Paquito D’Rivera - alto and soprano saxophone, clarinet, bandleader, recording artist, composer.
Paquito D’Rivera is a stellar example of the marriage of Latin American music and jazz. A Grammy winning, best selling artist with more than thirty solo albums to his credit, he is equally luminous on the soprano or alto saxophones, and clarinet. He is a genuine musical sophisticate with a broad span of endeavors and achievements.
Born on the island of Cuba June 4, 1948, Paquito D’Rivera began his career as a child prodigy. A restless musical genius during his teen years, Mr. D’Rivera created various original and ground-breaking musical ensembles. As a founding member of the Orquesta Cubana de Musica Moderna, he directed that group for two years, while at the same time playing both the clarinet and saxophone with the Cuban National Symphony Orchestra. He eventually went on to premier several works by notable Cuban composers with the same orchestra.
Additionally, he was a founding member and co-director of the innovative musical ensemble Irakere. With its explosive mixture of jazz, rock, classical and traditional Cuban music never before heard, Irakere toured extensively throughout America and Europe, won several Grammy nominations (1979, 1980) and a Grammy (1979).
Paquito D'Rivera's first recognition as a solo artist by the Grammy Recording Academy came in 1996 with the highly acclaimed recording Portraits of Cuba. Since then, Mr. D'Rivera has received numerous recognitions as an artist and composer.