Diego Rivera

Diego Rivera stands dressed in a suit and burnt orange tie, holding his saxophone and smiling into camera,

Director of Jazz Studies Director, Jazz Orchestra 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 nationally and internationally with GRAMMY-Award winning vocalist, Kurt Elling, JUNO-Award winning Canadian Jazz Vocalist, Sophie Milman, The SEIKO Summer Jazz Faculty, The Ulysses Owens Jr. Big Band, and The Rodney Whitaker Quintet. 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 6 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

Love & Peace
Posi-Tone Records, 2023

Posi-Tone Records, 2023

Posi-Tone Records, 2021

Posi-Tone Records, 2019

Love & Peace Review
All About Jazz, March 31, 2023

Love & Peace Review
The Jazz Word, February 14, 2023

Jazz @ Lincoln Center Orchestra Concert Review
idgiJazz, 2022

Mestizo Tour Concert Review
johnchacona.com, 2022 

Mestizo Review
Downbeat, May 2022

Indigenous Review
All About Jazz, 2021

Connections Review
JazzTimes, 2019


Contact Information

Campus location
MRH 4.122


Teaching Areas



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