We know D.C. Get our free newsletter to stay in the know.

28

FRIDAY

The members of the Buena Vista Social Club aren’t the only elderly ambassadors of Latin dance music. Puerto Rico’s El Gran Combo, led by 73-year-old self-taught pianist/arranger Rafael Ithier, has kept salsa devotees around the world sashaying for 38 years. Considered an institution in the Spanish-speaking world, El Gran Combo is less well-known in Anglo America. None of the group’s more than 50 releases have come out on a major label in the United States. But the band’s Puerto Rican titles show what the corporate American music industry has been missing—a well-rehearsed, syncopated good time. Although Ithier’s outfit has changed membership periodically, its sound has remained consistent. Swiftly propelled by its leader’s piano, a bassist, and three percussionists, El Gran Combo takes a classic Afro-Caribbean approach and embroiders it with joyous brass and buoyant vocals. The band performs at 9 p.m. at the Capital Expo Center, 4320 Chantilly Place, Chantilly. $25. (301) 625-2026. (Steve Kiviat)