Photo by Steven Sussman
Albert Rivera received his introduction to jazz at LaGuardia High School for Performing Arts. He continued his studies with a degree from the New School University Jazz and Contemporary Music Program in 2005. Since then he has played at New York venues like Sweet Rhythm, Zinc Bar, Cleopatra’s Needle, The River Room, 55 Bar, Smalls, Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola and more. His love of working with vocalists has paired him with Sheila Jordan, Rene Marie and Jay Clayton. In 2005, he joined his mentor and teacher at New School, pianist Junior Mance, for a guest appearance at The Litchfield Jazz Festival. In 2008 he appeared there again with the Winard Harper Sextet. Down Beat called Albert and his band "part of the next wave in this jazz ritual." Connecticut's own jazz critic Owen McNally called him "A Modern Jazz Messenger." He is a recipient of the 2009 ASCAP Young Jazz Composers Award.