Little Johnny Rivero

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Legendary conguero, percussionist, producer, composer, bandleader Little Johnny Rivero was born in New York City to Puerto Rican parents. As a child, he was drawn to the rhythms of the rumberos who played at Jefferson and Randall’s Island parks.

He began practicing percussion at the age of ten and performed in the school band. Soon after, he took dance lessons, which led to performances on stage with the bands of the era and, at such famous venues as The Manhattan Center, The Colgate Gardens, The Copacabana and the world famous Palladium Ballroom.

At the age of fourteen, Little Johnny joined Orquesta Colon, the youngest Latin Band in New York City, and recorded two albums. Later, his parents moved to Puerto Rico, where he joined La Sonora Ponceña. After playing bongos for a year and a half, he switched to the congas and rekindled his love affair with the instrument. As a member of La Sonora, he traveled the world and recorded eighteen classic albums.