Rivers family thankful for recognition

By Adel Fruean ,

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Renata Rivers in pink together with family and friends.

Renata Rivers in pink together with family and friends. (Photo: Misiona Simo)

The Samoan family of renowned jazz singer Mavis Rivers have expressed their gratitude for the recognition she was given at the Samoana Jazz and Arts Festival 2018.

The jazz festival at the Taumeasina Island Resort’s ballroom last Saturday evening included a special tribute to the Samoan and New Zealand jazz singer. 

A member of the Rivers family who lives in Samoa, Renata Rivers, told the Samoa Observer how the tribute moved her and her family members.

“I am related to Mavis Rivers through my father’s side which obviously is from my grandfather’s side and my dad’s family is from Vaiala.

“It has been a long time coming, to see it happen and to have such a night like this dedicated in her memory is pretty awesome.

“It is very nice to witness the recognition especially like these old families like our family that I think are well-known by lot of people overseas than here locally,” she said.

Renata said the tribute was important as it showed that Samoans can also excel in music and the arts and not just sports. 

“The late Muaausa Shane Rivers was my father, he passed away three years ago and he was a musician as well.

“If my father was here, he would have so much to tell you, basically he was the one that basically inherited the whole musical genes of the Rivers side in our family.

“But sadly I did not inherit that musical side in our Rivers family, for my father, music was his passion and life was music itself,” she added.

According to Renata, her father loved all kinds of music and jazz was one of his all-time favourites. 

“He was the best person to talk to about Mavis’ musical background and was always very proud of Mavis’s accomplishments. Hopefully this tribute might inspire someone to be a musician.

“With this concert, it is such an eye-opener for the feeling that it brings to be entertained by a live band, which is quite rare in Samoa and not only live but also very well played music,” she added.

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