Cambrian: Arts & Events

Mattson 2, Ray Barbee jazz up Cambria education fundraiser

Coast Union junior Giovanni Espinoza, left, jams on guitar with his music instructor, Jonathan Mattson, at the high school recently.
Coast Union junior Giovanni Espinoza, left, jams on guitar with his music instructor, Jonathan Mattson, at the high school recently.

There’s no doubt that twins Jonathan and Jared Mattson, known professionally as the Mattson 2, are committed to music education.

They performed a charity concert for the Cambria Education Foundation last year and will be back for an encore gig promoting the same cause a year later. The show is set for 6:30 p.m. Saturday, April 29, once again at the Hearst Ranch Warehouse in San Simeon.

Jonathan Mattson took his commitment to education even further, signing up for a one-year stint as music teacher at Coast Unified School District.

The Mattson 2’s latest release, with Chaz Bundick — formerly known as Toro Y Moi — just debuted at No. 3 on Billboard’s Jazz Chart. Their first collaborative single is titled “Star Stuff,” and the name of their project is, appropriately, called Chaz Bundick Meets the Mattson 2.

At the San Simeon show, the Mattson 2 will be teaming up with another jazz artist, Ray Barbee.

Barbee, who frequently joins the brothers during performances, collaborated with the Mattsons on a 2007 album, recorded in Japan, called “Ray Barbee Meets the Mattson 2.”

Barbee is a sort of Renaissance man. Not only does he write and play a number of instruments (guitar, bass, xylophone, drums), he’s also accomplished in another area, as well: He’s a skateboarder. He has appeared in videos such as “Ban This” and “Public Domain,” and as a playable skater in video games. He even got his own signature tennis shoe with Vans.

Barbee’s stunts with the Mattson 2 will likely be of the musical variety.

Both the Mattson brothers have become involved in education since moving to the Central Coast last year. Jared has become a music educator for the Children’s Creative Project, traveling to schools across the county, while Jonathan has spent this academic year as music director at Coast Unified.

“I believe getting into music at a young age helps kids feel like they have meaning and purpose,” Jonathan Mattson said. “Learning an instrument helps children form an independence and an identity in the world in general — not just in creative circles.

“The confidence, contentment, and self-esteem a student gains from developing musical talents can help combat negative traits all too common in youth such as peer pressure, low self-esteem, and lack of self-confidence.”

Giovanni Espinoza, a junior at Coast Union High School, has begun to compose and record music for his band class under Jonathan Mattson’s guidance.

“Mr. Mattson has been an excellent teacher and a very important resource on my path to following a career in music,” Espinoza said. “He has provided me with a large amount of insight to what the music industry is really like.”

Espinoza plays guitar, drums, clarinet, bass and bass clarinet. His goal is to pursue a career as a musician, producer or music teacher.

“Since meeting Mr. Mattson, I would say that my goals have slightly changed,” he said. “Seeing what he has done has made me really think about what it is that I want to do more specifically, although it is still a challenge narrowing it down.”

The San Simeon concert will feature surf-jazz style music that offers a blend of guitar and drums. Ticket sales will support creative educational opportunities in Cambria schools.

Stephen H. Provost: 805-927-8896, @sproauthor

Jazz concert

Tickets for Ray Barbee Meets the Mattson 2 in San Simeon on April 29 are $50 per person. They’re available at www.Cambria or in Cambria school libraries. Attendance is for those 21 and older, only; wine, beer and food will be available for purchase.