A native of Boston, MA, Rick Rivera began playing drums at the age of thirteen. Later, he joined his high school’s jazz band which provided him with various performance opportunities throughout the U.S.
After graduation, Rick went on to study music formally with Bob Gullotti. During his 5-year apprenticeship with Bob, Rick performed at the Willow Jazz Club, Wally’s and Berklee College of Music and was a first-call session drummer for some of Boston’s finest musician’s, including Jane Wang, John Aruda, Jeff Rorback and Russell Fortunato.
After completing his studies with Bob, Rick went on to pursue jazz across two continents, teaching and performing in Boston, Hawaii, and Japan. While in Japan, Rick appeared at such notable venues as Body and Soul, Live Inn Pier and Shinjuku Pit Inn. He co-led the Monk Tribute Band, alongside Natori Toshihiko, and powered the Mineko Ogata Trio and Hisashi Nakajima Quartet with his traditional and experimental jazz drumming style. Now a resident of San Francisco, Rick continues his pursuit of jazz and experimental music with top musicians in the Bay Area.
Current projects include:
· Thollem/Rivera – an experimental music duo with pianist/composer Thollem McDonas
· Sonic Camouflage – a 7-piece jazz ensemble appearing weekly at Café Van Kleef
· Theloni On Wry – a jazz quartet playing the music of Thelonious Monk and modern jazz originals
"Rick Rivera confirm and reinforce.when the siren of the protagonism calls, transcendental flipouts and marches funebres mix with fractal Rock in Opposition scansions and old fashioned blues patterns in complex mutations of contingencies.
- MASSIMO RICCI, Touchingextremes
“Rivera's drumming holds these songs together with tight rhythms and an almost virtuosic repertoire of sounds.” - J. Worley Aiding & Abetting