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Profile of the musician, arranger and producer from Calí, Colombia.

by John Child (

LORZA, Dorancé

(b Dorancé U. Lorza R., 2 Nov. '67, Barrio Puerto Mallarino, Cali, Colombia) Tres, guitar, bandola and vibes player, arranger, musical director, producer; rising name on the international salsa scene. He was introduced to the tres by the Puerto Rican maestro of the instrument, Nelson González, whom he met at an Ismael Miranda performance in Cali in 1980. He cites the Cuban tres icons Niño Rivera, Arsenio Rodríguez and Pancho Amat as his principal influences. He studied to be an electronic engineer at technical school but opted for a musical career after leaving at 18; then studied at the Popular Cultural Institute in Cali. He played tres with the veteran bolero singer Tito Cortés (d '96) for two years and led his own group Renacer Antillano between '83 and '89 performing classic Cuban sones by Trio Matamoros, Guillermo Portabales, and others.

Venezuelan trombonist / arranger / composer / chorus singer César Monge hired Lorza to play tres and synthesizer with his short lived Colombian-based band La Pandilla '90. While Monge was Kike Harvey's musical director, arranger and producer, he employed Lorza to play tres on the track "La Batidora" on Kike's Sonero Para El Mundo '92 on Sonolux (the LP was included on UK compilation La Isla Bonita '95 on Tumi); subsequently Monge invited Lorza to join Kike's band. Monge gave Lorza another break when he commissioned him to write the chart for "Llegó La Zafra" for Tuto Jiménez's Regalame Una Noche '92 on Sonolux. The song turned out to be the album's biggest hit and an anthem for the soccer club Deportivo Cali.

In 1993, Lorza believes, he pioneered the vibes-led Latin combo sound in Colombia with his production of the single "Que Suerte Tiene El" / "Dudas De Mi" by Siglo 21 on Discos CMA.

When Monge relocated from Cali to work in Bogotá as a musical director on a soap opera, Lorza took over as Kike's musical director and produced Diferente '93 (arranging three tracks) and the dazzling Pinceladas de Amor '94 (playing tres and arranging two stunning medleys), both on Sonolux. On the latter he implemented Kike's concept of a three trombone and baritone sax front-line, a combination that was also employed on the debut solo album La Perla Negra '94 on Sonolux by Kike's vocalist sister Daisy (Kike penned all but one of the songs; Lorza produced, directed and wrote three charts).

He has sessioned on numerous albums including Conjunto Son del Barrio's outstanding Rumba Antillana '92 on Kañaveral featuring Lucho Puerto Rico on lead vocals; Valdés Typical Band on BMG, led by the father of Orquesta Guayacán and Grupo Niche alumnus Richie Valdés and produced by Niche leader Jairo Varela at Niche Professional Studios in Cali; La Sonora Miami's Con Sabor A Cali '93 on SAR, also made at Niche Professional Studios; Santiago Ceron's Desde Santiago de Cali '93 on Astro Son / Fuentes; Tumba Fuego's Atizando '93 on Codiscos; and Cali Aleman's Cali '94 on RMM.

Dorancé wrote four arrangements and directed the recording of La Celestial's follow-up Como Caida Del Cielo '93 on Codiscos; directed and played tres, guitar and bandola on Los Del Caney's Clave y Son '94 on Fuentes; produced, directed, arranged and played tres on 100% Sabroso '96 on Codiscos by Lucho Puerto Rico y su Grupo Sonero. His other production credits include Montunos! '93 on Fuentes by Los Nemus del Pacifico (for which he wrote all the arrangements); 6a. Avenida '94 on Vedisco / Fuentes by Los Titanes; Salsa De Hit '95 on Fuentes by Orquesta Internacional Los Niches; and the best-selling Con Sabor a Viejoteca - Exitos de Cuba '96 on Fuentes by Los Del Caney (issued as Me Contagié '97 on Vedisco / Fuentes).

He has also written charts for Hansel Camacho, Octava Dimensión, Los Titanes, Los Del Caney, Fruko y sus Tesos, Los Nemus del Pacifico, Proyecto Omega, Orquesta Matecaña, Grupo Canela, Orquesta Yerbabuena, Orquesta Kamaleón (featuring Oscar Alberto Abueta), La Maxima Identidad, and others. He cites Puerto Ricans Louis García, Papo Lucca and Jorge Millet as his favourite arrangers and admires Monge for his deliciously simple arrangements.

In 1993 he was invited to Santiago de Cuba to perform with Sur Caribe at the Matamoros Festival. He played tres with London based Conjunto Sabroso backing Henry Fiol at his UK debut gig at Brixton Recreation Centre, June '95. He produced The Voice of Cuba '96 on Mr. Bongo in London by Hanny And His Friends.

In '96 he started leading, playing vibes and arranging for the London-based Sexteto Café, and issued the group's Colombia-recorded debut Café Salsa on PCP Records the following year. The intended follow-up, Latin DNA, was recorded in '98 and '99, but didn't find a release. Sexteto Café's 2004 album Salsa Pa' Ti '04 on I Love Salsa sets a new benchmark of creativity for reinterpreting classic tunes.

Click here for our Dorancé Lorza interview.

© and John Child, producer and co-host of the the totallyradio show Aracataca , contributor to the Latin music website and MusicWeb Encyclopedia of Popular Music, and Penguin and Guinness Encyclopedias of Popular Music

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