Born in El Salvador, Central America , the son of a Nicaraguan father and Salvadorean mother, Bobby began at the young age of six .
At age eleven, Bobby participated in the “Buscando Estrellas” festival, from which he emerged a finalist. At thirteen, he joined the Chucho Tovar Flores orchestra, in which he had the opportunity to travel and to relocate to Los Angeles, California.
In 1977 he joined the “LA Compañia” orchestra, where he was introduced to the Tropical Music scene in Los Angeles. In 1980, the promoter Roberto Rivera invited Bobby to form his own group. Bobby began to perform at the Hollywood Palladium, opening for such legends as El Gran Combo, Ruben Blades, Willie Colon, Machito, Celia Cruz, and others. It was here that his intense desire to sing Salsa was born. He united with his brother musicians from the barrio, Alex Acuña, Luis Conte, Yari More, Justo Almario and others, to form “The Los Angeles Salsa All Stars,” a twenty piece super band famous for their Tuesday night descargas at the Peruvian Room.
It was here that Bobby quickly caught the attention of the media.
Newspapers, television, and radio stations praised Bobby for possessing one of the privileged voices, capable of great power and style, as well as sweetness. It was this sweetness that Bobby cultivated while interpreting romantic ballads and boleros, gaining entrance to an increasing number of international Song Festivals, both as a singer and as a composer.
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In 1986, Bobby took first prize in the OTI festival in Los Angeles. He accepted invitations to sing in the the Worlds great song festivals, such as The Curacao Song Festival, Holland Casino Sheveningeng, Colombia Festibuga, Peru Ancon Festival, and New Yorks’ “Festival Latino de la Cancion”.
Between festivals and concerts, Bobby was busy singing and producing music for television and films and commercials with such great producers as Bebu Silvetti, Jorge Calandrelli, Hector Garrido,Harry Manfrediny,Emilio Kauderer, Cesar Benitez, Sandy Stein, Ramon Flores, Gustavo Farias, Kenny Obrien, Jesus Alejander Perez “El Niño”and others. He enjoyed great reward and acclaim for his work in “Las Palmas De Oro” in Mexico City, acting in the movie “Pesadilla En Las Vegas,” starring Cornelio Reyna Jr. “L.A.Confidential.” Bobby Riva’s voice is the voice of Sebastian in the Spanish version of “The Little Mermaid.” His Music is also featured in “The Shield FX.” Mr. Rivas has also shared the stage with the likes of Diego Verdaguer, Celia Cruz, Dyango, Braulio, Lucho Gatica, Antonio Prieto, Olga Guillot, Daniel Santos, Bobby Capo, Anacani, Marisela, Trigo Limpio, Angela Carrasco, Lupita Ferrer, Tierra, War and many others.
Bobby recorded an album with Ecuadorian composer, Enrique Izquieta, that was overseen by Nelson Ned. Other recordings followed, including “Paisajes”, dedicated to the country of Bolivia, and “Salsa Merengue Bolivia,” both of which saw Bobby performing in that country.
On stage, Bobby is a dynamic performer who holds satisfying the audience’s need for entertainment as his number one responsibility. He is a master of combining the art of music with diversion. He has performed on stages around the world, and his shows are wildly in demand for a variety of venues including television specials, concert halls, festivals, casinos, clubs, hotels, social and corporate events and fundraisers.