"Three young artist(Albert Rivera, Luques and Zaccai Curtis) who are part of the next wave in this jazz ritual." 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." AllAboutJazz.com
"A Modern Jazz Messenger!" Owen McNally-Hartford Courant
Born in Bronx, NY, Albert Rivera began his career as a classical musician at age ten with the Bronx Borough-wide Concert Band. At 12, he and his band mates were invited to appear at Carnegie Hall. He made three appearances there, the last of which was with the New York Pops. Bitten by the bug of ensemble music, he auditioned for the selective LaGuardia High School for Music and Arts program and was accepted. At LaGuardia, he discovered jazz. “When I ﬁrst heard Charlie Parker and Coltrane, I was speechless,” he said. He wanted to join the school jazz band but there was no room for a bass clarinet, so he switched to sax. He was now thoroughly hooked. He and his classmates played at the United Nations, Lincoln Center, the Monterey Jazz Festival, and any and every street festival in New York. At 15, he received a scholarship to Litchﬁeld Jazz Camp in Connecticut. There he had the good fortune to be under the guidance of the outstanding saxophonist Don Braden and have mentors like saxophonist Jimmy Greene and bassist Dave Santoro take an interest in him. He also had the luck to join a class of young people who would, in short order, begin making names for themselves and with whom he would later join forces.
Albert attended the New School University Jazz and Contemporary Music Program, from which he attended from 2001 until 2005. That was where he studied with Reggie Workman, Chico Hamilton, Billy Harper, Rachel Z ,Charlie Persip and others. Since then he has played at venues like New Yorkʼs Smalls Jazz Club, Sweet Rhythm, Zinc Bar, Cleopatra’s Needle, the River Room of Harlem and others. In 2005, He had the honor of being invited by his mentor and teacher at New School, the renowned pianist Junior Mance, to join him on the main stage for a performance at The Litchﬁeld Jazz Festival. He toured parts of Canada later that year with his Quartet and New England and Southern States with his Trio. He appears often in Connecticut, at venues like Szechuan Tokyo in West Hartford, or Black Eyed Sally’s in Hartford. He can also be found performing in top venues such as Chris Jazz Cafe in Philadelphia or the Haven Lounge in Baltimore.
His teaching experience began and continues at Litchﬁeld Jazz Camp where he is now on the faculty coaching both young and old players. For part of 2007 and into 2008 Albert performed with master drummer Winard Harper and his sextet. They met at the Litchﬁeld Jazz Camp a number of years ago, in which Winard is also on the faculty.
Recently he has recorded and produced a new album “Re-Introduction” (Turnaround Records) featuring master drummer Ralph Peterson, trumpeter Christian Scott, mentor and friend Jimmy Greene, guitarist Andrew Lipow, trumpeter Nick Roseboro, as well as the two original members his Quartet pianist Zaccai Curtis(recipient of the coveted Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism Arts Fellowship for composition as well as numerous ASCAP young Jazz Composers awards), and Luques Curtis, a 2007 Grammy winning bassist with his work on the Brian Lynch/ Eddie Palmieri album “Simpatico”.
“Re-Introduction” has been well received. As Elliott Simon stated in All About Jazz “Rivera’s compositions are diverse, these musicians hit the pocket and sustain a powerful group dynamic.” Or as Frank Alkyer publisher of Downbeat magazine states it best, describing Albert Rivera, Luques Curtis and Zaccai Curtis as “Three young artists who are part of the next wave in this jazz ritual.”
-Albert plays Selmer Paris Saxophones‚ Vandoren Optimum Ligatures‚ Vandoren Mouthpieces‚ and Vandoren ZZ Reeds for tenor and soprano.