Saturday, October 7, 2023

The Central Florida music community honors the life and legacy of the late Sam Rivers, celebrating his 100th birthday with a day of activities at the History Center. A true legend in the world of jazz, Rivers spent the latter part of his life and career in Orlando, discovering a whole new audience alongside a group of talented local musicians.

Panel Discussion
A panel discussion at 2 p.m. about Sam Rivers’s life and work, with special insight into his time in Orlando, will include:

Monique Rivers Rencher – Daughter of Sam Rivers
Doug Mathews – Longtime bassist and bandleader of the Sam Rivers Rejuvenation Orchestra
Rick Lopez – Sam Rivers historian and author of The Sam Rivers Sessionography
Michael Heller – Jazz scholar and associate professor at the University of Pittsburgh department of Music, home of the Sam Rivers Archive
Matt Gorney, moderator – Rivers’s manager and producer during his time in Orlando

Sam Rivers and Saxophone

Sam Rivers, courtesy of Jim Leatherman.

You may also visit the Figurehead: Music & Mayhem in Orlando’s Underground exhibition, enjoy a pop-up exhibit featuring photographs of Sam Rivers in Central Florida by noted local photographer Jim Leatherman, and The Sam Rivers Sessionography by Rick Lopez will be available for purchase by the author.

All daytime activities are included with museum admission. 

Evening Concert
The celebration continues with an evening concert by the Sam Rivers Rejuvenation Orchestra at The Social. Rivers’s 16-piece orchestra has continued to perform for audiences still eager to hear his unique compositions played live. This will be a very special concert not to be missed.

Sam Rivers Rejuvenation Orchestra
Live in concert, doors 6 p.m., show 7 p.m. at The Social: $10
The Social, 54 N. Orange Ave., Orlando, FL 32801

Learn more about Sam Rivers life, career, and time in Central Florida in this Orlando Weekly tribute written by Sam Rivers 100 Discussion Panel moderator Matt Gorney.


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