Paquito D’Rivera is a 14 Grammy winning jazz and classical music legend. The Cuban-born clarinet, saxophone, flute player, composer, and band leader plays one of the happiest horns you may ever hear.
Paquito was a founding member of Irakere (1973), the Cuban jazz band that mixed bebop with rock and Cuban folk. Irakere was an important step in the transition from Cuban son to timba.
The music of the Americas is incredibly diverse. Paquito plays it all incredibly well. He makes it all sound so easy and natural.
Paquito D’Rivera in New York City
Paquito D’Rivera joins the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis for Tres Aguas & Music of Colombia, premieres of Elio Villafranca’s “Tres Aguas” and Edmar Castaneda’s “Music of Colombia;” at Jazz at Lincoln Center on Columbus Circle; on Friday, April 14, 2023 at 8pm. From $41. jazz.org 🇨🇺🇨🇴
Spanish Harlem Orchestra with special guests Paquito D’Rivera and Hermán Olivera play their coming album “Imágines Latinas” at Hostos Center in Mott Haven, The Bronx on Sat, May 14, 2022 at 7:30pm. From $25. hostos.cuny.edu 🇵🇷🇨🇺🇵🇷
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-folk 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.
As far as we know, 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 (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 (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 (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 (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.
To learn more about Paquito, visit PaquitoDRivera.com