Sunday, November 28, 2010

So much done, in such a short time!

What can I say, It sure has been a busy week! From radio shows, to Live shows, to Masterclasses, and it's amazing.
Every since I truly dedicated myself 100% wholeheartedly to music, was when things got the way it was. As if it was a switch, and all it took was trust myself that things would be amazing, and sure enough that's exactly what it's been.

Once of the biggest events this week that made me smile for a long time was the feeling of selling out a venue. It was our annual Thanksgiving show out in the Hartford Area (Szechuan Tokyo) and the people came out by the masses! I thank everyone who stopped by and having standing room only. It was such an amazing feeling and the music showed that very feeling. From orginals, to dedications to John Coltrane.

Below is the video from youtube, or simply click here to be directed to Youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vYv4jtZlGdE

We are performing Chim Chim Cher-ee (yes the song from Mary Poppins) and all I can say to those true jazz fans..this was fire!

Another highlight of the week happened this morning. I found myself out in Brooklyn, NY as I joined an old friend on mine Diana Melgarejo from back in High School who has created an amazing program teaching kids music of all types! People like Diana is such an inspiration! Though many would say how blessed I am to travel for a living performing music, I would not be here do what I do and love if it was not for people like Diana. The Educator type, the visionary type, the person who understands and knows that music must be passed on. Because people like her is directly connect to people like me existing.

I spent time with a bunch of children educating them about music, the saxophone, jazz and how to be an overall better musician. Time flew by, and sadly it was over so quickly! But the kids left there smiling, and I hope left with a positive outlook on jazz music!

If you feel like supporting a great organization feel free to visit her company online and see if you can help out at http://www.newyorkyouthmusicians.org

Until the next day,
As Always, stay smiling!


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Saying goodbye to a friend.

Although it's difficult today to see beyond the sorrow,
May looking back in memory help comfort you tomorrow.
~Author Unknown


Yesterday a friend who has been a part of my life since the start passed away. She was a great lady, and one that my mother considered a friend. She was born 59 years ago, strong minded and confident. She lived next door to my family, and shortly after her youngest son was born, so began my first memory of her. 


Her son and I became friends, he was a couple of years younger, but as we both got a bit older we always found time to hang out. His mother, always present, looking out after her son in any way she could, encouraged us to hang out, and even was there to witness her son teach me how to ride a bike. It's been a few years since I had seen her last, but I do admit, I'll miss her.


Just like everyone else in this world, she had her very own story. But in this case, it was a story of success. See the thing was, she learned at some point in her life, to never quit. She had 3 children, all who grew up to be great individuals, and even  more amazingly was that once the kids were old enough, she got herself back to college and graduated to begin to teach grade school children. I can't imagine how many other kids she influenced through out the years, but I bet it was alot.

The thing that is generally so sad about death is not that the person is no longer with us, but that a son, or a daughter could no longer say I love you, or even hold her one last time, or never to say goodbye once again. For this time, a "goodbye", was an actual good bye, and not a "see you later."

I'm convinced that there is something greater in our life found after we leave this existence. A place where she was no longer in pain, a place where she will can watch her children grow old, smiling from a distance.


I guess what is truly amazing, is that memories do keep peoples presence alive. Though I have not seen her in years, I'll always remember her.  She was a friend to my family and I, a mother to a few, a wife to one and a great person to many.


Rest In Peace my friend. We'll all see you eventually on the other side.

Monday, November 22, 2010

It's monday!

This weekend went super quick! I guess it's partly due to the fact that I came back to NY Saturday late afternoon then had to directly to my gig at B Smith's. Which, by the way was amazing. Drummer NateJolley who worked with me in CT for Project Poetry Live did a pit stop in NY for 2 days to play at the restaurant. He's normally playing at the B Smith's DC but it is always great to get him up here.

I'm heading to Hartford, CT now because I have a radio interview in the morning on WWUH then on Wednesday i'll be performing in West Hartford at the great Asian restaurant "Szechuan Tokyo" with my acoustic band. It's an annual gig, then I just stay with the Curtis Brother's and their family for Thanksgiving. So basically another great and packed week.

Below is information about the radio interview and show. Feel free to copy and paste the information and post it all over the web.
See you at the next show!
_____________________________________________________________
New York saxophonist Albert Rivera presents his annual Thanksgiving Eve concert at Szechuan Tokyo Restaurant in West Hartford, Connecticut this Wednesday, November 24 at 8 p.m. The venue is at 1245 New Britain Avenue at the corner of South Main Street; visit www.asianfusion.net for more details, or phone 860-561-0180. The reedman will be joined by pianist Zaccai Curtis, bassist Luques Curtis and drummer Ben Bilello at Szechuan Tokyo.
Rivera will be a guest during Tuesday Morning Jazz "Out Here & Beyond" on WWUH radio with host Chuck Obuchowski on Tuesday, November 23 at 10 a.m. WWUH broadcasts at 91.3 FM and streams live via http://wwuh.org as a community service from The University of Hartford in West Hartford. Listen for conversation with Albert Rivera and selections from his recent "Inner Peace" release on Turnaround Records. Find out more about the rising saxophone star at www.albertriverajazz.com.
WWUH offers jazz programming Monday - Friday from 9 am - noon and Tuesday - Friday from 9 pm - midnight. More information about the public alternative radio station - including recent jazz playlists and a complete schedule of programs - is available at http://wwuh.org.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Life is beautiful!.....PPL is going great!

