Born in Ponce, Puerto Rico and raised in Coamo, Puerto Rico, Ivan Renta has become one of the premiere saxophonists in the Jazz, Latin Jazz and Latin Music Industry. His ability to adapt to any musical situation has landed him on stage at many of the world’s most prestigious venues and music festivals. His credentials include performances with artist such as Tito Puente, Wynton Marsalis, Eddie Palmieri, Willie Colon, Ron Carter, Marc Anthony, Jennifer Lopez, Jimmy Heath, Ray Barretto, The Vanguard Jazz Orchestra and Bebo Valdez, to name a few. Mr. Renta has collaborated on three Grammy Award winning recordings. Mr. Renta is also an active Music Educator and Clinician.
Ivan Renta began playing Alto Sax at the age of 13 in his hometown of Coamo, Puerto Rico. His band director, Luis "Wito" Santiago, recognized his talent right away promoting him to lead Alto Sax in the school band. Soon after, Ivan joined “la Escuela Libre de Musica Antonio Paoli” in Caguas, Puerto Rico and began studying with Professor Willie Corps. Wanting to learn Jazz Improvisation he began private lessons with Jose "Cheguito" Encarnacion who introduced him to Jazz Harmony and Improvisation. "When I first heard Miles Davis with John Coltrane's "58 Sessions" at Cheguito's house, I knew that this was what I wanted to do" Renta recalls.
Soon after that he moved to NYC to attend the "New School Jazz and Contemporary Music Program". While at the New School, Ivan studied with Jazz legends such as Reggie Workman, Gary Dial, George Garzone, Buster Williams to name a few. in 2000 Ivan got a call to participate on Tito Puente & Eddie Palmieri's recording "Obra Maestra/Masterpiece", winner of multiple Grammys and what turned out to be Puente's last album.
After recording “Masterpiece”, Mr. Renta became a member of Eddie Palmieri’s Latin Jazz Ensemble and Salsa Band. Mr. Renta accepted an invitation made to him by pianist/composer/arranger Arturo O’Farrill to join the Jazz at the Lincoln Center’s Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra. After working with Mr. Palmieri for approximately six years, he proceeded to become the saxophonist for Salsa legend Willie Colon’s Orchestra. He has also collaborated extensively with trombonist Luis Bonilla and percussionist Chembo Corniel. He recently recorded his first project as a leader with pianist Edsel Gomez, bassist Ruben Rodriguez, drummer Ernesto Simpson and percussionist Richie Flores with special guests Giovanni Hidalgo, Luis Bonilla and Nelson “Gazu” Jaime. It is scheduled to be released in September of 2013.