In the same way that many rivers flow to the sea, many creative tributaries in pianist/composer Steve Rivera’s life have merged to form the musical artistry he has achieved at this point in his life. As all talented artists will attest to, one never stops growing, learning, and improving. However, even at this early stage of his career, Rivera has already garnered respect and glowing reviews.
Steve Rivera learned to play the piano from his father, starting at the age of eight. By thirteen, he was regularly playing at church functions as well as in a variety of bands, ranging from punk rock and alternative to blues and jazz. After graduating high school, he “heard the call” and realized that making and recording music was his life’s ambition.
Steve’s pathway next featured studying composing and conducting at Hope University in Fullerton, California, followed by touring as a member of a singing group and interning at several area churches as an assistant music director. He continued evolving his craft over the years, leading to gigs composing, performing, and recording for several musical theatre productions for the Golden State Theatre Company (performed at The La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts, in La Mirada, California). Rivera has also scored for a film trailer, social media & promotional ads. He currently performs regularly in a variety of southern California venues. One of his current works in progress which he is immensely proud of is writing the full production musical, The Parable, serving as composer, lyricist, and author.
First “true” debut recording
At this juncture in his ever-advancing career, Rivera has upped his game substantially with the release of his first “true” debut recording, Dividing The Darkness. In order to fulfill his creative vision for this project, Steve chose to work with one of the premier contemporary instrumental producers in the world—Grammy-winner and founder of the legendary Windham Hill Records label, Will Ackerman. Working with Ackerman’s roster of world-class studio musicians at Imaginary Road Studios, Rivera recorded an album that has garnered critical acclaim from many highly-regarded reviewers in the genre. Ackerman himself refers to the emotional range heard in Dividing The Darkness as “…a testament to the resilience of the human soul and the power of hope.” Another reviewer described Dividing The Darkness as “A magnificent debut album from a composer and pianist who demonstrates an astonishing level of sophistication, intensity, and heartfelt emotional expressivity. The music is innovative, varied in style, and consistently distinctive and memorable.”
Rivera states, “Being a musician is about being able to put feelings, emotion, and expression into music that is relatable to others and transcends verbal communication in a way that transports people from one place to another. Everyone has a God given talent. And when that talent is realized and pursued in a positive way, its limits may be nonexistent.”