Indigenous Diego Rivera
- 3The Secret Life Of Plants05:04
- 4Sombras Del Pasado04:03
- 5Asta Ta Malakia Sou05:25
- 7Sabor A Mi05:49
- 8BLM Plaza04:38
- 10Melina Maria05:31
- 12Shir LaShalom04:56
Info for Indigenous
Bandleader and saxophonist extraordinaire Diego Rivera explores the "Indigenous" multi-cultural roots of our human family with his second release for Posi-Tone Records. With a program of exciting original compositions, a few tasty covers, and a special guest appearances by trumpet virtuoso Etienne Charles, this whole session swings swiftly into action and shines with bright moments from the get go. Also on the date is an all-star rhythm section of pianist Helen Sung, bassist Boris Kozlov, and drummer Donald Edwards. With the deep emotionality of this musical offering, Diego Rivera has noticeably advanced his intention and expression up onto another level and the poignancy of these performances will entreat jazz enthusiasts everywhere to dig deeper into the "Indigenous" message with amazement and delight.
"Rivera’s playing is gorgeously lyrical especially on soprano, often stunning, and so fluid that he at times sounds like the accordion common to the music of Mexico and Greece, albeit in different styles. Yet, when he plays the tenor on the bluesier tunes, he shows his gritty side. Throughout the rhythm section shows equal command of these varying styles, making for a most intriguing listen." (Jim Hynes, makingascene.org)
Diego Rivera, tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone 3, 5, 7
Etienne Charles, trumpet 1, 4, & 7
Helen Sung, piano
Boris Kozlov, bass
Donald Edwards, drums
A world-class musician, composer, arranger and educator, Diego Rivera has entertained audiences for over 20 years. Rivera is known for his muscular tone and unique blend of straight-ahead jazz fused with music inspired by his Latino background and heritage. He is a tenured Associate Professor of Jazz Saxophone at Michigan State University where he also serves as Associate Director of Jazz Studies.
Rivera was born in Ann Arbor, MI and raised ‘just up the road’ in East Lansing, MI. Born into a Mexican-American family, his Chicano heritage has always been important to him and shaped his creative endeavors. His parents named him after the famed muralist, Diego Rivera. A trip to the Detroit Institute of Arts at a young age inspired him to make his own mark with the Saxophone rather than the brush. He attended Michigan State University where he studied with Andrew Speight, Branford Marsalis, Ron Blake and Rodney Whitaker.
In 1999, he began his professional and touring career with the Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra on their Big Band ‘99 tour. Since that maiden voyage, he has performed concerts at the most prestigious venues and festivals across the United States, Canada, Europe and Asia. He currently leads his own group, The Diego Rivera Quartet. Rivera has also toured with GRAMMY-Award winning vocalist, Kurt Elling, JUNO-Award winning Canadian Jazz Vocalist, Sophie Milman and The Rodney Whitaker Quintet. He is a member of the The Ulysses Owens Jr. Big Band (New York, NY), the Jazz @ Dr. Phillips Center Orchestra (Orlando, FL) and the Gathering Orchestra (Detroit, MI). He has also performed with artists: Ellis Marsalis, Christian McBride, Wycliffe Gordon, PRISM Saxophone Quartet, the Gerald Wilson Big Band and the Lincoln Center Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra.
Rivera has several credits to his name as a recording artist, composer and arranger. His newest solo project Indigenouswas released in 2021 on Posi-Tone Records. According to executive producer and label co-owner, Marc Free, Indigenous “…explores the ‘Indigenous’ multi-cultural roots of our human family…”. Indigenous climbed to #7 on the JazzWeek Radio Charts. His debut release on Posi-Tone, Connections, quickly gained attention when it hit the JazzWeek Radio charts as the “Highest Debut”. Rivera’s first recording, Hercules was released in 2006 on his record label, Rivera Records. His sophomore release, The Contender (D- Clef Records 2013) received national critical acclaim reaching the Top 10 on the JazzWeek Radio Charts. He has also appeared on several recordings as a sideman on the Posi-Tone, Mack Avenue and Detroit Music Factory Record Labels.
An avid composer and arranger, Rivera has written arrangements for various recordings, projects and artists most notably for Jazz at Lincoln Center’s “Motor City Jazz” concert. A tribute to the music and musicians of Detroit. His arranging work can be heard on recordings by: Carl Allen-Rodney Whitaker, Get Ready (2007) and Work To Do (2008); Ulysses Owens Jr., Onward & Upward (2014); The New Century Quintet, The Time Is Now (2014); Michael Dease, Decisions (2015)/Bonafied (2018) and most recently on the Ulysses Owens Jr. Big Band debut recording, Soul Conversations (2021).
Rivera is a passionate educator and has presented masterclasses at schools and universities both in the United States and abroad. He is Associate Professor of Jazz Saxophone and Associate Director of Jazz Studies at Michigan State University’s College of Music. In 2019 he was awarded the Dortha J. and John D. Withrow Teaching Award, the College of Music’s highest honor for excellence in teaching and scholarly achievement. He is musical director of the award-winning ensemble, MSU Jazz Octet I, the College of Music’s premiere Jazz Combo made up of the Jazz Studies Program’s most talented student-musicians. Several of Professor Rivera’s former students enjoy careers as professional musicians performing with artists such as: Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center, The Birdland Big Band, The Count Basie Orchestra, The DIVA Jazz Orchestra and the multi-GRAMMY Award winning group, Snarky Puppy.
This album contains no booklet.