Steve Sunnarborg and Hekar Rivera met in 1996
when Sunnarborg saw Rivera play with the  Delaney Gibson Band at Nicholby’s in Ventura.

“I watched in awe as he played guitar, bass guitar and keyboards -- all masterfully,” Sunnarborg remembers. Soon after, the two crossed paths in the Ventura College Music Department. At that meeting, Rivera mentioned that he also plays violin “better than the other instruments.” Sunnarborg suggested the two get together and they have been making music and delighting listeners ever since.

Rivera began his musical education by learning classical guitar as a child in Mexico City. He earned an associate’s degree in music at Ventura College while also studying violin with Henry Schwab. Schwab is best known as violinist in the Berlin and Paris philharmonic orchestras. Rivera’s composition Opulenta Obsesion was performed in Minneapolis and his Trio in E Minor was presented in New York, both by Juilliard violinist Erik Carlson. Rivera has toured with Los Fugitivos, an internationally-known Rock en Espanol act. Rivera operates Hekar Rivera Productions, a state-of-the-art musical production and instruction facility.

Sunnarborg earned a bachelor of music degree in classical guitar performance from California State University, Northridge where he won the Andres Segovia Memorial Scholarship and the Randy Rhoads Memorial Scholarship. As lead guitarist of several heavy metal bands in Hollywood in the 1970s and ‘80s, Sunnarborg played at the legendary Roxy, Whiskey-A-Go-Go and Gazzari’s On The Strip. In addition to performing,,, Sunnarborg owns and operates The Ventura Guitar Academy where he teaches guitar, bass guitar and songwriting.

The Rivera Sunnarborg Duo composed,, performed and recorded music for the Rubicon Theater Company winning the Garland Award from Backstage West for Original Music for the company’s production of Murder In The First. Other composition credits include Night of the Iguana and Driving Miss Daisy, which was also used in the Manitoba Theater Company’s production of that play.

They perform original compositions as well as interpretations of jazz, rock and classical standards, all influenced by classical training, gypsy rhythms, and heavy metal. Their surprising arrangements run the gamut from Bach’s Air on a G String to Guns n Roses’ Sweet Child of Mine. They play with passion, precision and wit.

The Rivera Sunnarborg Duo is putting the finishing touches on a CD that will be released in 2017.



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