The World Famous Salsa Band, GRUPO NICHE Dazzling Concert @ Lehman Center
By: Leah Grammatica PR
This concert continues the completion of the first phase of renovations at Lehman Center for the Performing Arts. Concert goers will find that the lobbies have been upgraded for ADA compliance with new ramps and carpeting, and the interior of the theater will have new seating, carpeted aisles, and finished flooring as well. The $15.4 million dollar refurbishment of the Center, which is expected to be completed by mid-2019, will also include 5,400 square feet of enlarged space, with a new main entrance and a redesigned box office, plus new administration offices and restroom facilities on the first and mezzanine floors, and an elevator. The Center seats 2,278 people in the concert hall and is the largest of its kind in the borough. Funding for the project is being provided by the Office of the Governor, the New York State Legislature, the Bronx delegation of the New York City Council, and the Office of the Bronx Borough President. Additional funding is being raised with a seat naming initiative, which allows community members to make a personal connection with one of New York City's most important not-for-profit entertainment venues.
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, March 23rd, 2019 at 8pm are $100*VIP, $65, $55, and $45, and can be purchased by calling the Lehman Center box office at 718-960-8833 (Monday through Friday, 10am–5pm, and beginning at 4pm on the day of the concert), or through online access at www.LehmanCenter.org. *VIP Reception: The Havana Café, Goya Foods and Lehman Center special VIP pre-concert wine & hors d'oeuvres reception will start at 6:30pm. VIP tickets include the reception and the best seats in the house. Sponsored by Havana Café Restaurant and Goya Foods. 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.
GRUPO NICHE was formed in Cali, Colombia 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 Jairo 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"
Beginning in the late '80s, Grupo Niche turned to romantic lyrics, leaving behind their songs about social issues. From 1990 through 2005, Grupo Niche, led by their brilliant composer Jairo Varela, released a chart-topping album a year, many of which earned gold, platinum and double platinum sales status. Grupo Niche has released more than 30 albums, receiving numerous international music awards, including the Latin GRAMMY® nomination for the 2001 Album of the Year for Propuesta with its famous cumbia "Canoa Rancha".
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. Late 2015 saw the release of the second posthumous album 35 Aniversario which rose to the #6 Tropical album chart position and earned the group a Latin GRAMMYnomination for Best Tropical Latin Album. Their latest single, "Pánico" (2017), is a previously unrecorded composition by Jairo Varela, is sung by Alex Torres, and was arranged and recorded in Cali, Colombia under the direction of José Aguirre. Along with Alex Torres, the current singers of the group are Elvis "Magno" Angulo, Yuri Torres and Luis Araque.
Lehman Center for the Performing Arts, Inc. is supported, in part, with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the New York City Council. The 2018-2019 Season is also made possible through the sponsorships by Goya Foods, New York State Council on the Arts, Con Edison, the Hyde and Watson Foundation, Havana Café, and the Friends of Lehman Center.
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