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THE BAND, seriously.

Heart and soul comes from a lot of living, loving and experiences and being able to express it and share it with others. Mama Tried brings their love of the beat and hands it to the audience to hold onto and enjoy even after the dancing has stopped and Mama Tried is off to play for the next crowd.  


Meet Mama Tried, and enjoy their journeys that brought them together...

DORDEN BIVINGS keyboards, vocals

Dorden showed a love for music early in life. At age 8, he started playing the organ, and continued that pursuit throughout high school.  After his graduation from Villanova University, Dorden played for several local bands in his native Chester, PA. He later expanded his musical interests to include songwriting, production, and studio work. In 2001, he co-founded the Point Blank jazz band (based in Wilmington, DE) where he continues to enjoy both national and international success as the band’s lead vocalist and songwriter.


Dorden has opened up for national acts such as Gerald Veasley, Everett Harp, Tavares, Glenn Jones, Peter White, the late Teena Marie, Doc Powell, Hiroshima, Joe, the Manhattans, Cameo, Roy Ayers, and the late George Duke. He has served as the musical director for Special Blendz, and has played with nationally recognized Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes, The Ebony’s, and McFadden and Whitehead.


Dorden moved to Lancaster in the mid 2000’s. After a brief stint with local bands Jump Street and Detour, he and fellow bandmates Bob Lawson and Brian O’Leary co-founded Mama Tried in 2007. Together they have rocked audiences throughout the region ever since. Dorden loves the band’s appreciation of musical variety and desire to have fun! He has found home with a band that he feels perfectly reflects his passion for music.

BOBBY LAWSON bass, vocals

"Growing up in the 60’s and early ‘70s, my music influences were infused with everything from Beatles Rock and Roll and Motown to harder influences like Sabbath and Zeppelin. So many great styles got infused into the music of that era. It truly was the birth of something new and it is hard to name it as one thing. We give music so many categories and names now it is sometimes hard to quantify.  I love Sam and Dave yet in the same breath say I love a song by someone like Dwight Yocum or Nick Lowe!


My best early band experience by far was the Speedboys. I was so fortunate to be in the company of great spirits and songwriters like Milsom and Kinsley. We had amazing musicians who could play from the heart and shake a house to its roots. The Speedboys also taught me a lot about the early roots music – remarkably,  music of the 40’s and 50’s like the jumpin’ jive of Louis Jordan,  the smooth stylings of Frank Sinatra  and the smoky deep tones of Ray Charles.


I love being able to combine all styles of music with Mama Tried and am deeply grateful for the opportunity to add in funk and high energy dance material like Stevie Wonder  or Earth Wind and Fire and some slick arrangements like those of Steely Dan. I love music. You never stop learning and there is ‘always someone younger and faster than you’ – always something new and amazing coming your way."


When asked to describe his musical journey thus far, Blair is likely to respond with something like, "I've been everywhere, man." By the age of six, Blair was already exploring his vocal capacity, by seven or eight he was banging on stuff, and, by age ten he had a drum set. Preteen years brought his first paid gigs. he continued performing throughout junior & senior high schools. from there, he toured the U.S. performing genres such as jazz, rock, disco, new wave, synth-pop -- with too many established and original acts to mention. He currently performs high energy dance music with central PA's Mama Tried.


He briefly studied privately with jazz greats 'Philly' Joe Jones and Billy Hart while performing & touring with renowned jazz keyboardist and composer Butch Cornell, as well as performing with Johnny Lytle, Richard 'Groove' Holmes, Cedric Lawson, and, Eddie McFadden.


Apart from articulation in drums and vocals, Blair also plays keyboards and composes music from time to time. Recently, he's performed on the new Linda Gail Lewis and Kenley Collins albums on Lanark Records (where he is a staff drummer). His latest live performances include those with Linda Gail, Chubby Checker, Quentin Jones/RARC of Lanark Records, Charlie Gracie, Rustoleum, The Jeff Calvin Group, Sam Hill, and now the effervescent, lively Mama Tried.


 If you're fortunate enough to catch Blair in a live performance you'll find it difficult to look away from his passionate delivery. It is Blair’s intention to deliver an unforgettable experience every time he picks up the sticks.

JERRY BLAKE saxaphone, flute, percussion, vocals

Jerry was born in Albany, GA. Jerry began playing the sax at a very early age. Jerry has opened shows for Luther Vandross, The Temptations, Regina Belle, Natalie Cole and others. He has been on several world tours with groups such as the Manhattans.

GERALD CHAVIS trumpet, vocals

Trumpeter Gerald Chavis has appeared as both a sideman and bandleader for over 30 years. He currently performs regularly with his own ensemble, with Philadelphia-based society dance orchestras, and many church organizations in the Wilmington-Philadelphia area. His credits include performing and/or recording with such national acts as Mick Jagger, Phyllis Hyman, Donald Byrd, The Temptations, The Dells, The Spinners, and more, as well as local Delaware organizations including Opera Delaware, Christina Cultural Arts Center, and others. In addition, he spends much time in the recording studio as both a performer and producer for other musicians.


Chavis attended Florida A&M University where he studied both classical and jazz trumpet. However, he earned his real musical education by studying with renowned jazz teacher Robert “Boysie” Lowery, who is best known as the teacher of Clifford Brown and Ernie Watts, among others.

KERRY LITTLE percussion

Kerry Delron Little hails from Coatesville, PA where he started playing drums at the age of three. Playing in various churches throughout his young life, Kerry began playing professionally for bands and choirs at the age of 15, receiving many honors and awards. He became one of the main drummers for The Church of God of Prophecy Worldwide in addition to performing with many R&B artists including Patti LaBelle, CeCe Winans, Twinkie Clark, Musiq Soulchild, Ashford & Simpson, and Kim Waters.

TERRY (T) LEE guitar, vocals

Terry started to play guitar and sing at the age of 13 while attending High School in Wilmington Delaware. Terry's is deeply rooted in R and B, Gospel, and Blues. He has performed in many bands over the years including soul, funk and smooth jazz stylings as well. Let's just say - Terry knows how to hit the Groove! His vocals are smooth and sexy and he brings on a beautiful deep baritone. Terry has performed with the likes of Soul Sextet, The Wizards, JB 106, The Undercover Band, D3, Generations with J Fingers, and Third Power to name a few. He was recently featured as Guitar Man in the production of Spunk at Albright College. Terry's influences have wide range and include Stanley Jordan, Jeff Golub, George Benson, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Chuck Loeb, West Montgomery and John Scofield.

MIKE WOLPERT sound engineer

The man at the board and making it all sound like perfection.

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