Biography


Riva Nyri Précil is half Haitian and half Irish/Russian. She was born in Brooklyn, New York and moved to Haiti at the age of 5, where she resided for 10 years.  While in Haiti, Riva was exposed to traditional Haitian music and culture, which greatly influenced her eclectic music and fashion palette. She studied acting, Haitian folkloric and modern dance, and art and sculpture. She began performing at cultural events, clubs and Haiti’s National Palace, dancing, singing, and acting. At the age of 9 she began teaching art classes to the other children in her neighborhood. She also began independently beading and creating pieces for her friends and family.  


Riva moved back to New York at the age of 15 where she attended LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts and majored in Vocal performance. She took a liking to jazz performance and attended several jazz studies courses to broaden her knowledge on the subject. She was also a member of the gospel choir where she gained an interest in that particular genre. While in New York, Riva took her first jewelry-making class and began taking her craft more seriously, creating more intricate pieces and challenging herself by using new materials.  


At the age of 18, Riva moved to New Orleans to attend Loyola University New Orleans where she graduated with a Music Therapy degree. During her time in New Orleans she taught several Haitian folkloric dance classes, yoga, choreographed, and performed at various events and benefit functions to aid Haiti after the earthquake in 2010. She co-founded the Hope for Haiti task force, which was assembled to identify relief resources and plan for a sustained aid effort. She also co-founded Li! Li! Li! a reading out loud program in Creole for Haiti’s children who became displaced after the earthquake. 

In 2013 Riva became the founder & CEO of a bespoke jewelry company "Love, Nyri" and the author of a Haitian Creole children's book set in Jacmel, "Anaëlle Ak Lasirèn" published in 2015. Riva completed several teaching artist programs with Haiti Cultural Exchange teaching Haitian dance, traditional song, visual arts, and storytelling to elementary students and senior citizens. 

Her debut solo album in Creole, "Perle De Culture," is a fusion of traditional Haitian songs, soul, african tones, and jazz elements and was released in March 2015. Riva is a prominent performer and has performed at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, Carifesta XII hosted in Haiti, and the Haitian Flag Day Celebration at Brooklyn's Borough Hall. 

Riva also teacheds a Haitian folkloric  series called Tout Se Pa in New York. Riva's work embodies the beauty she sees in her heritage through her singing, dancing, jewelry designs and writing. Riva continues to perform in New York City alongside her band Bohio Music. She currently resides in Brooklyn, New York with her husband and band mate Monvelyno, where she uniquely creates each piece of art with love. 

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