Though he's now 63 years old and an established legend in the jazz world, for much of his career, Paquito d'Rivera was known as a wünkerkind. As a child in Cuba, he picked up a love of wind instruments from his father, saxophonist and conductor Tito Rivera, and by 5 years old, Paquito was wielding the instrument on his own.
Though he racked up considerable renown from the island, at age 32, he fled to the United States, landing in the fertile New York musical scene. There, he quickly absorbed the jazz flavors of his adopted homeland, releasing acclaimed albums that traversed bebop and even classical, along with Latin rhythms. These days, d'Rivera continues to straddle these musical worlds and still plays with a freshness of his once-vaunted youth. He's also served as a mentor to many younger artists, including South Florida pianist Tony Madruga, who will join d'Rivera onstage for this special engagement on the Nova Southeastern campus.