Latin Beat Magazine Blog



"Angelitos" (Chencho Rivera)

Enjoying a musical career that initially started in 1947 in New York City, Inocencio "Chencho" Rivera (a native of Arecibo, PuertoRico) relocated to Los Angeles in the early 1950s. In 1960, he joined the legendary Pérez Prado Orchestra as its bassist, touring extensively throughout the world for six years. Upon his return to New York City, he worked with Tito Rodríguez, Ray Barretto, Cándido, Willie Colón, and Cal Tjader, among others. In Puerto Rico, Rivera joined forces with Lito Peña's popular Panamericana Orchestra until 1973, before moving to Boston, Massachusetts, in order to complete his studies at the Berklee School of Music. After graduating, he became a professor at Berklee and led said music school's Latin Ensemble, prior to a short stint with Tito Puente's orchestra in New York City.

Chencho Rivera currently lives and works in Arecibo, Puerto Rico. He has traded the bass for the Puerto Rican cuatro – the first string instrument he played as a child-due to its light portability (in comparison to the heavier bass and its amplifier) and melodic voice. His new recording, as leader  and instrumentalist of Conjunto Abacoa, features ten scores (including two of his own compositions– Descarga Jíbara and the title track "Angelitos," reinforced  with  the great musicians :    Giovanni Hidalgo, (congas), Eric Figueroa (piano), Tito de Gracia, Humberto Ramirez

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