Tuesday, April 07, 2015

Ou se van / You are the wind

No creo ni en la luz eléctrica.

I do not "believe" in anything.

Pero a veces lo único que me saca la fuerza interna es invocar mitos y símbolos más allá de mi.

But sometimes the only way I can tap into my inner strength is to invoke myths and symbols that go way beyond me.

Papa Loko ou se van pouse n ale
Nou se papiyon na pote nouvel bay Agwe

Papa Loko, you are the wind. Blow on us!
We are butterflies sweeping in from the sea, bringing news

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Our New Mexico Tour

I'm overjoyed to announce...

Tuesday, January 06, 2015

The Fourth Magii... or El Cuarto Rey Mago

Written from Albuquerque, New Mexico... while my heart is in Naranjito, Puerto Rico.

January 6, the day of the Three Magii, aka the Three Wise Men, aka Los Tres Reyes Magos has long been special in our family –as in so many other families.

Nowadays, it is even more special because one of the beloved members of our family who has recently passed on (Papá Gato, my dad) can no longer be seen with plain sight as he rides his horse and plays his accordion or guitar, dressed up as one of the Magii.

Last night, our original plan was to make crowns with little Nico for the Three Magii. But he fell asleep in the car and we decided not to wake him up.

So we set up our altar and offering: Fidel cut some grass from the greenhouse. I filled a bowl with water.

As I lit a candle in front of the picture of Papá Gato and two friends dressed up as the Three Magii, it dawned on me that, since he has transitioned, our family tradition now includes another Magii.

We now have Four Magii to celebrate!

I told my brother Jorge this morning. He loved my conclusion and told me that one of the many stories related to the Magii actually says there were Four Magii. But one of them never made it to Bethlehem.


I told Nico this morning that our little altar where he found his scooter this morning was a symbol of our love for the Magii. That's why we put out grass and water for the animals. Three camels for the "Eastern" Magii from the ancestral story. A horse for the Caribbean Magii who is now part of the way we tell our story.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Cover Girl

I'm the cover girl for the most recent issue of the New York Folklore Society's journal Voices!

I knew that they were publishing an interview and excerpts of my writing. But not that I would be on the cover. I'm ecstatic and honored.

You can read excerpts of my interview and writings here.

Monday, October 20, 2014

In Musical Rapture

I'm in awe of The Bowdoin Orient's photographer Eliza Graumlich having captured two moments that encapsulate why we make music as Ojos de Sofía.

Yasser Tejeda. Photo by Eliza Graumlich / The Bowdoin Orient.
From left to right, Bryan Vargas, Raquel Z. Rivera and Anabellie Rivera.
Photo by Eliza Graumlich / The Bowdoin Orient.
The bottom picture captures the first time I've danced in front of the drum during one of our gigs. What came over me? I'm not sure. Whatever the answer may be...

Here's to soon making some more music together!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Home Coming

A beautiful home coming, after a beautiful two weeks on musical tour.

Sunday, August 03, 2014

Ojos de Sofia Fall 2014 Tour

I've been longing to once again play Las Décimas del Amargue & Other Songs of Love with my dearest Ojos de Sofia band mates. That's been ever since last December when we debuted Las Décimas as our new song series featuring original musica jibara, bachata, salves and bomba, as well as classic boleros.

And I'm getting my wish starting September 22nd!

We'll start in Southern California, then New Jersey, New York City, Boston, Maine, back to NYC, then Western Massachusetts. And we may be adding more dates/places soon.
Here's the NYC flyer:

And here are the tour dates, as they stand right now:

Raquel Z. Rivera & Ojos de Sofía 

Tour de Las Décimas del Amargue

September 22 | Time TBD
Artist talk and décimas writing workshop

Pomona College

333 N College Way, Claremont, CA

September 23 | 7:00 pm


1030 Columbia Ave, Claremont, CA 91711

September 25 | 7:00 pm

Rutgers University

Gathering Lounge, Livingston Student Center, 84 Joyce Kilmer Ave., Piscataway, NJ 08854

Friday, September 26 | 9:00 pm

Terraza 7

40-19 Gleane St, Elmhurst, Queens, NY

Monday, September 29 | 1:30 pm
Artist talk and musical demonstration

Northeastern University

342 Huntington Ave, Blackman Auditorium, Boston, MA 02115

Tuesday, September 30 | 12 noon
Artist talk and musical demonstration

Tufts University

419 Boston Ave, Medford, MA 02155‎

Wednesday, October 1st | Times TBD

Bowdoin College

3725 College St, Brunswick, ME 04011

Saturday, October 4 | 8:00 pm 


376 9th St., Park Slope, Brooklyn, NY
Suggested donation $10

And for a taste of some of the songs we're featuring on this tour...

Audio (Streaming and Download):

I'm hoping to see many of you, dear readers, on the road!