Mario Rivera, known for his stage name "Mayito" Rivera, is a highly acclaimed Cuban vocalist. For over twenty years, he fronted the famous Cuban band Los Van Van, displaying his remarkable vocal talent across various musical genres, from rumba and son to salsa, bolero, and timba.
His performances consistently impress audiences worldwide with their strength, dynamism, finesse, and tenderness.
Born on January 19, 1966, in Pinar del Río, Cuba, Mayito's musical journey began early in his hometown.
He later moved to Havana, where he spent fourteen years studying percussion at the prestigious National Art School and continued advanced studies at the Higher Institute of Art.
Mayito's musical career took off when he joined Albita Rodríguez's musical group after completing his training. He also played bass for Grupo Moncada, known for blending traditional Cuban rhythms with innovation.
However, at the age of 26, Mayito Rivera's life took a major turn when he was discovered by Juan Formell, the visionary director of Los Van Van, a legendary orchestra. Initially, he joined as a bass player and backup vocalist, but he quickly became the lead vocalist, leaving an enduring impact on the group's identity. Over two decades, his fresh style and vocal talent contributed significantly to Los Van Van's global success. He received Grammy Award nominations and awards, and his unique voice became synonymous with the group's salsa hits.
Alongside his work with Los Van Van, Mayito pursued solo projects. In 1999, he released his debut solo album, "Pa' bachatear... Chappotín," paying tribute to traditional Conjunto Chappotín songs. His second solo album, "Negrito bailador" (2005), featured his compositions, including rumba elements, showcasing his creativity. This album gained recognition and even received a Grammy nomination for Best Salsa Album of the Year in the United States under the title "Llego la hora."
Beyond his solo work, Mayito Rivera collaborated with various Cuban orchestras and became a sought-after guest artist for salsa greats like Oscar D'León, Gilberto Santa Rosa, and Issac Delgado.
After leaving Los Van Van in 2011, Mayito's career continued to thrive with world tours in countries such as the United States, Canada, Venezuela, Colombia, Mexico, Peru, Argentina, France, Germany, Denmark, Spain, and Italy.
Mayito Rivera's exceptional vocal talent and rumba-infused artistry also shine in his role as a member of the Soneros de Verdad orchestra, led by singer Luis Frank Arias. This collaboration combines traditional son with the lively energy of Cuban vocal art and earned international acclaim through sold-out world tours.
In 2014, Mayito Rivera launched a tour with his own orchestra, captivating audiences with his unique blend of traditional and modern interpretations. Throughout his decades-long career, his magnetic presence and outstanding vocal skills continue to inspire and captivate audiences, solidifying his legacy as a timeless Cuban musical icon.