Nelson Riveros

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About Nelson Riveros


Born in New York to Colombian parents, Nelson grew up listening to his parent’s record collection, which included Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole, and the rhythms of Cumbia and Salsa. These recordings were a staple, instilled him with a musical appreciation from an early age. Nelson started playing guitar in high school and became well versed in many styles of music, which included Jazz, Latin, and Rock.
He studied guitar with George Bien, a very in demand guru-guitar teacher from Queens who turned him on to the recordings of Wes Montgomery, Joe Pass, Pat Martino, Larry Carlton, Lee Ritenour.

After briefly attending the Berklee College of Music, Nelson returned to New York to involve himself in the music scene and played in many bands. For several years he worked for guitarist/producer Nile Rodgers' Sumthing Else Musicworks before returning to school.

He graduated with a Bachelor of Music in Jazz Studies from City College where he studied guitar with Gene Bertoncini, Pete McCann and composition with Mike Holober. Nelson performed at the CUNY JAZZ FEST. Nelson also studied music at Mannes College of Music where he studied guitar with Vic Juris and Remo Palmieri (Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie) Nelson has performed with artists Adela Dalto, Alfredo De La Fe, John Benitez, Luis Bonilla, Nicky Marrero, Samuel Torres and Hector Martignon. Nelson has been on the guitar faculty at the 92nd Street Y School of Music since 2005 and as a Teaching Artist for the 92nd Street Y Outreach program. Since 2007 Nelson has also been teaching at the Crestwood Music Education Center in Eastchester. Nelson has performed in many venues in New Work, including Blue Water Grill, Kavehaz, Cleopatra’s Needle, Tavern on The Green, Miles Café, Nuyorican Poets Café.

Nelson Riveros has just released his first CD titled 'Camino Al Barrio' It is a Contemporary-Jazz recording with diverse Latin influences. It features the talents pianist Hector Martignon (Ray Barreto, Gato Barbieri, Paquito D'Rivera), bassist Armando Gola (Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Arturo Sandoval, Alejandro Sanz), Ernesto Simpson (Arturo Sandoval, Richard Bona), Samuel Torres (Arturo Sandoval, Richard Bona, Tito Puente). As well as special guests, Christos Rafalides on vibes and Andres Garcia on 12-string Colombian Tiple.

The reason that I wanted to record this CD came from my desire to have people listen to and experience the music that I had written throughout my time living in the different New York City boroughs’. I had played this music with many great musicians around the city. The final stops of my path were written in the last ‘hood’, which was East Harlem ‘El Barrio’. I heard many inspiring sounds in my 4 years living there, and for this reason I called this CD “Camino al Barrio"

Nelson Riveros joined the JazzTimes community on Nov 08, 2010