Born in French Camp, CA. and raised in San Pedro, CA., Johnny j Rivera has been singing his whole life, then first picked up a guitar at the age of 13. First inspired by The Beatles, Earth, Wind and Fire, Albert King, and B.B King, these artists set him on his stylistic journey. After high school, he took a three hour a day bus journey to Hollywood ,CA to pursue his musical career, attending the Musicians Institute in 1985, where he discovered his passion for blues and jazz, studying with Joe Pass, Frank Gambale, Norman Brown, Don Mock, and Scott Henderson, while playing, with many blues and r&b groups in L.A to solidify his unique style. Before graduating Muscians Institute, he was tapped on the shoulder by legendary guitarist, Norman Brown to play keyboards and sing in Norman Brown’s group. Johnny says, “It was a thrill of a lifetime, but I was definitely out of my element at that point in my career, and just in awe of him. But, Norman was very gracious and took me under his wing, and I learned a lot from him. That experience defined who I am today musically”.
He delivered his debut CD, Trying To Catch Rain, which he wrote all the songs for and played most of the instruments. The first single “Lady Cab Driver” peaked at number six on the smoothjazznow charts. The single also made it into the best songs of 2010 charts. His current single “If Only You Knew” is in heavy rotation locally at 91.5 KUNV, in Las Vegas where Johnny currently resides.