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Jane & Matthews Band Mirrors Colorado’s Eclectic Sound

Colorado-based Jane & Matthews Band's eclectic sound blends everything from country, metal, electronica, to classical music.
Colorado-based Jane & Matthews Band's eclectic sound blends everything from country, metal, electronica, to classical music. Cera Kocher
What makes the Jane & Matthews Band a reflection of Colorado’s eclectic sound? It blends everything from country to to metal to classical music.

Fusing Americana, bluegrass, pop, classic rock, progressive rock, metal, electronica and chamber music, the Colorado group’s output is diverse and unique, much like the talent that exists in the Centennial State.

“We’re inspired and influenced by the live music here,” says vocalist/keyboardist Jordan Jane Matts, who is the titular Jane. “We don’t like classifying music into genres and subgenres. We prefer to call our sound ‘Colorado rock’ — not only because of the variety of influences in our music, but also the diversity in acts that perform in this state. On many given nights, you can check out a jam band, catch a reggae show, go to a metal or country concert, or listen to a symphony across town.”

Jane & Matthews Band will bring its flavorful music to Boulder on Friday, February 10, when the band headlines the Fox Theatre. Mr. Mota and Alpenglow will open the show.

Matts and her fiancé, Jarrod Matthew Guaderrama, the lead guitarist/vocalist and titular Matthew, are augmenting their live sound for the upcoming show. “Along with our bassist and drummer, we still rock as a traditional four-piece band, but by adding instrumental backing tracks underneath the songs, we can make something richer, with a fuller musical sound,” Matts says.

Matts and Guaderrama’s pairing as both songwriters and romantic partners also helps to enhance their craft. “Coming together to produce songs allows us to tap into our different backgrounds, play with lyrics and melodies, sound off ideas, and trust the work we do throughout the entire process,” Matts explains.
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Jordan Jane Matts will perform some complex sections of Beethoven during the band's performance at the Fox Theatre in Boulder on Friday.
Jane & Matthews Band Facebook
Born and raised in Chicago, Matts displayed an early passion for the arts. She began taking piano lessons at age three, and soon afterward started studying ballet. During her middle and high school years, she performed ballet, had parts in plays and musicals like Charlotte’s Web and The Wizard of Oz, and sang in her local church choir. She cites Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Ludwig van Beethoven as primal influences. “I have loved music my entire life,” she says. “I’ve always had an affinity for traditional art expressions, whether it is through classical music, ballet or paintings.”

Guaderrama, who hails from the small town of La Union, New Mexico, grew up in a conservative Irish/Hispanic Catholic family on a small ranch, riding four-wheelers, dirt bikes and horses. During his high school years, Guaderrama picked up the drums, but it was the guitar that won him over. Musically, he was drawn to bands like Metallica and Led Zeppelin, as well as the guitar stylings of Jimi Hendrix.

“He was adventurous, a boy’s boy who loved playing outside and hanging out with his cowboy friends, but he also had a separate group of nerdy music friends who he could relate to, jam and share his artistic side with,” Matts explains of her fiancé. “But his parents couldn’t see how his interest in music could provide him with financial stability.” So Guaderrama decided to move to Colorado to study at the University of Colorado Boulder College of Music and pursue his penchant for music on his own terms.
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The band's set list will dip into two hours of original material, a couple of Aerosmith and Led Zeppelin covers, and some solos from Jarrod Guaderrama.
Jane & Matthews Band Facebook
Matts's move from Illinois to Colorado was mainly to address mental health issues. “I had a very serious eating disorder. I was in and out of hospitals and treatment facilities from the time I was ten until I was twenty-one,” she says. Apart from her personal struggles, the ballet culture also fueled her eating disorder: "There is so much comparison and perfectionism in that industry.”

Seeking treatment outside of Illinois, she moved to Boulder County to work on her recovery. She says the nature and spaciousness of her surroundings were grounding — a contrast to the faster-paced Chicago lifestyle. Matts ultimately decided Colorado was a better place for her to stay and heal. Today, she has been in recovery from an eating disorder for more than five years.

Matts and Guaderrama eventually found each other through the local music scene in Boulder. After dating for six months, they moved into a house in Superior, where they continued to grow their relationship as well as fine-tune their sound. In December 2019, they officially launched the Jane and Matthews Band.

Under their new moniker, they debuted a three-song EP in 2021 titled Introducing Jane, which includes a song called “Carry On” that Guaderrama penned when he still lived in New Mexico. The sprightly reggae tune carries a positive message of weathering the mundane moments and constant ups and downs of life. The video for the song was filmed in Superior and served as a sentimental landmark for the couple. “Jarrod and I would go on three-hour mountain bike rides in Superior’s natural open space on Mondays, which was our weekly date day, so we loved the scenic backdrop and the nostalgia behind it,” Matts explains.

Another track on the EP is the cover of “Numb Little Bug,” which was written by Em Beihold, a singer-songwriter who wrote about her experience of being on antidepressants while struggling with depression and anxiety. “I could relate to what she was singing about, that feeling of being present yet disconnected from the world around you,” says Matts. “I think music provides relief from mental health. Having a mental health disorder can be incredibly isolating. And when you hear a song where you feel like somebody even remotely feels like you, it is validating.”

Fast-forward to the current day, Jane and Matthews Band has been crafting a new batch of songs that will be performed at the Fox Theatre show on Friday. The band will also record the entire set for a live offering it plans to put out around summer. Sure to whet fans’ appetites, the set list will dip into two hours of original material, a couple of Aerosmith and Led Zeppelin covers, and some solo highlights showcasing Guaderrama’s fleet-fingered riffing on the six-string and Matts’s keyboard proficiency on some complex sections of Beethoven.

Jane & Matthews, 8 p.m. Friday, February 10, Fox Theatre, 1135 13th Street, Boulder. Tickets are $15 to $18 and available at the Fox Boulder website. To keep up with Jane & Matthews Band, follow the band’s Instagram page.
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