“I love my Virtuoso saxophone. The action is so clear and precise. The intonation is perfect. I look forward to playing this in the years to come.”
When I play saxophone I look for certain qualities that can be produced with a horn, a great tone, great intonation and of course a wide range of dynamics for sound projections, from a whisper to a commanding presence on the band stand. The Soprano Sax SS522 gives me all of this and more. Let me not forget to mention that the action on the keys is amazing. This horn allows me to go in the direction that I need to go...the right direction!''
Contemporary, smooth, and eclectic – three words that just begin to describe Albert Rivera, “a modern Jazz Messenger” with one of the most exciting and sought-after saxophone sounds in today’s jazz scene. His albums, Re-Introduction, Inner Peace (Turnaround Records) and his latest Back At It (Truth Revolution Records) have been warmly embraced by critics, who call Albert and his two bandmates, Luques and Zaccai Curtis, “three young artists who are part of the next wave in this jazz ritual.” His new album, Live At The Litchfield Jazz Festival, is due out in the summer of 2018 on Truth Revolution Records.
Albert Rivera’s musical journey began at the prestigious Laguardia High School in New York City and continued during the summers at the Litchfield Jazz Camp. After taking his degree at New School University Jazz and Contemporary music conservatory, he began a career in music that sees him today, a seasoned performer, educator and producer at 34. Albert has garnered awards and has a successful career both as a sideman and a leader. He won the ASCAP Young Jazz Composer Award in 2009 and the 2012 Chamber Music American Residency Grant. Downbeat Magazine has called him “a modern Jazz Messenger.” Rivera, equally at home now on the alto and tenor saxophones, has a distinct style he says was greatly influenced by classic jazz greats like John Coltrane and more contemporary sounds, like those of Joshua Redman. “When I first heard Elastic by Redman, I knew it was only a matter of time before I adapted it to my own voice.”
As a performer, he has appeared at New York venues like Zinc Bar, Smalls Jazz Club, Cleopatra’s Needle, Blue Note, Nuyorican Poets Cafe and countless others. He appears often throughout North America with many appearances throughout the Northeast including Connecticut, Baltimore, Philadelphia and Washington DC. His collaborators have included Don Braden, Jimmy Greene, Claudio Roditi, Avery Sharpe, Rachel Z, and the great legendary pianist Junior Mance. At the Litchfield Jazz Camp, he has appeared with his own group and jazz stars like Matt Wilson, Paul Bollenback and Dave Stryker.
Rivera’s musical journey has led him to a rewarding career as an educator. At Litchfield he plays a pivotal role as Director of Operations at Litchfield Jazz Camp and as a trusted advisor to Litchfield Jazz Festival’s Artistic Director. Together they choose the star-studded camp faculty and collaborate on festival artistic choices. He is long-time artist/composer/band director in residence for a large middle school project each year, Project Poetry Live, run by Litchfield Performing Arts and serving 800 to 1000 students annually. He created a program for the Miami Arts Charter School (Miami, FL) to help children continue to learn about the jazz language. He is often a guest artist, lecturer, and clinician in various programs nationally and internationally.
Albert records with Truth Revolution Records. His latest release is Back At It, features Zaccai Curtis, piano, Luques Curtis, bass, Ian Carroll, drums, Beck Burger, organ/ keyboards, Jonathan Michel, bass, Andrew Lipow, guitar, Andrew Hadro, baritone Sax, and Nick Roseboro, trumpet. The project was financed through crowdfunding that featured wide distribution of free records in a well-conceived campaign to get the music in the hands of many listeners. DownBeat Magazine the monthly “bible” of jazz, reported on his successful, inventive approach in its March 2016 issue in Enterprising Energy by Ken Micallef. Critics have long admired Rivera’s original and fluid saxophone style. Critic Elliott Simon wrote that that “Rivera’s compositions are diverse, these musicians hit the pocket and sustain a powerful group dynamic.” Tony Hall, of Jazz Wise Magazine, added that “Rivera has a timeless tenor tone.”
VIRT1003S | Virtuoso Alto Saxophone, Silver Plated
VIRT2006DL | Virtuoso Tenor Saxophone, Dark Lacquer
SS522 | Professional Soprano Saxophone, Lacquer