Johnny j Rivera
Johnny j Rivera
Mother and father were both vocal hobbyist and there was always music around the home. Self-Taught with occasional lessons from an uncle who played, Johnny learned to play Beatle songs out of easy guitar books. In Junior high school he played alto sax, and became a drummer when the school sax was sent in for repair and never came back. He formed his first band in junior high school and played the music of the time as well as old 50's Rock n Roll.
In 1985 he enrolled at Musicians Institute after seeing a flyer his best friend had in his bass case.. They, decided to attend together. The two and half hour bus ride from San Pedro to Hollywood was a life experience with a variety of characters entering, and exiting the bus ride every day. At Musicians Institute, he realised he was in way over his head as most of the students from all over the world were experienced players.
He found his savior in an instructor named Frank Gambale who tolerated his daily visits. His outlook on the guitar was changed. He claims he actually went to Frank Gambale Institute of Technology. Life and guitar lessons were learned in that small room he taught in.......While at MI he met another instructor (Norman Brown) who was looking for a keyboard player, he heard Johnny playing a Stevie Wonder song on a piano in an empty room, and asked if he would like to play in his newly form band.
The fact that he wasn't an experienced player was not an issue and he now found himself in a world with MONSTER players. Short lived as it was it was a confidence booster...Stormin Norman was signed to MOJAZZ. Johnny played many gigs in L.A and taught guitar after graduating. He took classes in audio engineering but found he missed playing.
Fast forward in 2010, Johnny released his first CD entitled "Trying To Catch Rain" (iTunes, Amazon,) with all original material that he composed over several years. Influenced by Steely Dan, Robben Ford, Larry Carlton, and Heatwave. Two songs of the album (released as singles) were voted Top 100 songs of 2009 by John Beaudin at smoothjazznow.com Johnny currently resides in Las Vegas with his family and will be the guitarist in Magaly's Addiction, a television show house band for AZTECA America Network. The show with the working title of "Se Me Hace Tarde con Humberto Luna" will premier in June of 2010 . Johnny has also formed his own band with plans to tour in support of his latest release....
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