Cortijo y su Combo [El Combo]
- Bárbara Idalissee Abadía-Rexach
Puerto Rican orchestra founded in 1954 by the percussionist, bandleader, and composer Rafael Cortijo (b Santurce, PR, 11 Jan 1928; d San Juan, PR, 3 Oct 1982). Its plena-influenced, percussive style gained an audience in Puerto Rico through appearances on the television show “La taberna india” and performances throughout the island, and became popular all over Latin America. The orchestra, whose members were Afro-Puerto Ricans, disbanded in 1962. However, the group’s songs, particularly those recorded by Ismael Rivera, remain part of the Puerto Rican popular music repertoire. One of its most enduring hits is “El negro bembón,” written by Bobby Capó. After legal and financial problems, Cortijo formed another orchestra, El Bonche, with his adopted niece Fe Cortijo. He lived for a time in New York, but returned to Puerto Rico and recorded a comeback album with the support of Tite Curet Alonso. In 1974 El Combo was reunited to perform a concert in Puerto Rico....