EmPower Musicians Share the Stage
Feb 26, 2015
by EmPower Solar
Last month at our Winter Banquet, we were fortunate to be graced by some of our EmPower Solar musicians: Ed, Mike, Mat, and Matt. With a wide variety of backgrounds and musical expertise, these four came together for a short set before the party. “It was a pleasure to finally get to play with them,” said Matthew Mathosian, our Engineering Team Leader. Ed added, “We were able to get a quick rehearsal in and all get on the same page. Everyone is a really talented musician.”
Ed Olsen is a third-generation musician his grandfather and mother were both avid pianists, and they all enjoyed playing together growing up. Ed took up the drums at 12 years old, and learned to play by trading drum lessons for swim lessons with a professional drummer. His musical influences include John Bonham of Led Zepplin and Mitch Mitchell of the Jimi Hendrix Experience, but of all the genres he plays from rock, jazz, country, and Zydeco he likes to play funk the most. Ed played drums with a number of local musicians over his 40 years of drumming, including Dave Glatter, Ed Fleck, and Bruce Rust. Now, his son Eddie makes 4 generations of musicians in the Olsen Family.
Ed first met fellow musician Mike Dunne when he was having his panels installed by EmPower Solar. Mike recalls, “I knew I was going to like Ed when offered to let us play his drumset when we finished working on his installation. That memory has always stuck with me!” When Ed expressed interest in joining the EmPower team, Mike was happy to refer him.
Mike Dunne is a multi-talented musician, and plays guitar, drums, and trumpet. He is co-leader of the Long Beach Seaside Marching Band, which performs at firehouse events, parades, and other local celebrations – Mike even invited Ed to play in a Port Washington parade with the band. He took up trumpet in the 4th grade, and has been playing in jazz bands, pit band, and local bands ever since. He has played at the Long Beach Fall Festival, Long Beach Historical Society, and in Long Beach High School musicals. One of his favorite performances to play in was with Mat Layton, when his band, Ground Swell, opened for The Wailers at The Paramount in Huntington.
Mat Layton was inspired by his father to take up guitar at the early age of 7. He prides himself in eclectic music tastes and an impressive guitar collection. Mat is currently a member of 3 local bands Ground Swell, a reggae group based out of Long Beach; The Politics N Religion, who play rock-n-roll; and Spanish Moss, a swamp-blues band that also stars EmPower co-worker Matt Mathosian.
Matt Mathoisan is a self-taught guitarist who has played since he was 10 years old. He has played all over the tri-state area, and when he moved back to Long Beach, it was Mat Layton who reinvigorated his love of playing music. “Long Beach is home to many talented musicians – many of whom are at EmPower,” he added with a smile.
In addition to being accomplished musicians, these four are also treasured members of the EmPower Solar team. Ed is one of our famous clients-turned-team members, and Mat Layton has been our outstanding Customer Service Manager for seven years. Mike, a Hofstra Alum, is NABCEP certified and one of the few employees to have worked in almost every department at EmPower Solar. Matt Mathosian is not only a NABCEP Certified Solar Installer, but a former Decathlete, participating in the 2007 Solar Decathlon; the home is now housed at the Town of Hempstead Department of Conservation and Waterways’ Clean Energy Park.
Besides these fab four, word on the street is that a few other EmPower employees have instruments up their sleeves. Installer Andy Ayala, Sales Professional Roger DeBonis, and Sales Associate Christiana Lopez are likely to be recruited to join the EmPower band next time around.
You can catch Mat & Matt play live with Spanish Moss this Saturday, February 28th at the Gramercy Ale House in NYC. Stay tuned for EmPower’s next musical performances!