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Orquesta Guayacán

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Biography

A Colombian salsa band led by Alexis Lozano, Orquesta Guayacán rose to prominence during the 1990s. Born in Quibdó, the capital of Chocó, a Pacific coastal region of the country with a large Afro-Colombian population, Lozano began his musical career in tandem with Jairo Varela. The two musicians met as students in Bogotá and co-founded the group Niche, with which Lozano recorded four albums: Al Pasito (1979), Querer Es Poder (1981), Preparate Grupo Niche, Vol. 2 (1982), and Niche (1983). Lozano then split with Varela and founded his own group, Orquesta Guayacán, which made its recording debut, Llegó la Hora de la Verdad, in 1986, followed by Que la Sangre Alborota in 1987 and Guayacán Es la Orquesta in 1988. This early incarnation of Orquesta Guayacán featured a lineup including co-founder Richie Valdés (vocals) and his brothers William (timbales) and Julio César Valdés (bass), along with John Lozano (vocals) and Tanenbaum (keyboards), though Richie and William Valdés left the group after Guayacán Es la Orquesta and joined Varela in Grupo Niche. Lozano found replacements and moved onward, releasing a series of popular albums throughout the 1990s, including La Más Bella (1990), 5 Años: Aferrados al Sabor (1991), Oiga, Mire, Vea (1992), Con el Corazón Abíerto (1993), A Puro Golpe (1994), Familia RMM en Vivo (1994), Marcando la Diferencia (1995), Con Sabor Tropical (1997), Nadie Nos Quita Lo Bailao (1998), and De Nuevo en la Salsa (1999). The group's success continued well into the next millennium. ~ Jason Birchmeier
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