Known as one of the most versatile voices in Latin America and now North America, Maria Rivas skillfully combines American and Latin Jazz / Blues rhythms with lively yet sentimental music from around the world. She interprets her music in English, Spanish, Italian and Portuguese, and performs her own blend of traditional standards as well as music and lyrics she has composed herself.
Maria's unique sound is an intoxicating combination of classic American jazz and Latin music, with just the right splash of Brazilian accents, together with her signature mixture of indigenous, Caribbean, European, and African strains. From slow and sensuous, to very lively with a strong beat, her audiences love alternately to dance to her music, or sit and listen while being both moved and energized. A significant number of her audience members have described her performances as "magical"--their word.
Her exotic and varied repertoire includes American jazz and blues standards such as 'Funny Valentine', 'Route 66', 'Lush Life', and 'Summertime;' Latin classics like 'Bésame Mucho' and 'Moliendo Café;' smooth and sensuous Brazilian bossa nova tunes like 'Girl from Ipanema', 'Corcovado', 'Dindi' and 'One Note Samba'; movingly romantic ballads, such as 'My Romance' and 'Our Love is Here to Stay,' and many, many others.
During her musical career spanning over 30 years, Maria has released ten CDs while headlining concerts in Latin America, North America, Europe, and Asia. including the world-famous Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland. She entertains her audiences with her uniquely melodious voice and dynamic expression and stage presence, as well as her phenomenal 'Scat' improvisations, which have been favorably compared by music critics and audiences with those of Ella Fitzgerald.
Maria has won every prestigious singing award Venezuela and much of Latin America have to offer. Her hit song, MANDUCO, remained in the number one position on the charts in Latin America for many months, and in the top 10 for over 3 years, and turned her into a cultural icon. Maria now makes her home in South Florida.
Ms. Rivas also became known as the vocalist most associated with Venezuela's most prominent and beloved composer of the 20th century, Maestro Aldemaro Romero. Ms. Rivas and Maestro Romero collaborated during 20 years of concerts, both acoustic with piano and voice, as well as with symphonic orchestras. Over the course of this period, Ms. Rivas achieved an intensely personal style of interpretation of Maestro Romero's work, which continues to influence her Jazz interpretations and improvisations.
Maria is also an innovative and accomplished painter and visual artist, with a refreshing and distinctive style. She has created works on multiple media, and these now grace the galleries of museums and collectors around the world. Maria's latest paintings are her "American Jazz Greats" Series. In this Series, she has created highly original interpretations on canvas of some of the greatest artists in Jazz history, including (alphabetically) Chet Baker, Miles Davis, and Nina Simone. Art critics have raved that the viewer can actually experience the sensation of listening to these great performers while simply looking at Maria's paintings. Maria frequently exhibits her art during her musical performances, creating a tremendously attractive and unusual combination of delights for her audiences.
Maria Rivas is a renowned environmentalist and humanitarian in her native Venezuela. Among her many charitable works, she has been instrumental in popularizing the Recycling movement in that nation. An example of her innovative approach was her series of concerts where the ticket of admission was paid by young patrons in the form of bags of Recycled Garbage brought to the concert!! She also has devoted her leadership skills in Hatha Yoga and meditation to women and teenage inmates in Venezuela prisons, where she led successful programs to reach numerous prisoners through her positive example and teachings.
For more information about Maria Rivas, please visit her website by copying this link into your browser: www.mariarivas.us