Jazz and Classical master Paquito D’Rivera to play Blue Note Jazz Festival

Paquito D’Rivera is a Cuban-born clarinet, saxophone, flute player, composer, and band leader who is a true Jazz and Classical legend. He plays the happiest horn you may ever hear.

The music of the Americas is incredibly diverse. Paquito plays it all incredibly well. There’s Classical and Jazz with all kinds of flavors: Afro-Cuban, American Rock, Brazilian Samba, Argentine Tango, Dominican Merengue, Mexican, you name it. He makes it all sound so easy and natural.

Paquito is a Giant of Classical Jazz

A classically-trained child prodigy, Paquito debuted with the Cuban National Symphony when he was just 19. D’Rivera played a lot of Jazz in his middle years, but keeps coming back to Classical.

He switches effortlessly between the two idioms. It’s a real joy to hear him do that. Paquito will be bopping away and all of a sudden you’ll recognize Beethoven, Mozart, or Chopin. It’s always a smiling “Wow” moment.

Paquito first gained international attention as a founding member of Jazz-Rock-Folkloric band Irakere with pianist Chucho Valdés in 1973. The guys wanted to play Jazz. The Cuban government of the time wouldn’t allow it. So the band added an African rhythm section and called it folkloric. The result was a hit. Irakere toured the world, won a 1979 Grammy, and influenced everyone who followed.

Irakere in 1979. Paquito solos at 11:25
Paquito is the only artist to have won Grammy® Awards in both the Classical and Latin Jazz categories.

Paquito D’Rivera’s Award-Winning Albums

Paquito has recorded more than 30 solo albums since 1967 and done many collaborations. 14 of his records are Grammy winners.

Jazz Meets the Classics

Jazz Meets the Classics (2014, Sunnyside/Paquito) won “Best Latin Jazz Album” at the 16th Annual Latin Grammy Awards.

Song For Maura

Song For Maura with Trio Corrente (2013, Sunnyside/Paquito) won “Best Latin Jazz Album” at the 56th Annual GRAMMY Awards and the 15th Annual Latin GRAMMY Awards. Maura is Paquito’s mother.

Panamericana Suite

Panamericana Suite (2010, MCG Jazz) won “Best Classical Contemporary Composition” AND “Best Latin Jazz Album” at the 12th Annual Latin GRAMMY Awards. It really is a Panamerican Suite. Paquito touches the music of the entire continent, and we have a lot of different music.

Funk Tango

Funk Tango (2007, Sunnyside) won “Best Latin Jazz Album” at the 50th Grammy Awards.


Merengue, a live recording with Yo-Yo Ma at Carnegie Hall (2004, Sony Records) won “Best Instrumental Composition” at the 47th Annual Grammy Awards.

Brazilian Dreams

Brazilian Dreams (2002, MCG) won “Best Latin Jazz Album” at the 4th Annual Latin Grammy Awards.

Historia del Soldado

Historia del Soldado (2003, DD&R) won “Best Classical Album” at the 4th Annual Latin Grammy Awards.

Live at the Blue Note

Live at the Blue Note (2000, Half Note) won “Best Latin Jazz Album” at the 2nd Annual Latin Grammy Awards.

Tropicana Nights

Tropicana Nights (1999, Chesky) won “Best Latin Jazz Album” at the 1st Annual Latin Grammy Awards.

Portraits of Cuba

Portraits of Cuba (1996, Chesky) won “Best Latin Jazz Performance” at the 39th Annual Grammy Awards.


Irakere (1978-1979, CBS) won “Best Latin Recording” at the 22nd Annual Grammy Awards.

Paquito D’Rivera and Chucho Valdés at the White House

Paquito D’Rivera in NYC 2017 – 2018 Season

Paquito lives in metropolitan New York so he is around.

Panamericana Suite from Jazz film Calle 54 (2000)

Paquito D’Rivera Ensemble: The Latin Jazz Chronicles is at Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola in Jazz at Lincoln Center Friday – Sunday, September 29 – October 1, 2017.

Salsa Meets Jazz for Puerto Rico is a benefit concert for Puerto Rico featuring Paquito D’Rivera (Cuban), Bobby Sanabria MULTIVERSE Big Band (Puerto Rican), David Amram, Candido, Jimmy Owens, Randy Brecker, Jon Faddis, Larry Harlow, Eddie Montalvo, Brenda Feliciano, Antoinette Montague, Mariposa and Felipe Luciano, plus DJ Antonio Ocasio (Tribal Winds) and many more surprise guests at Le Poisson Rouge in Greenwich Village on Monday, October 23, 2017 at 7:30 pm. $50 | $75 | $100

Hot and Cool Jazz: The Paquito D’Rivera Ensemble plays the Wilton Library in Wilton, Connecticut on October 28, 2017 at 7:30 pm.

The Quintet plays Jazz Forum Arts in Tarrytown, New York on December 8-9, 2017 at 7 & 9 pm. $30

New Year’s Eve with Paquito d’Rivera & Carlos Henriquez is Sunday, December 31, 2017.

Paquito plays To Bird with Stringsa concert of arrangements of Charlie Parker’s Bird With Strings album as a special Jazz at Lincoln Center 30th Anniversary Concert, on Friday – Saturday, March 16 – 17, 2018 at 8 pm. $35 – $125 Get tickets

The Paquito D’Rivera Ensemble plays the Blue Note Jazz Festival at the Blue Note in Greenwich Village Tuesday – Thursday, June 12 – 17, 2018 with shows at 8 & 10:30 pm.

Paquito D’Rivera in NYC 2016 – 2017 Season

Paquito D'Rivera by Lane Pederson

Paquito D’Rivera | Lane Pederson courtesy of the artist

Paquito played Latin Jazz at the 92nd Street Y’s Kaufmann Concert Hall on Saturday, April 8, 2017.

Paquito presents Los Seuños del Caribe (Dreams of the Caribbean): People, Land, and Place at the American Museum of Natural History in the Upper West Side Saturday, May 13, 2017. It’s the premiere of a new work of music and poetry developed with students from the Delia Cruz Bronx High School of Music.

Paquito D’Rivera in NYC 2014 – 2015 Season

D’Rivera played “Around the Americas” at Jazz at Lincoln Center March 27-28, 2015.

Paquito D’Rivera in NYC 2013 – 2014 Season

D’Rivera played “Latin Jazz Traditions” at Carnegie Hall on May 16, 2014.

To learn more about Paquito, visit PaquitoDRivera.com


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