Diego Rivera has been called, A bright, new voice on the saxophone whose sound emerges from the echoes of the past. In 1999, Rivera toured nationally with the Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra for their Big Band '99 U.S. tour. Rivera has also toured with internationally renowned bassist, Rodney Whitaker, former member of the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra. Rivera has performed at the Detroit Jazz Festival, Art Tatum Toledo Jazz Festival, Idlewild Jazz Festival and Lansing Jazz Festival.
In 2002, Rivera accepted as position as Instructor of Jazz Saxophone and Improvisation at Michigan State University. His commitment to the education of young jazz musicians resulted in his appointment as Associate Conductor of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra's Civic Jazz Ensembles. As the Harper's house band in East Lansing, MI for almost three years the Diego Rivera Quartet was able to develop their sound, which has won them critical acclaim having been recognized as one of the Best local jazz acts in the Lansing area by the Lansing State Journal. An avid composer and arranger, Rivera has written arrangements for a number of events and concerts, most notably for Jazz at Lincoln Center's Motor City Jazz concert, a tribute to the music and musicians of Detroit. Rivera, Derrick Gardner, Professor of Jazz Trumpet at Michigan State University and MSU Jazz Band I under the direction of Rodney Whitaker performed Rivera's arrangement of Marvin Gaye's What's Going On suite in 2006 at Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola in New York City. In 2005 Rivera was commissioned by the Center for Great Lakes Culture to compose and premiere a Jazz Suite in honor of civil rights activist Dolores Huerta. In September of 2006, Diego Rivera was a featured artist on Delta College's television program, Somos Hispanos, a monthly news program focusing on the contributions of Latinos to the community.