Rivers, Oscar, Jr.

Oscar Rivers, Jr. is the quintessential representative of the Charleston-Orangeburg, South Carolina jazz connection. In the 1950’s, the Burke High School saxophone prodigy went to South Carolina State College where he built a reputation that still stands.

Rivers is a master bebop player, somewhere around Charlie Parker and Sonny Stitt, with whom he played in Chicago in the 1970’s.  When Rivers returned to Charleston he gigged in many bands on keyboards before he and his late wife, Fabian Rivers, formed Rivers and Company. Rivers has taught for decades in Charleston County public schools. He founded, leads and accompanies the Morris Brown AME Church Gospel Choir.  His trademark on the alto is “April in Paris.” He performed with the Charleston Jazz Initiative Legends Band in 2010 and is featured on its first CD recording.

Photo Courtesy of Alice Keeney

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