Peter Hyrka

Rory Hoffman

Jason Oettel

Jason was born in Hendersonville, TN. His family moved to Knoxville where he attended high school and eventually enrolled at the University of Tennessee. There he studied music in the Studio Music and Jazz program under Rusty Holloway. The Jazz program at that time was led by the great jazz pedagogue Jerry Coker. Jason considers his time at UT to be some of the greatest times of his life. While living in Knoxville, Jason performed with such notable jazz artists as Donald Brown and Stanley Turrentine. He also spent a few years performing with the Columbia recording artist Robinella before moving to Nashville in 2002.

Upon arriving in Nashville Jason met Peter Hyrka and began playing with The Gypsy Hombres. At the same time Jason was working with guitarist and songwriter Luke Reynolds and together they formed the band Blue Merle. Blue Merle would go on to sign a record deal with Island/Def Jam and release the album Burning in the Sun. They toured the country and opened for such acts as The Dave Matthews Band, The Counting Crows, Van Morrison, Train, Ozomatli, Guster, and performed FarmAid 2004 as well as Bonnaroo 2004 and 2005.

Blue Merle would eventually go their seperate ways in 2007 and Jason and Peter found each other again to form the latest version of the Hombres along with Rory Hoffman.