Paquito D’Rivera is a Cuban-American saxophonist, clarinetist, and composer born on June 4, 1948, in Havana, Cuba. He is considered one of the most influential and innovative musicians in the world of jazz and Latin music.
D’Rivera began his music career at a young age, playing the clarinet in his father’s band. He quickly developed a love for jazz and was heavily influenced by the music of Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie. He defected from Cuba to the United States in 1981, seeking more creative freedom and opportunities.
D’Rivera’s career in the United States began with his work as a member of Gillespie’s United Nations Orchestra. He quickly established himself as a rising star in the jazz world, known for his virtuosic playing and his ability to seamlessly blend different styles of music.
Throughout his career, D’Rivera has recorded over 30 albums as a bandleader and has collaborated with some of the biggest names in jazz and Latin music. He has won multiple Grammy Awards and was awarded the National Medal of Arts by President Barack Obama in 2005.
D’Rivera’s music is characterized by his ability to seamlessly blend different styles of music, including jazz, classical, and Latin music. He is known for his virtuosic playing on both the saxophone and clarinet, and his compositions are considered some of the most innovative and influential in the world of jazz and Latin music.
In addition to his music, D’Rivera is also a respected educator and cultural ambassador. He has taught at several universities, including the University of Miami, and has served as a cultural ambassador for the United States Department of State.
Today, Paquito D’Rivera continues to be one of the most important and influential saxophonists in the world of jazz and Latin music. His contributions to the world of music are vast and varied, and his legacy will continue to inspire musicians around the world for generations to come.
Page last updated 3/28/2023.