Rivera, a social and arts activist, started performing at the age of 12 and has been a part time musician for the last 60 years. His love for music led him to Teal Records in 1971 where he became Teal’s black artists recording engineer. 

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From 1979 he combined his eco farming career with a home studio where he recorded many budding artists attending the farm school that he and his wife, Diane had built on their organic herb farm. In 1994 Nino and Diane also assisted the local Zulu community who had, during the apartheid era, been removed from their tribal homeland. They convinced Minister Hanekom, the minister of Land Affairs in the new ANC government, to purchase farmland big enough to house the 200 affected families.

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In 2015 he brought this passion and vison to Cape Town where he formed Rootspring, a dedicated NPC promoting artists live performances and field recordings with lifelong friend, Jonny Blundell. Rootspring, renowned for their small, curated concerts, hosted up to 80 performing artists in 2019. During Covid they continued to sustain artists through their field projects. The highly acclaimed Karoo project was showcased on the KKNK ABSA online portal in 2021, showcasing artists such as Zolane, from Freshly Ground, Jitsvinger and Native Young.

He also helped fund Pedro Espi Sanches’ Xylofun project that reached more than 30 rural schools country-wide.

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