Raquel is a contemporary jazz and world music vocalist from Guaynabo, Puerto Rico. In her new EP, He Needs Me, Rivera draws from her roots in Caribbean and Latin American music, as well as her love of traditional jazz to spin delightful interpretations of classic standards in both English and Spanish. The talent is set apart by her bright, smooth tone and her innovative delivery of tunes ranging in style.

Rivera's jazz training began in the artistically rich cultural hub of Berkeley, California as a teenager, where she studied with Gail Dobson and Trelawny Rose at the Berkeley Jazz School ( now known as California Jazz Conservatory ). She went on to attend the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts, where she explored an array of music from the Carribbean and South America, as well as the folk traditions of Spain and the Balkans. 

Rivera revisits her love of jazz in her brief yet powerful recording, He Needs Me. The 3 track EP was recorded live with a minimalist setup at Judson Memorial Church in the west village, where she was an artist in residence from 2016 - 2017. A religious space with a history of artistic patronage and social activism was truly a fitting home for this project, whose title track "He Needs Me" was inspired by Nina Simone's rendition of the same enduring piece. The recording features Berklee alumni Christian Li on Piano & Rob Taylor on the bass and was recorded, mixed and mastered by Pran Bandi.


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Judson Memorial Church

June 2018


Banner Photography by Travis Chambers Live Recording Photography by Chelsea Avery Live Recording Video by Taylor August