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New band Rivers Ventura won Minerpalooza’s Battle of the Bands

Alberto Silva Fernandez
Rivers Ventura performed at Battle of the Bands, and won, at this year’s Minerpalooza celebration to welcome students back to campus for the 2021-2022 academic year.

The return of Minerpalooza after last year’s cancellation due to the COVID-19 pandemic came with the refreshing new offering of Battle of the Bands on Aug. 27. The event highlighted the local talents of Coco Butter, Le Voyage, Rivers Ventura, Tony Jupiter, and Soul Parade.  

“Minerpalooza was very cool, and I was delighted that this event supported local talents with this Battle of the Bands contest,” said Oscar Ramirez, a UTEP student majoring in computer science. “I voted for Rivers Ventura; they are super talented boys.” 

Rivers Ventura is the winning band of Battle of the Bands. But who are these guys? 

Rivers Ventura was formed this year and is made up of its 5 band members: River Ventura (vocals and guitar), a sophomore majoring in business, Gilbert Parra (bass guitar), a sophomore majoring in computer science, Rafael Dayrell (guitar) senior at El Dorado High School, Leonardo Chavez (guitar), a sophomore majoring in physics, and Adrian Marquez (drums), a sophomore majoring in studio arts.  

“I had met [the other members] in different ways,” said River. “My guitarist is Leo; I met him in high school through Gilbert because they were good friends. I met our drummer Adrian over social media through other mutual friends.” 

The band has many inspirations  for their music. River’s inspiration is the American alternative rock band Weezer.  

“I find more motivation and more inspiration in bands that I think are like, horrible. So, if there’s like, bands that I think suck and I see people love it.” said River. “I find more inspiration through reverse psychology.” 

Rafael Dayrell’s inspiration is the British alternative rock band Radiohead.  

“They [Radiohead] have three guitars, they have vocals, they have a bass guitar and a drummer. And I feel like they make amazing music,” said Rafael.  

 “Definitely felt a little bit emotional up there,” River said about winning the competition. “And I hate to sound cocky, but I felt like we deserved it because we put in a lot of time into this.” 

“We were all about backstage, like very close to each other, and they announced it, and I didn’t hear what they said,” said Rafael. “It’s always worth it, and we keep working hard how after that.” 

“We were all really happy, and we have worked really hard, and we’ve practiced a lot, and I’m pretty sure individually after every practice,” said Gilbert.  

“All the work we put in was for a reason, and good things do come to you when you work hard, and then you have a set goal in mind,” said Leo.  

Rivers Ventura is grateful for all the support from their fans and new fans who voted for them. “I am so grateful for anybody that shows up to our shows, that post my music, that like any type of support in any act,” said River.  

Rivers Ventura plans to go further with their music, preparing to perform outside of El Paso. Their music has been played on local radio station KLAQ 95.5 FM, and little by little, they are becoming known.  

“There’s no limit to where we’re going next,” said Leo.  

“We’re trying to  go as far as we can, and like, trying to improve as much as we can try to get our name out there,” said Gilbert.  


Beatriz Velazquez may be reached at [email protected] 

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About the Contributors
Beatriz Velazquez
Beatriz Velazquez is majoring in Digital Media Production with a minor in Film. She is a transfer student from El Paso Community College, with an Associate of Arts in Communication-Television & Radio Broadcasting and Cinematic Production. She is a former reporter and photographer at EPCC Tejano Tribune. 
Alberto Silva Fernandez
Alberto Silva Fernandez, Contributor/Photographer
Alberto Silva Fernandez is a sophomore, majoring in Multimedia Journalism at the University of Texas at El Paso. He is a photographer for The Prospector and freelances covering the borderland. When he isn’t covering events Albert likes to study politics, play video games, and listen to music.
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New band Rivers Ventura won Minerpalooza’s Battle of the Bands