Bassist /composer Mike Rivard defies easy categorization and finds himself at home in a bewildering array of settings: From the low-rock of Morphine to the mountains of Morocco with local Berber musicians, with side trips into the Broadway pits of The Lion King and Wicked to sitting in with Medeski Martin & Wood.Growing up in the wide expanses of Minnesota he assimilated the local sounds of Prince, Husker Du, and free- jazz coming out of the Dinkytown/University of Minnesota milieu, before heading to Boston’s Berklee College of Music in 1981. While enrolled as both a composition and bass performance major, saxophonist Russ Gershon recruited him for his band Either/Orchestra, with which Rivard recorded four CDs and got his first taste of national touring. Through the E/O he also met and befriended two people who would remain prominent in his musical life for years to come: John Medeski and Mark Sandman. After Berklee, Rivard received a scholarship to study with jazz great Dave Holland at the Banff School of Fine Arts in Alberta, Canada. Upon his return to Boston he joined Sandman’s band Hypnosonics and quickly became the go-to guy for producers such as Jon Brion and Mike Denneen in the late 80s/early 90s local indie scene based around Q Division and Fort Apache Studio. He began a busy session schedule that included major label releases for The Story, Jen Trynin, Morphine, Patty Larkin, Guster, and Aimee Mann, amongst others. More national and international touring followed with Jonatha Brooke, Paula Cole and world/jazz group Natraj.