combo as they celebrate almost 50 years of outstanding contributions to the music industry.