Mark Rivera

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Mark Rivera
Mark Rivera live with Billy Joel in 2008
Background information
Born (1953-05-24) May 24, 1953 (age 64)
Brooklyn, New York, United States
Genres Rock, pop
Occupation(s) Musician, singer, musical director
Instruments saxophone, vocals, guitar, flute, percussion, keyboards
Associated acts Ringo Starr & His All-Starr Band, Billy Joel, Elton John

Mark Rivera (born May 24, 1953) is an American saxophonist, multi-instrumentalist, musician, musical director and corporate entertainment provider who is mostly known for his work with Billy Joel. In addition to playing soprano, alto, tenor and baritone saxophones, Rivera's musical abilities encompass vocals, guitar, flute, percussion, and keyboards.

Early life[edit]

Mark Rivera was born in Brooklyn, New York and attended The High School of Performing Arts in Manhattan. His mother is American and his father is from Puerto Rico.


Rivera's first national exposure came with the band Tycoon in the mid-1970s. From this venture he met the legendary producer Robert John "Mutt" Lange. Lange, as part of an association with Mick Jones and Lou Gramm of Foreigner, introduced Rivera to the "big leagues" of rock music, recording and performing.

Over the years, Rivera has worked with Hall & Oates, Tycoon, Peter Gabriel on his groundbreaking So album – where Rivera played on "Sledgehammer" and "Big Time", Simon & Garfunkel, John Lennon, Billy Ocean, and Eagles guitarist Joe Walsh.

Rivera has played with Billy Joel and his band since 1982, replacing Richie Cannata.

In 1995, Rivera joined Ringo Starr & His All-Starr Band, with which he would continue for several tours.

See also[edit]

Musical director[edit]

Rivera's work as a musical director has gained recognition from his association with Ringo Starr & His All-Starr Band, Billy Joel and Elton John. In 2007, he was the Musical Director for "Dear Mr. Fantasy: A Celebration for Jim Capaldi" along with Steve Winwood, Joe Walsh, Paul Weller, Pete Townshend and Jon Lord. He has also developed a growing career in promoting and producing corporate entertainment and related events. His company, The Mark Rivera Entertainment Group, has produced events for HBO, IBM, Merrill Lynch, AT&T, Coldwell Banker, Northwest Airlines and numerous trade associations, charitable events, and local/national educational groups.


Rivera's professional endorsements include Yamaha Saxophones, Fender, AMT Microphones, Eventide, and Korg USA.

External links[edit]