__Juan Rivera was born in Aguililla, Michoacán. Both he and his brother developed an interest in music early on and went to Mexico City to pursue their studies at Casa de la Música Mexicana, where Juan later became an instructor. Juan Rivera studied the huasteco style of violin with Rolando “Quecho” Hernández and soon began recording with the group Son del Plueblo including two European tours with the dance troupe Compañia Nacional de Danza Folclórica de México.
__In 2001, Juan relocated to Chicago where he played with mariachi and son jarocho groups for several years. After a year-long stint in California, where Juan had an opportunity to study violin with Salvador “Don Chavita” Torres  (a fiddler with Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán for nineteen years), Juan returned to Chicago in the spring of 2005 to join Sones de México Ensemble and to continue his formal musical training at Wright College. Today, when he is not performing with the Ensemble, he continues to sit in with area mariachi bands and he teaches private music lessons.