So as Tuesday ends and it's early Wednesday morning, I find myself amazed how this program is coming together. We spent most of the rehearsal playing music with my student band as the dance got a glimpse into how it would feel to Dance to a live band, as oppose to recorded music on a CD player.

They're 7th graders, with some 8th graders in the mix, 150 to be exact, that's a lot of 12 and 13 year old running around. But the beauty of it all, is that many are new friends, form different backgrounds, and many of them having their first experiences dancing and being trained by a professional dance company.
And trust me, it's been such a learning experience for me having songs I wrote (and songs fellow saxophonist Kris Allen composed) come to life.
It's amazing to see Matthew Westerby's dance comany work with the students. I just hope the students understand the effort these teachers are putting in. The time I spent with them whether it be in the random car rides back and forth from NY or while the program has been going on have been great.

Stop by and visit Matthew and his dance company on the web.. at http://web.me.com/matthewwesterby/Site/Home.html
Kudos to everyone for doing such a great job and of course to Vita Muir and Litchfield Performing Arts www.LitchfieldJazzFest.com for being the brains of all of this and getting the funds to inspire these kids, year after year...

They (LPA) were the first company to take a chance on me, the random kid with a ruff edge from the bronx...and look it me know, the professional working musician who so happens to be an adult (time flies), who learned that life is beautiful, amazing and exciting all at once.. Yeah...that has such a great ring to it.

As someone once told me, and I pass to you guys... "love life and it will love you back"
Smiles and hugs

Sunday, November 14, 2010

The week flew by.

Wow this week went fast. I guess that's what happens when your physically in 4 states in 3 days. I do admit I love it. I love the train rides, the car rides, the time spent with random
Miscellaneous conversations that you have, catching up with those friends you haven't seen in a while.

My band performed at Harford Community College to a sold out show. The band sounded awesome and what made this gig even more amazing was that it was professionally record. Good thing the band was on fire, so soon enough we will have some great free downloads for all of you.

I'm spending all of next week in CT rehearsing with students for a performance in the end of the week. It's a project I've been working on for a few months now and the kids sound great! Well I have the afternoon off so I will enjoy it before I catch this train tomorrow. So until next time.... As I finish writing this from my iTouch from B Smiths NYC as always, Stay positive and stay smiling.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

A great Article written about my Album and upcoming show in West Hartford

Owen McNally-

With a fine new album just added to his impressive resume, saxophonist/composer Albert Rivera will be in an especially festive mood as he presents his annual pre-Thanksgiving show Nov. 24 at 8 p.m. at West Hartford's Szechuan Tokyo Restaurant.
The 27-year-old Bronx native has built up a loyal local fan base with his appearances at Szechuan and Black-eyed Sally's in downtown Hartford. His Connecticut connection also is accented by his role as a faculty member at the Litchfield Jazz Festival's Jazz Camp, where at 15 he studied as a scholarship student.
Once again, the New York-based musician will perform with Hartford's Curtis brothers, pianist Zaccai Curtis and bassist Luques Curtis.
Rounding out Rivera's quartet is Ben Bilello, a cum laude graduate of The Hartt School and a much in-demand freelance drummer in New England.
Starting out as a classical musician at age 10, Rivera first got hooked on jazz while studying at New York's selective LaGuardia High School for Music and Arts program. "I was speechless the first time I heard Charlie Parker and John Coltrane," Rivera has said.
Later, he was inspired by Joshua Redman's album, "Elastic," realizing, he says, that "it was only a matter of time before I adapted it to my own voice."
"In my music, when composing new sounds," Rivera adds, "I use the modal aspect of John Coltrane's works as a creative launching pad, mixing in a variety of grooves and rhythms."
Rivera's warm, eclectic debut album, "Re-Introduction" (Turnaround Records) was well-received.
His new encore disc, "Inner Peace," again on Turnaround, sweeps gracefully from the celebratory, groove-centered funk of "It Always Comes Back to This" to the introspective "Remembrance," the New Yorker's memorial to Sept. 11, 2001.
On "Inner Peace," the Curtis Brothers help keep Rivera's music flowing fluently, fitting right in among the new album's variety of shifting moods.
Remarking on the collaborations between Rivera and the Curtis Brothers, one critic has declared that "the three young artists … are part of the next wave in this jazz ritual."
Besides the Curtis brothers, Rivera's lineup for "Inner Peace" features the noted guitarist Mark Whitfield, Beck Burger on Hammond B3 organ, Jean Caze and Nick Roseboro on trumpet and John Iannuzzi and Nathan Jolley on drums.
Rivera will have a bountiful supply of tasty, nutritious servings for his Thanksgiving Eve jazz fest at Szechuan. For more information on Rivera and "Inner Peace" see http://www.albertriverajazz.com.
Szechuan Tokyo is at 1245 New Britain Ave., West Hartford. Reservations are recommended. Information: 860-561-0180 and asianfusion.net.

