Ismael Rivera also known as "El Sonero Mayor" (The Premiere Improviser) (October 5, 1931 – May 13, 1987), was a renowned composer and singer of salsa music. Rivera, nicknamed "Maelo", born in Santurce, Puerto Rico, was the first of five children born to Luis and Margarita Rivera. His father, Luis, was a carpenter and his mother a housewife. As a child, Rivera was always singing and banging on cans with sticks. He received his primary education at the Pablo G. Goyco elementary school and then went on to learn carpentry at a vocational school.