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Mario Rivera

Mario Rivera endures being among the most gifted saxophonists in Latin jazz — a virtuoso skill equally proficient on tenor, soprano, alto, and baritone, he remains to be best remembered for his two-decade association using the legendary Tito Puente. Blessed July 22, 1939, within the Dominican Republic, he relocated from his indigenous Santo Domingo to NEW YORK in 1961, initial functioning behind Puerto Rican vocalist Joe Valle. From 1963 to 1965, Rivera tenured to get bandleader Tito Rodriguez — within the years to check out, he gigged at the rear of Latin giants including Machito, Eddie Palmieri, and Mongo Santamaria, and in addition recorded with performers including Stanley Turrentine (1967’s New Period Shuffle) and Dizzy Gillespie (1975’s Afro-Cuban Jazz Moods). Rivera even so earned his ideal renown during his lengthy affiliation with Puente, which spanned from the first ’70s well in to the 1990s — the relationship even included performances in a set of feature movies, The Mambo Kings and Calle 54. Although he was initially and foremost regarded for his skill being a saxophonist, Rivera ultimately mastered a bunch of equipment including trumpet, piano, flute, vibraphone, drums, and congas. In 1988, he rejoined Gillespie as an associate from the trumpeter’s US Orchestra, and afterwards served within the Chico O’Farrill Afro-Cuban Jazz Big Music group. Despite his harried sideman timetable, Rivera found time and energy to business lead his own groupings the Salsa Refugees as well as the Mario Rivera Sextet, and in 1996 released Un Commandante, his exclusive date being a leader. Following a long struggle with cancers, he passed away in NEW YORK on August 10, 2007.

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