Jackson, MS based jazz band Vibe Doctors (Jason Mathena, vibraphone; Owen Rockwell, drums; Lucas Pettey, bass) formed during the summer of 2013. Started as a standard jazz trio, with a vibraphone front-man instead of a pianist, Vibe Doctors have evolved into an original eclectic improvisation-driven jam band. The jazz standards are still there but played in a style that is part funk, part fusion, part Latin, but always interesting and unique. They have also written several original tunes, which showcase the strengths of each performer and the band as a whole.
Dr. Jason Mathena is currently in his first year as Instructor of Music and Assistant Band Director at Copiah Lincoln Community College in Wesson, MS. His duties include maintaining the applied percussion studio, teaching Music Appreciation, directing the Percussion Ensemble, and assisting with the Concert Band, Marching Band, and Jazz Band. Before coming to CoLin, Mathena taught at Southwest Mississippi Community College for three years.
Besides teaching, Mathena maintains a rigorous performance schedule as a member of the Mississippi Symphony, Gulf Coast Symphony, and Meridian Symphony. From the vibraphone, he leads two jazz combos, Vibe Doctors and The Plus1 Jazz Trio, both of which perform regularly in the metro Jackson area. He has many years of experience on drum set in many different professional settings, such as rock bands, jazz bands, and musicals, and currently freelances in that capacity in central and south Mississippi. Besides ensemble playing, Dr. Mathena has presented numerous recitals both academic and public and has also performed as soloist with various ensembles.
Jason Mathena holds a DMA in Percussion Performance and Pedagogy with secondary emphases in Music Theory and Music History from the University of Southern Mississippi, MM in Percussion Performance from the University of Louisiana-Lafayette, and BME in Music Education from Auburn University. His primary teachers have included John Wooton, Jeff Prosperie, She-e Wu, Troy Breaux, Greg Byrne, Harrell Bosarge, Bud Berthold, Glenn Carter, and Kent Morrow.
Owen Rockwell began to play drums at the tender age of six. His father, Gary, a professional drummer with the U.S. Army band got him started learning rudiments and marching percussion. During high school he had the opportunity to play snare drum with the Magic of Orlando Drum and Bugle Corps, and at that point, decided to make a career as a professional musician. That decision led him to pursue music performance degrees from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and more recently at the University of Southern Mississippi, where he earned a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in May 2015. Over the course of his career he has performed and taught drums and percussion in Nashville, Washington, D.C., and New York City. He is or has been on the faculties of music at Belhaven and Jackson State University, both located in Jackson, MS, where he now resides. He has been influenced by musicians too numerous to count, from all genres and aspects of the music industry and has had several amazing teachers to whom he is deeply indebted.
Lucas Pettey was a skinny lad. He never new good from bad, but he knew bass before he left his nursery. Left alone with a big fatty, he was such a bawdy band mate.
With a new Lakland, he made a bass man outa him.
He couldn't sing along with the band, but he played across the water, across the land. He's laid fat bass lines on the way. His beauty and and his style stayed silky smooth all the while. Take me to those funky solos every time.
Now he's got mortgages and homes, but still stiffness in his bone. He married a beauty queen fantasy. Oh, but he still gets his pleasure, still plays his greatest treasure laying big bass lines under Vibe Doctor melodies!
Vibe Doctors release their self-titled Debut album on September 26th with a special show at Sneaky beans in Jackson, MS
Photos: Brandon Morgan
Order Vibe Doctors debut album by clicking on the link below.