Diego Rivera redefines jazz on With Just A Word, as he seamlessly blends traditional jazz influences with innovative contemporary arrangements.
Michigan born saxophonist Diego Rivera doesn’t just play music, he tells stories through it. And on his latest album, With Just A Word, he speaks volumes with every note. Drenched in soulful melodies and mesmerizing improvisations, the album is a tribute to Rivera's unparalleled command of the saxophone and his ability to weave intricate narratives through music. The result is a mesmerizing fusion of vibrant rhythms and harmonies that transcend the boundaries of conventional jazz. Each track is a tale waiting to be told, and Rivera is the consummate storyteller, guiding listeners through a landscape of emotion and experience.
As evidence of the dedication to his craft, every song on With Just A Word is meticulously crafted, and every note carefully considered. And while Rivera's saxophone takes center stage, he's not alone on this musical journey. Pianist Adam Maness and drummer Diego Melgar add depth and texture to the album, elevating Rivera's compositions to new heights, from the soul-stirring balladry of "With Just A Word" to the infectious groove of "Spellbound."
Rivera is a renowned musician, composer, arranger, and educator with a career spanning over two decades. Hailing from Ann Arbor, MI, and raised in East Lansing, his musical journey reflects his Mexican-American heritage, influencing his distinctive fusion of straight-ahead jazz with elements inspired by his Latino heritage. Named after the famed muralist Diego Rivera, his artistic journey began with a saxophone instead of a brush, inspired by a visit to the Detroit Institute of Arts during his youth. Rivera honed his musical skills at Michigan State University before his professional career kicked off in 1999 with the Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra, leading to extensive tours and performances around the world.
As an accomplished educator, Diego Rivera has conducted masterclasses at institutions worldwide. In 2022, he assumed the role of Director of Jazz Studies at the University of Texas at Austin, combining it with his position as an Associate Professor of Jazz Saxophone. Rivera's dedication to teaching was recognized with the Dortha J. and John D. Withrow Teaching Award in 2019.