Brooklyn native Mark Rivera remembers the two most pivotal points in his young life. The first was February 9th, 1964, when he first caught a glimpse of the Beatles on the Ed Sullivan Show. “At that precise moment,” he states, “I knew John and Paul had changed my life forever." The second was when he was accepted into The High School of Performing Arts in Manhattan (the "FAME" school), he embarked on a diverse, multi-dimensional career that has taken him on spins around the globe with the biggest names in the music and entertainment business. From his first tour in 1972 with the original "Soul Men" Sam & Dave, to joining forces in 1980 with Foreigner, Mark has developed a style that blends his love for both R & B and Rock n' Roll.
In 1982 Mark joined the Billy Joel Band and his ongoing association with Billy, now in its 29th year, has been a hallmark of his career.
In the mid 1990s Mark became Ringo Starr's music director. In Mark's own words, he is most proud of his continuing relationship with Ringo. When asked about this association, Mark smiles and responds, "I'm living a dream." Throughout this time he has proudly led Ringo’s All-Star Band, working with such music legends as Jack Bruce (Cream), Peter Frampton, Billy Preston, John Entwistle (The Who), Gary Brooker (Procol Harum), Roger Hodgsons (Supertramp), Simon Kirke (Free), John Waite, Rod Argent (The Zombies) Greg Lake (E.L.P), Ian Hunter (Mott The Hoople) and, most recently, Edgar Winter, Gary Wright, Rick Derringer, and Richard Page (Mr. Mister).
Mark has toured or recorded with artists like Elton John, Peter Gabriel, Hall & Oates, and Simon & Garfunkel. Early in 2007, he took pleasure in leading a UK concert celebrating the life of Jim Capaldi, founding member and drummer of Traffic. The star-studded lineup included Steve Windwood, Pete Townshend, Joe Walsh, Bill Wyman and many more.
At Shea Stadium in 2009, he shared the stage with Tony Bennett, Don Henley, Roger Daltrey, Steven Tyler, John Mellencamp, Garth Brooks and Paul McCartney, and at the Rock n' Roll Hall Of Fame’s historic 2009 25th anniversary celebration, he was honored to back Bruce Springsteen.
On July 7th 2010 he was asked by longtime friend Joe Walsh to put a band together to celebrate Ringo’s 70th Birthday. A band that featured one Beatle, Sir Paul McCartney was joined at the finale by a second, Ringo himself, which was, Mark said, “Like watching the dream come full circle.”
Transposing his musical skills into entrepreneurial ventures in financial services and corporate entertainment, Mark has made appearances in corporate training and commercial videos and has assembled All-Star concert events for multi-national companies including IBM, Harman International, HBO, AOL, and The Committee of One Hundred of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
As well as being passionate about the music business, Mark cares deeply about its charitable side. His work with groups like Michael J. Fox's Foundation For Parkinson's Research, The Miami Children’s Hospital, Cure Autism Now Foundation (CAN), the Red Cross, and many others speaks volumes about his commitment to "giving back" for being so blessed in life.
Along with some very talented and caring friends, Mark is currently developing a program to educate and engage young people in inner city school districts. This new, ongoing project has reminded him of the joy that only music can bring.
“Music… Because it Matters”
Peace, Love & Hope Always…MR