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Ready, set, shake it in the aisles!

El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico will fill Queens College’s Colden Auditorium with upbeat Latin American rhythms on Friday, March 2, at around 9 p.m.

The multi-piece orchestra has a reputation for powerful live shows during which members dance while singing and playing instruments. The choreography, horn-punctuated cadence and vocal harmonies are infectious, enticing audiences to stand up and groove for the entire concert.

Ticket prices run from $39 to $89, but Queens College students can get 10 percent discounts with a CUNY ID.

Officially named “Ambassadors of Our Music” by the Puerto Rican Senate, El Gran Combo is the world’s most successful salsa band of all time. Founded in 1962 by Rafael Ithier, the ensemble has released more than 60 studio albums and performed all over the world.

“Arroz con habichuelas” is one of the group’s most popular songs. Other hits include “Un verano en Nueva York,” “Brujeria,” “No hay cama pa’ tanta gente” and “Sin salsa no hay paraiso.” (Members speak English, but they mostly sing in Spanish.)

In addition to receiving two Latin Grammy Awards and special achievement honors from Billboard and the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, the band has collaborated with several household names of Latin music, such as timbale king Tito Puente, salsa legend Celia Cruz, and Dominican band-leader-turned-politician Johnny Ventura. It’s also respectfully known as “La Universidad de la Salsa” because so many members, such as Andy Montañez, have “graduated” from El Gran Combo and gone on to successful careers as soloists or with other ensembles.

Colden Auditorium, which seats more than 2,000 people and has almost perfect acoustics, is located in the vicinity of Kissena Boulevard and Reeves Avenue on the school’s Flushing campus.

Image: Kupferberg Center for the Arts

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