Grupo Niche is a salsa group founded by Jairo Varela and Alexis Lozano in 1979 in Colombia. Niche enjoys great popularity throughout Latin America. Varela remained with the group until his death in 2012, as producer, director, songwriter, vocalist and guitar player. Alexis Lozano, trombone player and arranger later left to form Orquesta Guayacán.
Grupo Niche’s first album: “Al Pasito” was released in 1980, did little to challenge the dominating salsa band of Colombia at the time, Fruko y sus Tesos. The following year, however, the group found success with their second album, “Querer es Poder”, particularly with the single “Buenaventura y Caney”.
The group relocated in 1982 to Cali where they have been based since. Grupo Niche released “No Hay Quinto Malo” in 1984, which featured their signature song, “Cali Pachanguero”. The tribute hit single to the “world salsa capital” catapulted Niche as one of the top salsa bands of Colombia.
In 1986, the band incorporated Puerto Rican vocalist Tito Gomez, who had previously worked with the famous Puerto Rican salsa group, la Sonora Ponceña, and Ray Barretto, the Godfather of Latin Jazz. Later that year, Grupo Niche released “Me Huele a Matrimonio” and receive rave reviews and enjoyed huge concert attendance.
Grupo Niche is referred to as the Salsa Experience with its vigorous, up tempo dance music as well as slower-paced romantic numbers. Among its best known hits are “Cali Aji”, “Del Puente Pa’llá”, “Sin Sentimientos”, “Una Aventura”, “Etnia”, “Gotas de Lluvia”, “Han Cogido la Cosa”, “Mi Pueblo Natal”, “Hagamos Lo Que Diga Corazon”, “Duele Mas”, “Nuestro Sueño”, and the famous cumbia “Canoa Rancha”. Their most famous song is “Cali Pachanguero”.
Many famous singers have been a part of Niche and gone on to magnificent careers of their own. Current singers are: Elvis “ Magno”Angulo, Yuri Toro, Alex Torres and Luis Araque . The success of Grupo Niche is based on their commitment to Salsa Music Traditions, Romantic Ballads and an truly amazing stage show. The audience response is amazing; cheering, dancing and long standing ovations.