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Learn why Colombian Salsa is a medicine for the soul

Updated: Jun 16, 2021

Learn, from two amazing Colombian panelists and a music industry expert, how Colombian Salsa represents our joy, happiness, diversity and passion. Why the famous rhythm has become part of our DNA. Learn about its origins, history and roots in our country. Win some vinyls and prepare to dance!!

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Grupo Gale is a self-described "Colombian Orchestra," that currently includes up to nine members (directed by Diego Gale, and spotlights a total of three lead singers -- Diego Javier Gonzales, Carlos Llamosa, and Charly Towers).

Their music features a strong emphasis on up-tempo, danceable, salsa-like rhythms, while the band has found great success back home, and has played to enthusiastic audiences the world over -- especially in Europe.

Prior to leading Grupo Gale, Diego was a percussionist with Grupo Niche, one of the most respected and renowned salsa dance bands in all of Columbia, and also played along such notables as la Sonora Dinamita, la Inmensidad, the late Frankie Ruiz, El Cantante de los Cantantes, Hector Lavoe, Alex Leon, Marvin Santiago, and Luis Enrique. The group has issued several albums since the mid-'90s (1995's Afirmando, 1996's Dominando la Salsa), and in 2001 Con el Mismo Swing.

José Aguirre (Pereira, Colombia) is a musician, producer, composer, arranger and musical director.

Self-taught person by vocation. Since he was 10 years old, José Aguirre played the euphonium and additionally, he learned to play the piano, bass and guitar. Primarily, José Aguirre stands out as an excellent trumpeter.

The roots of José Aguirre are in Caldas, a department of Colombia. He moved to Cali at the age of 17. There, representative orchestras of the city summoned him. At the age of 20, he was invited by Maestro Jairo Varela to be part of Grupo Niche, where he worked as a trumpeter, arranger and producer. Soon, José Aguirre became the youngest director in the history of this emblematic salsa group from Cali, Colombia.

José Aguirre, an integral and multifaceted artist, has won several Grammy and Latin Grammy awards.

Within his career, José Aguirre has been highlighted as a writer and arranger of diverse genres like salsa, pacific folklore, classic and Latin music. He has been composer and arranger of established artists such as Cesária Évora, Thalia, Marc Anthony, Grupo Niche, Luis Enrique, Diego El Cigala, Andrés Cepeda, Javier Vásquez, Yuri Buenaventura and Mickey Taveras, among others.

Nowadays, José Aguirre is the musical director and producer of Grupo Niche and in addition leads its own projects: Cali Big Band, Calle Maestra, Aguirre Trumpet and Kema.

As part of its writing work, compositions for the Symphony National Orchestra stand-out, as well as the symphonic salsa project of Yuri Buenaventura (Manigua, 2018) and the Santiago de Cali Philharmonic Orchestra for the opening ceremony of the Feria de Cali.

Likewise, the composition of the suite for a symphony “Aguaje y Manigua” (2014) is also notable, containing four musical streams from the Colombian Pacific: Currulao, Chirimía, Levanta Polvo and Agua Bajo.


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