The Jazz Session #333: Sam Rivers (1923-2011)

NOTE: I’m reposting this 2009 interview with Sam Rivers to commemorate his passing on Dec. 26, 2011. Nate Chinen has collected many of the remembrances of Rivers on his blog.


Sam Rivers is a musical renaissance man. He’s performed in big bands, bop bands, R&B groups, blues bands and free-jazz ensembles. Rivers is currently composing adventurous large-ensemble music (such as is found on his 2006 CD Aurora) in an unlikely location: Orlando, Florida. In this interview, Rivers talks about his early days in Boston; how he was recruited by Jimi Hendrix while playing with Cecil Taylor; and how a tour with Dizzy Gillespie led to his relocation to Florida. Learn more at

Author: Jason Crane

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