ABOUTMIGUEL A RIVERA JR
Miguel was born in 1968 in Waukegan, IL, a Northern Suburb of Chicago he started his musical journey at age 5. He grew up in a Puerto Rican Family of Musician’s and special Friends.
His father, Miguel A. Rivera Sr., whom plays the Spanish Acoustic Guitar and his Dear Mother Carmen Rivera, exposed Miguel to his favorite Puerto Rican music. They demonstrated the love of music & dancing, and planted the seed of Bolero, Salsa, Merengue, Sies, and other types of Puerto Rican Music in his Heart. He learned to play minor percussion instruments (Clave, Cowbell & Guiro) as a young boy with Afro-Indigenous Musical forms of music, during Christmas called “Parrandas”, which are played in the Caribbean Islands and in Puerto Rico.
He grew up listening to that music and it influenced him tremendously. His cousin Doel Burgos, a Salsa Singer for his band Trabuco in Arecibo Puerto Rico, and whom was in the movie “El Cantante” with Marc Anthony, also encouraged Miguel to pursue his passion for his music. Miguel has been a fanatic of the Puerto Rican Singer “Hector Lavoe – EL Cantante de los Cantantes” and grew up listening to his music as a young child. Miguel has a thirst for music knowledge and history and is always looking for ways to expand his musicianship.
His passion for music and his continuous journey of musical growth will always be a part of his family, friends and other musician artists, whom have supported him on his continued journey.
Miguel as a young man enjoyed collecting all types of Latin Music CD’s, especially music with lots of percussion and he would listen to the CD’s religiously, to learn the percussion rhythms. Miguel’s favorite percussionist Artists growing up were, Giovanni Hidalgo, Ray Baretto, Eddie Montalvo, George Padilla, Francisco Aguabella, Potato Valdez, Paoli Mejias, Poncho Sanchez, and many more.
Miguel has lived in California now for 42 years. In 2008’, Miguel met a colleague, whom introduced him to the Menifee Jazz Ensemble Band at Mt. San Jacinto College, in Menifee, CA. Miguel Joined the band as a percussionist, where his talent and love for music would be expressed in his heart, by playing his favorites musical instruments Congas Y Bongo & Minor Percussion.
In 2008, Miguel was invited on stage to sit in at the Rumba Room in Universal Studios City Walk by a friend Ernie Valenzuela and was handed the guiro to play with his band. That moment was special for Miguel, and it opened up the door of opportunity for Miguel. In addition, it paved the road to meeting the Master Percussionist – David “La Mole” Ortiz. This was a blessing for Miguel to be able to have one on one workshops and become a student of David “La Mole” Ortiz. Miguel remembers his first workshop lesson and telling David La Mole Ortiz that he really wanted to be taught by Giovanni Hidalgo, since he grew up listening to his music. David La Mole Ortiz paused and chuckled with a smile a told Miguel that he taught Giovanni Hidalgo, when he was as a young kid. Miguel could only hide behind the conga drums in amazement realizing whom was in front of him teaching him his first lesson. Miguel still laughs about this till this day.
Miguel was very grateful for the rudiments and techniques he obtained with “La Mole”, which enhanced Miguel’s percussion playing. Miguel is so grateful and blessed to have had the opportunity to have shared those special moments with David “La Mole” Ortiz. God Bless his heart.
Miguel Has Shared the Stage with Some of the Best Musical Artists and Bands in California & Chicago
Miguel’s performances and events include:
Miguel recorded at the Hollywood Track Studio in Hollywood, with the Menifee Jazz Ensemble, “All Rhythm No Reason” CD Recording, which featured artists Carmen Grillo, Llew Mathews & Shezwae Powell. Miguel performed with the Menifee Jazz Ensemble at the Temecula Valley Balloon and Wine Festival for their CD debut with Artists and Music Director Stephen Torok, and special guest recording artist Shezwae Powell.
Mt. San Jacinto College Theatre Jazz Events
Mt. St. Jacinto City College, St. Jacinto Graduation Events
The Promenade Mall Temecula Walk for the Cure Cancer Event
Old Town Temecula Jazz & Street Art Festivals
City of Temecula Events
Temecula Valley Wineries performances include:
Diego Mondragon, Nelson Guzman, Jason Webber, Jimmy Patton, Enrique Platas, Ruben Gonzalez, Junior, Stefan, Carmen Adame, Jackie Bonaparte, Russle Bizzett, Daryl Williams, Ray Ortega – Life Time Rockers, Brothers of Latin Jazz, Rumbamenco Flamenco Band and Ruben V. & the Latin Sounds, and other respected Artist and bands not mentioned.
Diego Mondragon Latin Jazz Band
Masia de Yabar Winery – Corazon de Mondragon Music Video Recording
Viva Vino – Old Town Temecula – Corazon de Mondragon Music Video Recording
The Merc – Hosted by Artist Sheryl Williams – Old Town Temecula Theatre
Pechanga Casino – Eagles Nest
South Coast Winery – Blessing of the Vines Events – Savio Jazz Band
Winery / Vineyard Performance’s & Locations
Andalucía Winery, Masia de Yabar Winery & Masia de Yabar Wine Bar, Viva Vino –- Spanish Tapas Wine Bar in Old Town Temecula, The exclusive Briar Rose Winery, South Coast Winery, Lorimar Winery, La Cereza Winery, Lorimar Loft, Miramonte Winery, Ponte Winery & Ponte Cellar, Europa Winery, Baily’s – old Town Temecula, Wilson Creek Winery, Monte De Oro Winery, Vitagliano Winery, Fazili’s Cellars, Bel Vino &
Casino & Hotel & Restaurant Performances
Viva Vino – Temecula – Various Bands and Artists.
Pechanga – Eagle’s Nest – Temecula
Frankies Italian Restaurant – Diego Mondragon Latin Jazz Band & Various Artists.
Anthony’s Italian Restaurant – San Souci Latin Jazz Band
Provecho’s Mexican Restaurant –Diego Mondragon Trio Band with & Gerardo Nunos.
Guadalajara’s – Temecula/Lake Elsinore – Brother of Latin Jazz
Ravioli’s – Brothers of Latin Jazz
Pub & Grub Temecula – Daryl Williams and Various Artists.
Harrah’s Casino– Rita’s Cantina & Corked Lounge
Marriott – La Jolla – Ruben V. & the Latin Sounds
Double Tree Hotel – San Diego – Ruben V. & the Latin Sounds
Tres Vino’s – Rumba-Menco – Tribute to Junior
Fontana Art Center – Ruben V. & the Latin Sounds.
San Manuel Casino – George Lopez “El Chignon” Restaurant with Ruben Gonzalez
Havana 1910 Restaurant – San Diego
Double Tree Hotel – Torrance – with Jose
Franklin’s Cove – Ruben V. & the Latin Sounds.
Miguel’s mission is to be a unique musician whom demonstrates and shares his love of music through his enthusiastic spirit & artistic percussion playing, by being genuine and “Always Playing Music from the Heart”. This allows him to help heal and uplift the souls of others.
Miguel wants to personally thank and send his love to his family & friends, especially his father Miguel A. Rivera Sr. and Mother Carmen Rivera for being the best parents a son can ever ask for, and whom always believed and supported him on this journey.