Bassist Mike Rivard defies easy categorization and finds himself at home in a bewildering array of settings, from the low-rock of Mark Sandman and Morphine, to the mountains of Morocco with local Berber musicians, with side trips into the Broadway pits of The Lion King and Wicked, and sessions with Medeski, Martin & Wood. Growing up in the wide expanses of Minnesota, he took in the local sounds of Prince, Husker Du, and the free-jazz coming out of the Dinkytown/University of Minnesota milieu, before heading to Boston’s Berklee College of Music in 1981. After graduating from Berklee with a B.A. in Performance, he studied with jazz legend Dave Holland. Inspired by North African gnawa music, he picked up a Moroccan sintir (three-stringed bass lute) and with guidance from Hassan Hakmoun and Maalem Mahmoud Gania, he has become one of a handful of Western musicians proficient on the instrument. He puts all of these instruments to good use in Club d’Elf, the jazz-world-dub-electronica collective he formed in 1998, and has produced 15 albums for the band over the past 25 years. A busy freelancer, his most recent projects include playing on new albums by Natalie Merchant and Ryan Montbleau. He has been the regular Rhythm Bassist with The Boston Pops Orchestra since 2009, as well as a founding member of Sawaari, whose music explores the nexus of Indian taals, Arabic maqams, and trance music from North Africa and Italy.
Club d’Elf: Website | Youtube | Instagram