compositions integrate a wide range of complementary elements - a subtlety of beauty intertwined with feelings from remote regions of our soul. Discover the solidity and diversity of his pieces which entwine the qualities of Classical, Contemporary, Popular, Caribbean, Latin American Folk, and Jazz music. His unique style has been described as neo-classical, ethnic jazz, folk, avan garde, contemporary and classical guitar and still this does not quite describe Anthony's unique style.
Anthony is a tireless performer. His concerts vary from solo guitar, duos, trios, orchestras, and many other formats. He has composed songs and music for documentary films. Most frequently, he plays as a solo guitarist or accompanied by percussion. He has worked with great masters of the instrument, such as Guarionex Aquino, Isidro Bobadilla, Edmundo Rodriguez, Ronny Vasques…
He has performed his unique musical style on a variety of stages and in many countries. The "National Theater" of the Dominican Republic, on two different occasions with Gonzalo Rubalcaba and also with Egberto Gismonti. In Madrid, he has performed in grand venues such as "El Círculo de Bellas Artes" and "Clamores". Anthony has also presented his music on national television in the USA.
This Video "Mario Rivera at Bern Jazz Festival [part7.1]" is excellent. What a talent! there are many more of the festival to enjoy.
Rivera released an album titled "El Comandante" in 1993 that has a playful and infectious fusion of Dominican merengue and jazz.. It is a classic of Latin Jazz experimentation and it sold out as soon as it came out. (You can check Amazon.com but every time I searched it was not in stock..good luck.)
Sandy Gabriel, the son of Sócrates Gabriel, who also was a sax player. He was the director of a group/agrupación in his home town of Nagua called El Combo Candela. When Sandy was 9 the family mover to Puerta Plata where, in time, he started playing in the hotels of the surrounding tourist areas. He used what his father taught him and added his own special style to bring him to where he is today, one of the most famous sax players in the country. He has played his sax in productions, jazz festivals, and performances. Some of the big names are Juan Luis Guerra, Olga Tañón and Felix D´Oleo, Spyro Gyra, Tito Puente and Guarionex Aquino, just to name a few of the many.
Sandy Gabriel & PP Jazz Ensemble, his group since the late 90's consists of a group of real talent including:Jairo Milanes/Piano, Peter Nova/Bass, Joel Guzman/Percusion, Hisdras Alvarez/Drums, Eliecer Guzman and Rodhen Santos/Trumpets, Carlos Gozales/Trombone. Together they play a mix of Fusion, Latin Jazz, Funk, Pop Jazz, Classical with all original pieces composed by Sandy and Jairo.
Sandy Gabriel is a favorite of the Dominican Jazz Festival. I know my friends and myself always make sure we go see him as much as we can. He has played in jazz festivals the world over. In Trinidad and Tobago he was said "to have charmed the audience". His music has been described as "A musical earthquake of superior quality", "explosive".
Michel Camilo , a native of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic is a composer and pianist extraordinaire. Along with being a bandleader, lecturer, and visiting professor he is also a chart topping producer. He is a brilliant pianist who plays and composes his tunes with flavor of Caribbean rhythm and jazz. Michel Camilo combines all this talent with his boundless enthusiasm, musical passion, and love of life.
Michel studied at the National Conservatory. At the age of 16 he became a member of the National Symphony Orchestra of Dominican Republic (NSODR). Michel moved to New York in 1979. There he studied at Mannes College and The Juilliard School. He is a chart-topping producer, the winner of a Grammy, a Latin Grammy and an Emmy award winner. He is the recipient of Dominican Republics highest civilian honors.
It is said "To see him perform live is to witness the energy of a tropical storm being unleashed on 88 keys".
Fundación Filarmónica del Cibao is a non-profit institution of music lovers whose mission to finance, administer and promote the Filarmónica Orchestra of the Cibao. Composed of a distinguished group of native symphonic musicians, the best of the region. The Filarmónica Orchestra of Cibao has two annual seasons of three concerts each: The Spring /Primaveral runs February to May, and the Fall/ Otoñal runs September to December. They travel around the Cibao region giving concerts, exposing the youth to this style of music by having competitions that stimulate their musical talents. They also supply scholarships they present to talented youth to give them the initiative that assures the future for the symphonic arts in Dominican Republic.