My visit to the RSBerkeley Factory!

videoIt was a fun filled day, one of those days that it felt a bit more amazing then normal to be a professional musician. I woke up on the early side to catch a train out to Berkeley Heights, NJ. The president of the company Les Silver was super nice and picked me up from the station. Ive been performing on their Soprano for a few months now, and really love it, so when I got invited out here for a professional photo shoot, I was ecstatic! I wasn't sure how the place would be set up, and man..was this place big! Apparently it needs to be bigger... The guys and gals were amazing to me, and I haven't laughed as hard as I did with the guys in a long time.
That's what life is about, finding people who are not only amazing people both on a personal and professional level, but that you can tell by one look that they love life!

I spent a good amount of time trying out their Alto's and I fell in love with the Silver Plated Virtuoso Alto. I'm hoping with in the month or so, I'll head back to the factory and pick one up from them and start playing it for the world to hear! Patience is key I guess, but it will definitely be worth the wait!
Until next time! Enjoy the video, and once I get some of the photos, You guys will be the first to see them!
Stay Smiling!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

It was great day!

Not much to write here, Had a few meetings on the phone, and the gym was productive. Monday I celebrated my 5th week in having a new lifestyle of eating(a very healthy style)) and exercising.
The gig went well. It was in a club in Harlem called Shrine ( www.shrinenyc.com ) It was a quick hit with a bunch of buddies. Tried out a new bass players, she's only 18 years old. I think, but she sounded good. I'm sure in a couple of years, she'll be doing great things.



Albert Rivera(Left) Zaccai Curtis (Right)



I ended my night eating at Lily And Loo http://www.lilliandloo.com/ which is an Asian restaurant that has a special gluten free menu. With Zaccai Curtis being one of my best friends, Gluten free meals are a must.  Food was great, I had a Chicken and Lettuce wrap...I think that's what it was called, and of course some nice Green Tea.

Off to a photo shoot tomorrow morning/afternoon for RSBerkeley and gonna try out some Alto's. Let's see what goodie I might come home with! Stay Smiling it's good for the soul!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Free Ice Skating in Bryant Park?....Yes Please! And talk about a busy week!!!

video
I found myself walking around times square today and ended up in Bryant Park.  Well with out feeling like i'm going to repeat myself, just check out the video. If you are in the mood for ice skating(for free) go to http://www.thepondatbryantpark.com/
It was a busy past few days, and this week is jam packed. Gonna meet and hang with Artistic Advisor and Product Specialist David Gould on Monday, gig in the city on Tuesday, heading to Berkeley Heights, NJ for a photo shoot on Wednesday as well as check out some of their Alto's. Who knows maybe I come back a beautiful horn. Thursday ends up being a travel day, then Friday I got a rehearsal in CT in the morning then sound check at 6p.m for a show at Harford Community College in Bel Air, MD. Whew...a lot of traveling in a short time...but it's the life of a musician. It was nice to hang at the park for a while.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

New Photoshoot next week!

Just got confirmation that I'll be doing a photo shoot for my saxophone endorsement with RSBerkeley.
Looking forward to it, and those guys over there have been super sweet!
Visit the website RSBerkeley and you might see some familiar faces :)

Spent time in NJ this evening since earlier in the day, we did a performance at Bronx H.S of Science to their concert band and jazz band. Some videos to be posted soon(If they came out well)

Trumpeter Nick Roseboro, Pianist Zaccai Curtis and I checked out a movie. Great times!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Welcome!


Hey everyone! It's me, Albert Rivera. Alot of you often ask how life as a traveling musician has been, upcoming projects and things I do on my off time, though blogs have become some what of a past phase now with Facebook and other social networking sites, I still wanted to start this.

There's always alot of things on my mind, things I want to do , business I want to start, places I want to visit. So hopefully this page can be a look into the life of a musician and business man.
(FYI-that pic is of me in my apartment in the Bx)

So Welcome! Feel free to visit me any where on the web whether it's my website http://www.AlbertRiverajazz.com or on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/albertriverajazz or any where else you can think off...(youtube, myspace, vimeo etc etc)