Grupo Niche is a salsa group founded in 1978 in Cali, Colombia. Currently based in Cali, Colombia, it enjoys great popularity throughout Latin America. It was founded by Jairo Varela and Alexis Lozano. Varela remained with the group throughout his life, serving as producer, director, songwriter, vocalist and guiro player. Alexis Lozano, trombone player and arranger later left to form Orquesta Guayacán. The group also included Nicolas Cristancho, on the piano; Francisco Garcia, on the bass; Luis Pacheco, on the congas; and vocalists Jorge Bazán and Hector Viveros.

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. After recording two more albums, 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". Afterward, yet another Puerto Rican joined, the pianist Israel Tanenbaum, who would eventually leave the group to join a Niche spin-off band: Orquesta Guayacán.

Grupo Niche is known for both its vigorous, uptempo 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 Corazón", "Duele Mas", "Nuestro Sueño", and the famous cumbia "Canoa Rancha". Their most famous song is "Cali Pachanguero". In 2002 they recorded the album Control Absoluto in Miami Florida with the engeniers Alex Arias and Jossel Calveiro.

Some other singers from Niche throughout its history include Alvaro del Castillo, La Coco Lozano, Tuto Jiménez, Saulo Sanchez, Tito Gomez, Moncho Santana, Charlie Cardona as well as Willy Garcia and Javier Vasquez, now members of the group 'Son de Cali'. Most recently joined are the Puerto Ricans Oswaldo Roman and Julio Lopez and actual singer Elvis Magno from Buenaventura. They have been very successful, and some of their songs are considered Classics of Salsa Music. The group still enjoys some of its past successes, and keeps on tour, making worldwide presentations, and singing their most memorable songs.

Musician Tito Gomez, who fronted the group for seven and half years (1985–1992), died on June 12, 2007 in Cali, the city where Grupo Niche was established.

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Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1992 35 aniversario Johnny Ventura 1
2013 25 años 25 éxitos 25 artistas Guayacán 5 2

Album + Compilation

Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1993 La salsa de hoy, volumen 2 Various Artists 1
1994 Salsa en la calle 8 '94 Various Artists 1
1996 El disco del año, vol. 28 Various Artists 4 1
1996 Salsa fresca Various Artists 1
1996 Salsa Mix 2 Various Artists 1
1996 The 20th Anniversary of the New York Salsa Festival: 1975-1995 Various Artists 1
1997 Los 100 mayores éxitos de la música salsa Various Artists 1
1997 Salsa Superstars Various Artists 1
1998 Colección estelar de salsa sudamericana Various Artists 1
1998 Mejor de Sony Tropical: Superéxitos Various Artists 1
1998 Colección estelar de salsa Various Artists 1
1998 Salsa en la calle Ocho '98 Various Artists 1
1999 Las clásicas de la salsa Various Artists 1
1999 Salsa en la Calle Ocho '99 Various Artists 1
2001 Salsa en la calle Ocho 2001 Various Artists 1
2001 Tropicana total Various Artists 1
2002 Salsa manía Various Artists 1
2003 Salsa! The Essential Album Various Artists 2
2003 I Love Salsa Various Artists 2
2004 Bachata merengue salsa 2004 Various Artists 1
2005 The Very Best of Salsa Various Artists 1
2006 Las No.1 de La Salsa Various Artists 1
2008 Beginner's Guide to Latin Dance Various Artists 1
2008 Beginner’s Guide to the World Various Artists 1
2010 Buena Vista especial Various Artists 1
2011 Beginner's Guide to the Caribbean Various Artists 1
2012 The Rough Guide to Salsa (Third Edition) Various Artists 5 1
2012 La rumba del año, vol. 13 Various Artists 5 1
2012 Las grandes canciones de la salsa que hay que escuchar antes del fin del mundo Various Artists 1
2014 Disco del año, vol. 46 Various Artists 4 1
2015 Disco del año, vol. 47 Various Artists 4 1
2016 El disco del año, vol. 48 Various Artists 4 1
2017 El disco del año, vol. 49 Various Artists 4 1
Latin Mega Hits 2 Various Artists 1
Salsa Reggaeton, Volume 1 Various Artists 1
Salsita del ayer Various Artists 1
Temas Universales De La Salsa Various Artists 1

Album + Live

Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1991 El Festival de Salsa en New York Various Artists 1

Album + Soundtrack

Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1988 Salsa: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack Various Artists 1
2016 Narcos, Season 2 (A Netflix Original Series Soundtrack) Pedro Bromfman 1

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