Mark Rivera

Mark Rivera's Biography

Imagine a young boy on a Sunday night staring at a black and white television watching The Ed Sullivan Show. The year is 1964. He recalls, "John and Paul changed my life forever".

This is the story of Mark Rivera and his passion to chase his dreams.

Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Mark attended the prestigious High School of Performing Arts known by many as "the Fame School". Upon graduation, he became the lead singer of the band Eclipse. Formed by Trumpet player Mike Lawrence, this band featured the likes of Tom Malone, Bruce and Tom Fowler and Bill Watrous. A year later he was playing bari sax for Sam & Dave. In the coming years Mark grew as a professional and had the pleasure to meet and play with some of New York City's top musicians.

By 1975, he was backing John Lennon for a number of TV performances with a band based out of Record Plant Studios. There he met and recorded with a band he later joined, Tycoon. It was during this time that Mark was introduced to "Mutt" Lange. Through that friendship, in 1980, Mark was asked to do some recording on Foreigner's 4, play some sax on "Urgent" and had the opportunity to sing background vocals with Lou Gramm & Mutt on both "Juke Box Hero" and "Waiting For a Girl Like You." To Mark it was "simply amazing." He then went on to tour with Foreigner for 16 months, after which he was called by David Brown and asked to come down to audition for Billy Joel's Nylon Curtin tour. The rest is history.

Mark has been recording and touring with Billy now for over 25 years. In 1983, while out with Billy Joel, Paul Simon came to a show and asked if he might do a short tour with Simon & Garfunkel. He ended up doing three tours and recording on Paul's Hearts & Bones. During a 1986 tour with Billy Joel, Mark was asked to fly back to NYC to arrange & record the horns on Peter Gabriel's "Sledgehammer." From 1989 until 1991, Mark recorded and toured with Hall & Oates.

A memorable call came in 1995 asking Mark to tour with one of his idols…Ringo Starr. Simply put, "it was a no-brainer." The first band was comprised of Billy Preston, Mark Farner (Grand Funk Railroad), John Entwistle (The Who), Felix Cavelleire (The Rascals), Randy Bachman (BTO) and Zack Starkey (The Who/Oasis). Mark took on a leadership role and became the Musical Director for that band.

Other stand out musicians that Mark has performed with as part of the Ringo Starr All-Starr Band include Jack Bruce (Cream), Peter Frampton, Gary Brooker (Procol Harum), Simon Kirke (Free/Bad Co.), Collin Hay (Men At Work), Roger Hodgson (Supertramp), Paul Carrack (Ace, Squeeze, Mike and the Mechanics) and the list goes on.

Mark works with Michael Cavanaugh, the talented front man for the Broadway hit musical Movin Out, doing a number of corporate dates as well as being the Music Director for the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research. Mark is also involved with Eden II Programs for Children with Autism. As Mark puts it, "I've been blessed with a loving family and the opportunities that I've been given. I hope to be able to continue with what has been the greatest job anyone could ever have."

The rest of the story is yet to unfold. It's safe to say Mark has touched many through his music and will continue to do so with unmatched energy.

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Mark Rivera