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Rizo, Marco | University of Miami Finding Aids

Name: Rizo, Marco
Sources: Marco Rizo was a renowned pianist, arranger and composer born in Santiago de Cuba, Cuba in 1920. Rizo was musically trained first by his father, Sebastian Rizo, and later continued his formal studies at the Conservatorio de Música in Havana. In 1940 he migrated to New York City after being accepted with a scholarship at Julliard School of Music. During the 1950s he was recruited by his childhood friend Desi Arnaz to be the pianist and orchestrator of the TV show I Love Lucy. After the show ended he became the pianist-arranger for The Bob Hope Radio Show and organized his own group.  Rizo returned to academia, attending UCLA under the tutelage of Igor Stravinsky and Mario Castelnouvo-Tedesco.  During the 1980s he founded the non-profit organization, The Marco Rizo Latin American Music Project (better known as SAMPI), whose mission was to disseminate the appreciation of Latin music and culture,  targeting students attending higher education institutions and public schools.






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