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(Published: June 03, 2011)

Lehman Center for the Performing Arts is proud to present the return by overwhelming demand of two-time Latin GRAMMY Award-winning EL GRAN COMBO, one of the world's most popular Salsa bands for nearly five decades. Their gold albums have included such hits as "Timbalero," "Menú," "Teléfono," "Me liberé" and "Nadie como ella." They will perform for TWO HOT NIGHTS -- on Friday, June 10 and Saturday, June 11, 2011 -- at 8pm. Also featured on Friday will be trumpeter DAVID CEDEÑO & HIS ORCHESTRA. On Saturday night, Colombian-born Salsa-son singer NAYIBE "LA GITANA" will also be featured. Both concerts are part of the Blue Note Jazz Festival.

Lehman Center for the Performing Arts is on the campus of Lehman College/CUNY at 250 Bedford Park Boulevard West, Bronx, NY 10468. Tickets for EL GRAN COMBO and DAVID CEDEÑO on Friday, June 10, 2011 at 8pm are: $55, $50, $45 and $40; tickets for EL GRAN COMBO and NAYIBE "LA GITANA" on Saturday, June 11, 2011 at 8pm, are: $60, $55, $50 and $45 and can be purchased by calling the Lehman Center box office at 718.960.8833 (Monday and Wednesday-Friday, 10am-5pm, closed on Tuesdays, and beginning at 12 noon on the day of the concert), or through 24-hour online access at www.LehmanCenter.org. Lehman Center is accessible by #4 or D train to Bedford Park Blvd. and is off the Saw Mill River Parkway and the Major Deegan Expressway. Free on-site parking is available.

El Gran Combo, led by musical director and pianist Rafael Ithier, has been an institution in Puerto Rico's musical history for over four decades. Known for its horn-punctuated Latin rhythms, lush vocal harmonies and dynamic stage presence, the group has performed in every major arena around the globe. Following the release of their first album, Acángana, in 1963, El Gran Combo packed Latin dance halls throughout New York City, including the Palladium Ballroom, the Manhattan Center and El Caborrojeño, evolving to fit Latin dance-music trends, from boogaloo and merengue to tango and bomba. Throughout Latin America, Acángana consistently hit the top of the charts. The band's popularity won them an exclusive television contract on "El Show de las 12" in Puerto Rico, pushing album sales even higher. With multiple gold albums and a myriad of salsa hits, the group has received countless international awards and recognitions, including a 2002 Billboard Lifetime Achievement Award and two Latin GRAMMY® Awards for Best Salsa Album - in 2003 for the live, two-CD 40 Aniversario and 2007 for Arroz Con Habichuela. With their 50th Anniversary approaching, El Gran Combo's latest CD -- their 56th - is 2010's GRAMMY Award-nominated Sin Salsa No Hay Paraíso (Sony Music/Latin), a collection of danceable arrangements which Descarga.com calls "a killer release that is nothing but pure salsa pleasure."

David Cedeño, a New Jersey-born trumpeter, composer, arranger and bandleader, began performing at age 14. In 1996 he spent six months touring Japan, where his CDs were already a big hit. His albums are now distributed worldwide. In 2006 he performed in the Jennifer Lopez-Marc Anthony film "El Cantante," playing a Fania All-Stars trumpet player. His latest CDs are 2010's I'll Be There and 2011's Salsa Cliente.

Nayibe "La Gitana," born in Cali, Colombia, loved to sing as a child all the old Cuban sones, rumbas and boleros, especially those of her mother's favorite artist, Celia Cruz, as well as the songs of Celina Rautilio "La India del Oriente" and La Lupe. At age 18 Nayibe performed with the Mexican group La Sonora Latina and the Salvadorian group La Banda Ardiente. Her 2010 CD La Gitana was produced by Julio Castro of La Massacre and Ray Castro of Conjunto Clásico. Nayibe's music is featured in the feature film "The Pigeon Man," and her song "Hay Negro" has been played extensively by Polito Vega on La Mega radio station in New York City.

This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council. Lehman Center also receives support from the New York State Council on the Arts.

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