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Albert Rivera

Lecturer, Jazz Studies

Saxophonist Albert Rivera is an accomplished jazz artist and educator.

Born in the Bronx, NY, Albert Rivera’s musical journey began early on and flourished at Laguardia High School for Performing Arts in New York City, During those summer months he spent his time at Harlem School of the Arts and then at the Litchfield Jazz Camp, which would eventually create a life long partnership with LJC. After finishing his studies at the New School University Jazz and Contemporary Music Conservatory, he began a career that sees him today, a seasoned performer, educator and producer. Albert has won awards as both a sideman and a leader. He won the ASCAP Young Jazz Composer Award in 2009 , the 2012 Chamber Music American Residency Grant and most recently the 2021 New York City Artist Corps Grant. Critics have called him “a modern Jazz Messenger.” Rivera is equally at home on soprano, alto and tenor saxophones and has a distinctive style he says was influenced by jazz greats like John Coltrane and Joe Henderson.

As a performer, he has appeared in his hometown of New York in venues like Zinc Bar, Smalls Jazz Club, and the Blue Note . He maintains a busy travel schedule performing throughout the USA in Baltimore, Philadelphia, Washington DC, Georgia, Florida, Virginia California, and more, often appearing locally in various towns throughout out tai-state area. His collaborators have included Don Braden, Jimmy Greene, Claudio Roditi, Avery Sharpe, Rachel Z, and legendary pianist Junior Mance. At the Litchfield Jazz Camp and Jazz Festival, where he is the current Director of Operations, he often appears with his own group and faculty stars like Matt Wilson, Paul Bollenback and Dave Stryker.


He enjoys a flourishing, rewarding career as an educator. He was a long-time artist/composer/band director in residence for a large middle school project run by Litchfield Performing Arts, called Project Poetry Live, which served 800 to 1000 students annually. He has created various educational programs such as a week-long summer program for the Miami Arts Charter School (Miami, FL) to help children learn the language of jazz which ran for a few years. He is a frequent guest artist, lecturer and clinician in programs nationally and internationally.

Fans and critics have taken notice. DownBeat Magazine reported on his successful, inventive approach to career building in its March 2016 issue in “Enterprising Energy” by Ken Micallef. Critic Elliott Simon wrote “Rivera’s compositions are diverse (and his) musicians hit the pocket and sustain a powerful group dynamic.” Tony Hall, of Jazz Wise Magazine, added “Rivera has a timeless tone.”

Albert has released four records as a leader which featured artist like Christain Scott, Ralph Peterson, Luques and Zaccai Curtis, Mark Whitfield, Jean Caze and many more. He proudly endorses Vandoren Mouthpieces, Reeds and Ligatures and RS Berkeley Virtuoso Saxophones