Diego Rivera

A portrait of Diego Rivera with his Saxophone

Director of Jazz Studies

Associate Professor of Jazz Studies & Jazz Saxophone

A world-class musician, composer, arranger and educator, Diego Rivera has entertained audiences for over 20 years. Rivera is known for his muscular tone and unique blend of straight-ahead jazz fused with music inspired by his Chicano background and heritage.

Since 1999 he has performed concerts at the most prestigious venues and festivals across the United States, Canada, Europe and Asia. In addition to touring with his own ensemble, Rivera has also toured both nationally and internationally with GRAMMY-Award winning vocalist, Kurt Elling, JUNO-Award winning Canadian Jazz Vocalist, Sophie Milman and The Rodney Whitaker Quintet. He is a member of the The Ulysses Owens Jr. Big Band, the Jazz @ Dr. Phillips Center Orchestra, The Gathering Orchestra, and the SEIKO Summer Jazz Faculty. HIs performance credits also include: The Jazz @ Lincoln Center Orchestra w/ Wynton Marsalis, Ellis Marsalis, Christian McBride, Wycliffe Gordon, PRISM Saxophone Quartet, the Gerald Wilson Big Band, and the Lincoln Center Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra.

Rivera has released 5 critically-acclaimed albums as a leader and has several other credits to his name as a recording artist, composer and arranger. He is currently a Posi-Tone recording artist, a New York/Los Angeles based record label. He has also appeared on several recordings as a sideman on the Posi-Tone, Mack Avenue and Detroit Music Factory Record Labels.

A passionate educator Rivera has presented masterclasses at schools and universities both in the United States and abroad. Several of Professor Rivera’s former students enjoy careers as professional musicians performing with artists such as: Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz @ Lincoln Center, The Christian McBride Big Band, The Birdland Big Band, The Count Basie Orchestra, The DIVA Jazz Orchestra and the multi-GRAMMY Award winning group, Snarky Puppy.

Applied Jazz Saxophone

MUS 343J
History of Jazz

2022, Posi-Tone Records

Jazz @ Lincoln Center Orchestra Concert Review
2022, idgiJazz

Mestizo Tour Concert Preview
2022 johnchacona.com

Indigenous Review
2021, All About Jazz

Connections Review
2019, JazzTimes


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Contact Information

Campus location
MRH 4.122


Teaching Areas



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