The Chicago Cuatro Orchestra was founded by Orlando and David Rivera, two professional music teachers from Chicago, and has performed in many important cultural venues. Among others, the Orchestra has performed at The Chicago Symphony Orchestra Center, The Auditorium Theatre, The Great Chicago Theater, and at The Millennium Park Harris Theatre.
The Chicago Cuatro Orchestra is proud to celebrate its 25th Anniversary in 2021 and continues to focus its efforts on the city’s youth through continued partnerships with community organizations and with Chicago Public Schools. It has as a goal to seek out other opportunities to engage diverse communities for collaboration.
The concept for creating an orchestra and an educational program dedicated to the Puerto Rican cuatro began in 1996 when brothers, professional musicians and CPS teachers, David and Orlando Rivera began to offer free cuatro and Spanish guitar classes to Humboldt Park community children. Since then, the Rivera brothers have helped to educate over 2,000 students.
In September 2011, the Chicago Cuatro Orchestra Project (CCOP) was created as a non-profit organization to formally organize the program. The CCOP received determination as an IRS 501(c)3 organization in January 2012.
The CCOP provides free music instruction to children and adults through several programs: Beginners and Intermediate classes, the Preparatory Cuatro Orchestra, and the advanced Chicago Cuatro Orchestra. The programs consist of weekly music instruction, development of live performance skills, and opportunities to acquire studio recording experience. The more accomplished students also develop their skills as the next generation of instructors as they mentor other students.
The CCOP reaches out to the community by conducting educational workshops, seminars, and live music performances with an impact to over 6,000 guests each year.
Our holistic music programs transform the lives of our students and positively impacts our community.