Albert Rivera

Albert Rivera’s musical journey began at the prestigious Laguardia High School in New York City and continued during the summers at the Litchfield Jazz Camp where he was a scholarship student throughout his teens. After taking his degree at 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 32. 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. Downbeat Magazine has called him “a modern Jazz Messenger.” Rivera, equally at home now on the alto and tenor saxophones, has a distinct style he says was greatly influenced by classic jazz greats like John Coltrane and more contemporary sounds, like those of Joshua Redman. “When I first heard Elastic by Redman, I knew it was only a matter of time before I adapted it to my own voice.” As a performer he has regularly appeared at New York venues like Zinc Bar, Smalls Jazz Club, Cleopatra’s Needle, Blue Note, Nuyorican Poets Cafe and countless others. He appears often in Connecticut venues in Hartford and New Haven and in Baltimore, Philadelphia and Washington DC. His collaborators include Don Braden, Jimmy Greene, Claudio Roditi, Avery Sharpe, Rachel Z, and the great legendary pianist Junior Mance. At the Litchfield Jazz Camp 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. At Litchfield he plays a pivotal role as Director of Operations at Litchfield Jazz Camp and as a trusted advisor to Litchfield Jazz Festival’s Artistic Director. Together they choose the star-studded camp faculty and collaborate on festival artistic choices. He is long-time artist/composer/band director in residence for a large middle school project each year, Project Poetry Live, run by Litchfield Performing Arts and serving 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.

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Three young artist(Albert, Luques and Zaccai Curtis) who are part of the next wave in this jazz ritual” Frank Alkyer, Downbeat Magazine

“Rivera has a timeless tenor tone and a special sensitivity on soprano.” Tony Hall- Jazz Wise Magazine

“While Rivera's compositions are diverse, these musicians hit the pocket and sustain a powerful group dynamic. In addition to Rivera's tenor and soprano sax playing that burns on the boppers and soothes on the ballads, drummer Ralph Peterson is at the center of this session, using exquisite texture and a melodic approach to ground and augment these compositions.” Elliot Simon, All About Jazz

As a versatile composer, Rivera ranges from celebratory flag-wavers to luminous ballad pieces like “Greentones,” illuminated with the iridescent classicism of a John Lewis piece Owen Mcnally, Hartford Courant

“A fearsome young saxophonist” Brain Slattery, New Haven Advocate

Primary Instrument

Sax, tenor


Bronx, NY

Willing to teach

Advanced only

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John Coltrane John Coltrane
Wayne Shorter Wayne Shorter
Joshua Redman Joshua Redman
Rob Price Rob Price
guitar, electric
Rob Reddy Rob Reddy
Jeff Arnal Jeff Arnal
Bill Ware Bill Ware

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