Grupo Niche, one of the top salsa bands from Colombia.

Colombia’s premiere salsa band Grupo Niche returns to Lehman Center for the Performing Arts for a concert celebrating their 35th anniversary on Saturday, April 16, 2016 at 8 pm.

The group is known for both up tempo and vigorous dance music as well as slower-paced salsa romántica numbers and is considered as one of the world’s most popular Latin salsa groups. The event is being produced by Lehman Center and José Raposo.

For listeners across the country, SiriusXM Radio will broadcast the salsa concert live from Lehman Center on SiriusXM Caliente channel 150 beginning at 8 pm EST.

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 U.S. 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.

Beginning in the late ‘80s, Grupo Niche turned to romantic lyrics, leaving behind their songs about social issues. The release of 1989’s Tapando el Hueco coincided with Puerto Rico’s salsa romántica movement and went platinum. In March 1989, they played for more than one million people at a concert in Peru, and in September of that year they staged their first European tour, playing in France, England, Germany, Switzerland, and Spain.

Lehman Center for the Performing Arts is on the campus of Lehman College/CUNY at 250 Bedford Park Boulevard West, Bronx, NY 10468. Tickets for Grupo Niche on Saturday, April 16, 2016 at 8 pm are $60, $55, and $45, and can be purchased by calling the Lehman Center box office at 718-960-8833 (Monday through Friday, 10 am–5 pm, and beginning at 12 noon on the day of the concert), or through online access at Lehman Center is accessible by #4 or D train to Bedford Park Blvd. and is off the Saw Mill River Parkway and the Major Deegan Expressway. Low-cost on-site parking available for $5.

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