The evolution of Jamie Rivera

January 26, 2019
Jamie Rivera with The Company
Jamie Rivera with The Company

IN demand ang mga singer-performer kapag dumarating ang Valentine’s Day kaya halos lahat (if not all) ay may kani-kanyang Valentine offering sa iba’t ibang venues.

The so-called Inspirational Diva and former OctoArts  recording artist and  hitmaker Jamie Rivera is joining forces with the country’s premier vocal group The Company  for a special Valentine concert at the Music Museum on February 14 at 8 p.m., “Jamie in Perfect Company” to be directed by Marvin Caldito.  Although nagkasama na rin noon sina Jamie at The Company in other shows, first time naman nilang magkaroon ng equal exposure in a concert which they both look forward to.

Tiyak na may special number si Jamie singing The Company’s hit song at ganundin naman ang The Company performing one of Jamie’s popular songs and production numbers with them singing their respective songs.

A bit of flashback: Jamie was brought to OctoArts after she won the Yamaha Music Mate contest in mid `80s.  She was immediately signed-up to an exclusive recording contract by OctoArts big boss Orly Ilacad after she heard her sing and gave her a screen name of Jamie Rivera.

The name Jamie came from Hollywood actress Jamie Lee Curtis while Rivera from Menudo’s Charlie Rivera.  Hindi na ipinagamit kay Jamie ang kanyang real name na Mary Jane Cruz dahil marami nang Cruz sa showbiz which she readily agreed.

When Jamie recorded the song, “Hey, It’s Me,” her personal and showbiz life suddenly changed.  The UST graduate in Economics suddenly focused her career in singing, recording and performing.  Naging sunud-sunod ang kanyang pag-deliver ng mga hit song tulad ng “I’ve Fallen For You,” “Mahal Naman Kita,” “Awit Para Sa `Yo,””Pangarap Ka Na Lang Ba,”  at iba pa.

After several years and albums with OctoArts, Jamie had her first international musical in London’s West End performance playing the lead role of Kim (originally played by Lea Salonga) in  “Miss Saigon”.  

Nang matapos ang “Miss Saigon” stint ni Jamie, nagsimula na siyang kumanta ng mga inspirational songs tulad ng sarili niyang version ng Jubilee song na sinuman ng “Tanging Yaman,” “Heal Our Land,” “I Offer My Love,” “Tell The World of His Love” at iba pa.  Dito na siya tinaguriang Inspirational Diva.

Jamie is married to a non-showbiz businessman na si JB Mendoza at may isa silang anak, si Reine na nag-aaral ngayon sa Amerika.

The Company on the other hand was formed in the `80s with Moy Ortiz as the driving force.  Ang original members ng a capella group ay binubuo ng dating touring  members ng Ateneo Glee Club ng Ateneo University de Manila. The group  was named after Stephen Sondheim’s musical “Company”.

Except for Moy Ortiz and Annie Quintos na siyang original members ng The Company, the vocal group has evolved and has had eighteen members who became part the group.  

Ang The Company ay binubuo ngayon ng apat na miyembro – Moy, Annie, Djohanna `Sweet’ Collado-Plantado with former solo artist OJ Mariano joining the group  in 2014.

Among the songs popularized by The Company include “Everlasting Love,” “Kahit Ika’y Panaginip Lang,” “Pakisabi Na Lang,” “Now That I Have You,” “Muntik Na Kitang Minahal,” “Hulog ng Langit,” “Sana Nga (Ikaw Na,” “Kung Nagmamahal Ka…Ako Rin” at iba pa.

Moy is not only as one of the members of The Company kundi siya rin ang tumatayong artistic director, musical director, composer and vocal arranger ng grupo.

The company has recorded 24 studio albums and received 46 music industry awards and have performed not only in various key  places in the Philippines but worldwide.  They also had the chance to work with the countries top OPM artists and international artists including Manhattan Transfer (one of their inspirations), David Pomeranz, Jim Brickman, Noel Porter, Basia, David Pack, Singapore’s Dick Lee, Steve Tyrell at marami pang iba.