Formed in Lawrence, KS in 2000.

Radio station: Listen to music by RIVA

Upcoming shows

No scheduled events.

Past shows


Current Status: Based in Lawrence. Reformed in 2002 with Lawrence based musicians.

Sound description: Powerful, Danceable, Ethnic Calypso Rock

Influences: Santana, Dire Straits, Calyso from Trinidad


Dance, Pop, Reggae / Carribean


RIVA (pronounced "Rih-vah") began as a solo project of front man Adrian Bartholomew on the Caribbean Island of Trinidad. Backed by the area's top musicians, he released his debut album in 1999 and successfully held the #1 spot on the local charts for 8 continuous weeks with "Violins", a song discussing the relationship between music and romance. While in Trinidad, Adrian brought his sound to various Caribbean islands such as Barbados, St. Kitts and Jamaica where he was instantly well received.

Relocating and reforming in the United States in 2001 as RIVA, the band expanded to included bassist Paul Winn, drummer Chris Wade and multi-instrumentalist John Severin III. Each member brings a diverse musical background and personal edge to a sound that has been enjoyed in cities across the Midwest.

At first sight and listen, you will realize RIVA is not an ordinary American rock group, which is precisely their aim. RIVA's goal is to open the eyes' of the general public to an original and organic approach that fuses Caribbean rhythms and rock grooves with a powerful and melodic lead voice that has something to say.

Beyond musical approaches and personal philosophies, RIVA believes it is most important to make their audience feel good. In doing so, they understand that this doesn't need to be a complicated task. Songs such as "Resurrection", "Pass Me By" and "Magic Potion" have become popular with listeners of all ages and genres because of a tasteful combination found throughout all RIVA songs: tight rhythms and melodies which please the ear. As for live performances, being seasoned musicians has helped this band adapt to all scenarios and their energetic stage show has been well received everywhere from downtown pubs to university campuses.

The summer of 2002 saw the band hard at work in the studio creating their first collective work entitled "Stage One". This 5 song EP, which the band regards as only a glimpse of what will come, portrays a more focused and defined side of RIVA. Two signature songs from this release are "Back of the Rain", with its funky calypso pulse, and "Grey", a perfect mesh of driving guitars and African drumming.

With the enlistment of BZA management in 2003, RIVA is poised to break into the national and international markets. Their live sets include over twenty original songs and an equal amount of standards, which the band has affectionately made their own. Above all, RIVA strives to bring people of various tastes and ethnicities together in a world of lush harmony, fluid melody and fiery presence.