Emanating from Cali, Colombia, Grupo Niche is led by Jairo Varela, whose many roles include composer, arranger, musical director, vocalist and percussionist. For their albums between 1981 and 1986, Niches salsa orquesta instrumentation included a front-line of saxophone, flute, two or three trumpets and one or two trombones, a rhythm section (timbales, conga, bongo, güiro, maracas, bass, piano) and voices (lead and chorus). On the first two albums, Varela and trombonist Alexis Lozano shared musical direction and arranging chores. Querer Es Poder featured a trio of lead singers: Alvaro del Castillo, Homer Tuto Jiménez and La Coco Lozano (Alexis sister). Tuto and La Coco departed. Oscar Alberto Abueta shared lead vocals with del Castillo on the 1982 follow-up Preparate... Grupo Niche Vol. 2. Abueta left and relocated to Miami. Tuto returned to replace him on 1983s Niche (aka Directo Desde New York). Tres, a Cuban six or...
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