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Paquito D'Rivera

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Biography
Cuba-born and New York-based saxophonist and clarinet player, Paquito D’Rivera has balanced a career in Latin jazz with commissions as a classical composer and appearances with symphony orchestras. Classical New Jersey wrote, “whether playing Bach or post-bop, D’Rivera’s mastery of the instruments and their expressive capabilities is unquestionable”. D’Rivera inherited his understanding of music from his father, Tito, a classical saxophonist and conductor. At the age of five, D’Rivera began being tutored in musical theory by his father. Within a year, he was playing well enough to be paid as a musician. By the age of seven, he became the youngest musician to endorse a musical instrument (Selmer saxophones). Three years later, he performed with the National Theater Orchestra of Havana. Although he initially played soprano saxophone, D’Rivera switched to the alto after teaching himself to play via the book, Jimmy Dorsey Saxophone Method: A School of Rhythmic Saxophone Playing. Strengthening his knowledge of music and playing techniques, D’Rivera began studying at the Havana Conservatory of Music in 1960. In 1965, D’Rivera became a featured soloist with the Cuban National Symphony Orchestra.

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