Directions: Av. Juan Pablo Duarte #71, Apartado Postal #739, Santiago, República Dominicana
Juan Cuevas (Tenor) studied in the Conservatorio Pablo Casals in Puerto Rico as well as here in the Manhattan School of Music where he received his masters degree in music. He has sang in the Opera of las Americas at the National Theater in their presentation of "Gran Baile de la Opera," and in 2006 I the "Conmemoración del Descubrimiento de América". Also singing with la Compañía Lírica Dominicana and the National Symphony Orchestra/ Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional.He is one of the founders of the Clasicos Dominicanos organization. Juan has received many Casandra Award nominations. Traveling much throughout Europe and United States Juan Cuevas shares his mesmorizing voice and talent with many.
Mario Rivera was one of the hardest working sidemen in the jazz and Latin music business he was still able to lead a few groups of his own. The first group he led was "The Happy Boys in Santo Domingo" in the 50's with Milton Pelaez and Mac Cordero. He also started "The Mario Rivera Sextet" Even though he loved his music he was most proud of was his family. His son Pedro Elías known professionally as Phoeniz, whom Mario raised alone, is also a musician and accompanied his father when he played. Mario, his sisters and his children were always close.
Mario Rivera "El Comandante" (1939-2007) was born in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic on July 22, 1939. As with many Dominican artists, Mario left the Dominican Republic to gain first-hand knowledge of Jazz. He was a real global Dominican ambassador. It seems that after they leave they are all but forgotten unless their tunes are played on popular radio. Mario is a very good example of a very dedicated, talented, patriotic, virtuous, serious, tireless respected artist, who left his country to become a true artist and merge Merengue with Jazz.
Rivera went to NYC in 1961 when he was 22 because of his love of music and jazz. Rivera played both straight-ahead jazz and hardcore Latin with the precision of a master sharp shooter. Rivera was one of the most popular sidemen in the music business. He was known as a musician's musician. He mastered 24 instruments including flute, saxophones (from bari to soprano), piccolo, many of the percussion instruments, trumpet and many others. He was included in the Village Voice's list of "101 Ways to Play the Tenor Saxophone." Riveria has played, toured, and recorded with legendary musicians like Tito Puente, Matchito, Tito Rodriguez, Dizzy Gillespie, Eddie Palmieri, 440, Rafael Solano, Sonny Stitt, Joe Loco, Tito Rodriguez, the Mario Bauza Afro-Cuban Orquestra, Tipica 73, Tavito Vasquez, George Colman, and many others.
Mario was a lifelong student of the writings of Argentinian philosopher Jose Ingenieros. His most beloved Jazz idols were John Coltrane, Miles Davis and Sonny Stitt.
Mario Rivera left this world that he changed with his music on August 10th, 2007. He was 68 and the bone cancer he had been struggling with finally took this most beloved sideman of sidemen. His passing is being and always will be felt deeply in the Latin music and jazz community. He will be sorely missed. Yet we must be content with and happy he left us with his stories, music recordings, photos, and videos to remember this grand musician. What he left us makes him truly immortal.
"Mario will always live because of all the great work that he did and all the good he did for all of us here in NY and throughout the world. "Que viva El Comandante Mario Rivera!!" Jose Ramon Terrero - New York City
Mario Rivera Memorial Service was held Monday, August 27 2007, at St. Peters Church in New York. more info: NY Post Blog
*They want to name the Jazz festival in Santo Domingo Dominican Republic after Mario Rivera. When he was alive, only Federico Astwood cared to bring him to the festival now they want to use his name..... As Ruben Blades says, "que fallo!"
*When Mario left Dominican Republic his passport said he was a bookkeeper, not a musician. At that time the dictator, Trujillo, did not want musicians to leave Dominican Republic.
Mario Rivera and Thelonious Monk
+ click to enlarge
Anthony Ocana compositions have received various awards, including the "Francisco Tarrega Composers Award" in Spain; "Casa de Teatro Award" in the Dominican Republic; and "Sr. Josephine Morgan Award" in the USA
Mario Rivera played on this disc for Maestro Tito Puente (Grammy winner in 1986)