Latin Multi-Instrumentalist Mario Rivera Dies in New York

On August 10th, 2007, we had the passing of the sidemen of sidemen, Mario Rivera. He was 68 and died of bone cancer.

Rivera was a talented artist, playing tenor, alto, baritone, and soprano saxophone, as well as the flute and a host of other instruments including the timbales, vibraphone & jazz scatting.

Mario performed many years with Tito Puente, Tito Rodriguez, Machito, Dizzy Gillespie, and performed legendary solos for Eddie Palmieri.

Of Dominican descent, known as El Comandante, I remember Mario once listening to a Walkman telling Tito, “hey you gotta listen to this hot tune!”