||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (August 2011)|
Born in Caracas, Venezuela of a Spanish mother and Venezuelan father, Rivas gradually built her voice skills as a hobby, absorbing the multiple influences of contemporary Venezuelan and Latin musicians. She then began singing professionally in local night clubs starting in 1983, but soon moved to Aruba where, for 2½ years, she performed in a nightly jazz show named Sentimental Journey Through Jazz, where she astonished audiences with her mastery of Jazz variations, much in the style of Ella Fitzgerald and other notable divas. She returned to Caracas and began performing in its most important venues, quickly becoming one of Venezuela's best loved and most highly respected performing artists.
Her well-tuned voice, her command of English, Spanish, Portuguese and Italian, and her considerable personal charm and beauty have built her a large crowd of loyal fans. Also, she has become a leading voice in the region's environmental movement, which has earned her ample recognition. Her musical message as a composer often has ecological undertones.
In 2005 Rivas returned to Aruba to be part of the show "Good Save The Queen", a tribute to the rock band Queen. Since 2006 Rivas has spent 4 months each year in Tokyo, where she has found acclaim for her performances of Brazilian and Latin Jazz, along with Classic American Jazz, sharing the summertime stage with the Indigo Trio, a local jazz ensamble in Roppongi, Japan.
Rivas has recorded ten albums as a soloist, and also has performed live in Colombia, Brazil, Austria, the Netherlands, Italy, Switzerland, France, Germany, Portugal, Panama, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, and the United States.
In 2008 Rivas celebrated her 25th-year anniversary since starting her long career, with special homage concerts dedicated to the much-beloved Maestro Aldemaro Romero, who died in 2007 at 79 years of age, featuring Romero's music and arrangements. In 2012-2013 Rivas is celebrating her 30th-year anniversary as a Vocalist, Composer and Recording Artist, with special concerts performed throughout Venezuela and the United States.
- Primogénito (first Compact Disc made in Venezuela, 1990)
- Manduco (1992)
- Mapalé (1994)
- Muaré (1996)
- Café Negrito (1999)
- En Concierto: Maria Rivas y Aldemaro Romero (2003),
- Aquador (Soloist and Composer, 2005)
- María Rivas: 18 Grandes Éxitos (2006)
- Pepiada Queen (2007)
- Live Lunch Break (Recorded Live, 2010)