Matches – Funk on Fire is a 10-piece party / funk band formed in the fall of 2018.
We are comprised of musicians whose musical influences are anywhere from jazz, pop, classical, blues, funk (um, of course), and pretty much everything in between. We present an “in your face”, no-holds-barred performance each and every chance we get.
We’re based in Columbia, Pennsylvania, but we’ll travel anywhere to play at your event.
Bandleader Mitch Cooper talks about the start of Matches – Funk on Fire!
“I was the primary drummer at Ephrata Performing Arts (EPAC) for a few years. I always wanted to put together another band (after Soul Restoration Project ran its course!) with a great rhythm section and an excellent horn section as well as outstanding vocals. I also had a clear idea of what music we would play that would showcase each person’s talents and would work to provide an exciting, fun evening for our audience. Every time I’d meet a player I really liked, both professionally and personally (some of whom I had known for years!), I’d get their contact information.
“When the time was right, I started making calls. Once I got the players together, we started rehearsing in October of 2018. Most of these players are in their 20s, while I and my wife Jeanne are not! They are all awesome musicians and great people. We have a wonderful time rehearsing and performing together and are always looking forward to the next gig!”
And now, please meet the members of our band!
Jeanne Cooper – Lead and Background Vocals, Harmonica
Julia Melbert – Lead and Background Vocals, Flute
Jake Rathbun – Lead Trumpet, Background Vocals
Nicolle Migliori – Second Trumpet
Nathan Connor – Tenor, Alto Sax, Flute
Jason Brennan – Trombone
Faith Roberts – Keyboards, Lead & Background Vocals
Henry Devorick – Bass, Lead & Background Vocals
Alexi Peters – Guitar, Violin
Mitch Cooper – Drums, Lead & Background Vocals
Jeanne Cooper ~
Originally from north of Boston, Massachusetts, Jeanne Cooper and has been singing professionally since she was 14 years old! She has worked up and down the East Coast from Canada to Florida, with her own bands and opening for such acts as the Bluenotes, the Shirelles, and Little Anthony & the Imperials. Currently living in Columbia, PA, Jeanne sings every style of music, but her favorites are rock/blues, jazz and especially Funk with the band Matches – Funk on Fire!
Jake Rathbun ~
Jake Rathbun is a trumpet player/vocalist/arranger from Hershey, PA. Originally hailing from Mystic, Connecticut, Jake gravitated towards jazz and the sounds of big bands and small groups of the 40s and beyond. While studying at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign, he honed his trumpet-playing to cover a broad variety of styles. This led to work with Hersheypark, a number of stage production shows throughout central PA and a period of time spent at sea with Carnival Cruise Lines. You can hear Jake leading the Matches! horn section with a fiery lead and tasteful improvised solos.
Jason Brennan ~
Jason Brennan is from Camp Hill, Pennsylvania, but currently resides in Lancaster City. He holds a degree from Millersville University in music performance. Jason is also the trombone player for Big Fat Meanies, another band local to Lancaster, PA. He plays many styles from funk to modern rock fusion, and is a regular musician at multiple regional theaters, including Ephrata Performing Arts Center and The Fulton Theatre.
Faith Roberts ~
Faith Roberts is the keyboard player and a lead vocalist. Matches! is the first band Faith has been involved in that doesn’t involve marching around a football field. She is currently a student at Lebanon Valley College with a major in Music Education on voice and piano, with a particular love for choir music. She has studied classical music on piano, played marching, concert, and jazz band music on trumpet, and has managed to sing a few covers with her guitar. That said, Faith is always excited to learn more about how to get down and funky with it!
Henry Devorick ~
Henry Devorick is a freelance bassist from Lititz, PA. He is a graduate of Lebanon Valley College in May of 2020 with a dual degree in music production and music composition. He releases original music as a singer/songwriter under the moniker Nelson Umbrella. He loves funking around with Matches and hopes you enjoy the bass faces.