About the Artist:
Laura Rivela began playing music at the age of four. Throughout her upbringing, she studied piano organ, ballet and tap dance, often performing in school talent shows and plays. A gifted musician, Miss Rivela also began to play several other instruments including the guitar, bass guitar, clarinet, flute, saxophone and the drums. Throughout this time, Miss Rivela was developing her vocal style, being influenced by singers such as Billie Holliday and Janis Joplin. At the age of thirteen, Miss Rivela began singing and performing pop and rock music with local musician. She often performed with her band Truancy at the South Huntington Teen Center, the West 48th Street Hall of Music Battle of the Bands, and other local establishments. In 1981 Miss Rivela, being the only female performer, won the Best Vocalist Award for the Munro Music Battle of the Bands. After that Miss Rivela studied Music Business at Five Towns College, receiving the Music Business Award of Excellence. She continued her studies in Music Theory and Composition at Hofstra University where she also served as a university mentor for other students. Miss Rivela's performances included classical duets, choral pieces, and working with student jazz ensembles. She also worked with numerous local musicians at parties, private receptions, and for church activities.
Soon after Miss Rivela joined the three piece group known as Step by Step. In between numerous gigs at catering halls, restaurants, backyard parties and resort destinations such as Gurney's Inn, she worked as a soloist who would transcribe, record, and perform her own MIDI background tracks. She also gave piano lessons and often did studio recording sessions. Eventually Miss Rivela joined the 9-piece group known as The Changing Times where she continued to develop her craft as a singer and keyboard player. While playing at an American Cancer Society fund raiser, Miss Rivela was approached by Class Act Enterprises. It was then she started MIDI sequencing for such groups as the Chordettes (Mister Sandman, Lollipop) and the Cleftones (Heart and Soul, Little Girl of Mine). She also wrote their musical charts and eventually she became the Musical Director for the Cleftones, traveling nationally and internationall with them. She has performed at venues such as the "From the Heart Concerts" at Nassau Coliseum; The Meadowlands Arena (now the Continental Arena); Mohegan Sun Hotel and Casino; Oneida Reservations Hotel and Casino; the Golden Nugget in Las Vegas; the "Rhythm Riot" weekend in Rye, England; "Screamin' Summer Festival" in Barcelona, Spain; and the renowned Sands in Atlantic City. She has worked with or alongside artists such as John Bowser from Sha Na Na, The Drifters, The Miracles, Laverne Baker, and Jerry Lee Lewis, just to name a few. Miss Rivela has also appeared on the PBS Doo-Wop Gold Concerts. Most recently she was awarded East End Arts 2012 Volunteer of the Year for her volunteerism and musical performance at their 40th Gala, held at Raphaels Winery in Peconic, New York.
Some of her teachers have been: Pop and jazz vocals, Estelle Morgen (Julliard and Yale technique); Classical piano, Tamara Slobodkin (Taubman technique); Classical Guitar, William Zito; Jazz piano, Wes Bellcamp; Music Theory, Dr. Howard Cinnamon; Solfeggio, Mortin Estrin; and Musical Arranging, Bugs Bower. Miss Rivela continues to record and perform nationally at various Eastern Long Island wineries, golf clubhouses, private parties, fundraisers, and restaurants.
For bookings check out her site, Laura Rivela Music.
Nick met Laura about 30 years ago, when his company Class Act Enterprises was managing the legendary group "The Chordettes” of “Mr Sandman” & “Lollipop” fame. Laura helped put a medley of classic songs together that represented their style, and genre of music. In this thirty year period Laura became the piano player for The Cleftones band, and on numerous occasions took over the Musical Director responsibilities. They are now in production mode to put together a CD of original, and classic songs.