Contemporary, smooth, and eclectic – three words that just begin to describe Albert Rivera, “a modern Jazz Messenger” with one of the most exciting and sought-after saxophone sounds in today’s jazz scene.  His four albums, Re-Introduction, Inner Peace (Turnaround Records) Back At It and Live at the Litchfield Jazz Festival (Truth Revolution Records) was warmly embraced by critics, who call Albert and his bandmates,“ young artists who are part of the next wave in this jazz ritual.” (Downbeat Magazine) 

Albert Rivera’s musical journey began at the prestigious Laguardia High School in New York City and continued throughout the summers at the Litchfield Jazz Camp. After finishing attending the New School University Jazz and Contemporary music conservatory, he began a career in music that sees him today, a seasoned performer, educator and producer at 36. Albert has garnered awards and has a successful career both as a sideman and a leader. He won the ASCAP Young Jazz Composer Award in 2009 and the 2012 Chamber Music American Residency Grant. Critics have called him “a modern Jazz Messenger.” (Hartford Courant – Owen McNally) Rivera, equally at home now on soprano, alto and tenor saxophones, has a distinct style which he says was greatly influenced by classic jazz greats like John Coltrane and Joe Henderson.

As a performer, he has regularly appeared in his hometown of New York in venues like Zinc Bar, Smalls Jazz Club, Blue Note, and others. He maintains a busy travel schedule performing in venues throughout the USA including various cities in Connecticut, Baltimore, Philadelphia, Washington DC, Georgia, Florida, California, Georgia, and countless others. His collaborators in the past have included Don Braden, Jimmy Greene, Claudio Roditi, Avery Sharpe, Rachel Z, and a stint with the great legendary pianist Junior Mance. At the Litchfield Jazz Camp and Jazz Festival, where he is the current Director of Operations, he appears with his own group and faculty stars like Matt Wilson, Paul Bollenback and Dave Stryker.

Rivera’s musical journey has led him to a rewarding career as an educator. He was a long-time artist/composer/band director in residence for a large middle school project each year, including Project Poetry Live, run by Litchfield Performing Arts which served 800 to 1000 students annually. He created a program for the Miami Arts Charter School (Miami, FL) to help children continue to learn about the jazz language. He is often a guest artist, lecturer, and clinician in various programs nationally and internationally.

Fans and critics alike have taken notice. DownBeat Magazine the monthly “bible” of jazz, reported on his successful, inventive approach to his career in its March 2016 issue in “Enterprising Energy” by Ken Micallef.  Critics have long admired Rivera’s original and fluid saxophone style.  Critic Elliott Simon wrote that “Rivera’s compositions are diverse, these musicians hit the pocket and sustain a powerful group dynamic.”  Tony Hall, of Jazz Wise Magazine, added that “Rivera has a timeless tone.”

Albert Rivera is proud to endorse Vandoren Optimum Ligatures‚ Mouthpieces‚ Reeds and RS Berkeley Virtuoso saxophones.

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All photos by James Korn