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Grupo Niche Celebrates their 35th Anniversary

by Welcome to Harlem

Lehman Center for the Performing Arts presents the return of GRUPO NICHE for a dazzling concert celebrating their 35th anniversary on Saturday, April 16h, 2016 at 8pm. One of the world’s most popular Latin salsa groups, Grupo Niche is known for both uptempo and vigorous dance music as well as slower-paced salsa romántica numbers. Produced by Lehman Center and José Raposo.

GRUPO NICHE was formed in Bogotá in 1980 by songwriter, vocalist, arranger, and producer Jairo Varela, who began his music career at age eight with the group La Timba. Comprised of young musicians from the state of Chocó, Grupo Niche was conceived as new, alternative salsa with a more international style and flavor. Their first album, 1980’s Al Pasito, put Colombia on the map of the world of salsa. As Varela broke away from existing musical structures, he also took on Afro-centric issues in all their social and ethnic implications, singing to his homeland, Chocó — its problems, its marginality, and its poverty. The group’s second album release, Querer es Poder contained their first hit song “Buenaventura y Caney” which led to their first US tour in 1981. Their 1984 release, No Hay Quinto Malo,went gold and featured what has become their signature song, “Cali Pachanguero” which Billboard has called “one of the greatest Latin songs of all time.” The critically acclaimed Triunfo (also titled Se Pasó) was released the following year on the New York Latin Records label and went gold with popular hits like “Ana Milé” and “Del Puente Pa’alla“. After much success in Colombia, Grupo Niche soon earned international fame and in 1986 became the first Colombian orchestra to perform at Madison Square Garden, playing at the World Salsa Festival. During his lifetime, Jairo Varela was a prolific composer. His death in 2012 did not mean the end of Grupo Niche as he organized the orchestra in a manner that allowed continuity.

Their first posthumous album, Tocando el Cielo Con Las Manos (Touching the Sky With Your Hands) was released in 2013 and hit the #10 spot on the Tropical album charts. That same year, Grupo Niche resumed touring internationally, performing in Europe, North America, Mexico, Columbia, Ecuador, Peru and Australia. In 2015, Varela’s trusted musical associate José Aguirre took over as musical director. Late 2015 saw the release of the second posthumous album 35 Aniversario which rose to the #6 Tropical album chart position. The record’s first single, “Te Enseñaré A Olvidar“, which was first sung by Jairo Varela in 1989, earned the #2 Tropical song chart position. The second single, “Enamorada” was just launched at the beginning of March of this year.


Cost: $60, $55, $45

Lehman Center for the Performing Arts
Lehman College/CUNY
250 Bedford Park Boulevard West
Bronx, NY 10468

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