Scope and arrangement
The Marco Rizo Papers contain scores and other professional materials. Rizo’s career span is documented through concert programs, newspaper clippings, and photographs. Some of this material is written in Spanish. There is little evidence of Rizo’s personal life, but anecdotes may be found in the manuscript drafts he compiled on Desi Arnaz’s life, which includes Rizo’s own experiences.
The Marco Rizo papers are arranged in eight series:
- 1948 - 19980.28 linear feet (9 folders
The correspondence in this series provides a record of Rizo’s work in public schools, as well as letters from arts organizations concerning his performances in cultural programs. Other important contents include letters to and from Lucie Arnaz on behalf of her father.
- 1945 - 19990.08 linear feet (4 folders
These papers are primarily business-oriented, and include items such as budgets, program proposals, stock certificates, and incorporation information. Rizo’s personal papers consist of his resume, an honorable discharge from the Army, two awards, and a page of recording session notes. One folder contains catalogs of his arrangements, compositions, and discography, which were compiled after his death.
- 1938 - 19990.28 linear feet (9 folders
This series documents Rizo’s performing career, including some of his earliest performances in Havana and New York City. There are also advertisements from nightclubs in California and Las Vegas where Rizo had long-standing engagements in the 1950s.
- 1938 - 19980.42 linear feet (1 box
The clippings and related items in this series complement the other memorabilia in the collection. Four folders contain photocopied pages from scrapbooks, with the original order maintained where possible. Many of the clippings found in the scrapbook folders are undated, but are within a specified date range.
- 1985 - 19980.75 linear feet (1.8 boxes
One of Rizo’s major efforts in the 1990s was to publish a biography about Desi Arnaz that would portray the man Rizo knew, rather than the man depicted by the media. Although the book was not published, this series contains many drafts of the work. Rizo also wrote essays on Latin music topics, such as Cuban classical music, the composer Ernesto Lecuona, and a history of music in Latin American countries. Also found here is one folder of song lyrics, and writings on Rizo by other authors.
- 1938 - 19980.42 linear feet (1 box
The photographs series round out the materials that cover Rizo’s performance career. However, many of the photographs lack identifying details, such as location, date, or names of individuals. The series arrangement groups the photographs into general categories based on content. For example, one folder is for Rizo’s solo piano performances, while another is for pictures of him playing with a band. There is also a folder containing photographs of Rizo with Desi Arnaz. Among the early photographs, a notable one is of Rizo dressed as a woman, which was part of an I Love Lucy episode featuring the band members dressed in drag.
- 1938 - 198610 linear feet (21 boxes
This series documents the extent of Rizo’s musical career as a composer and arranger. The scores are divided accordingly into two groups, one for compositions, and the second for arrangements. All of the scores and parts are handwritten, unless otherwise noted. Both sets of scores include works written for combos, small ensembles, jazz bands, and orchestras; this information was noted on the original folders, with the term “Big Band” frequently used for jazz band. Many scores are also available on microfilm, of which there are eight reels; these scores contain a note with the reel and folder number (the microfilm numbering system does not match the collection’s box list). While a majority of the scores are undated, the catalogs of Rizo’s work (box 1, folder 13) include possible dates as well as other information about each piece. See the Oversized Materials series for more scores.
- undated1.67 linear feet (1 box
In addition to scores, oversized materials include several enlarged photographs, and mock-ups of a book cover for one of Rizo’s attempted books about Desi Arnaz. Two of the photographs were taken on the set of I Love Lucy and feature Lucille Ball.