Isaiah “Ikey” Owens, a keyboardist who played with the Mars Volta and most recently with Jack White, passed away in his hotel room while on tour with White in Mexico, according to reports in Periodico Digital. He was 38 years old. Police say that they found drugs and alcohol in Owens’ room, but no official cause of death has been determined.
Owens joined White’s backing band for the tour behind White’s first solo album, Blunderbuss. Before playing with White, Owens played with several other groups, most notably The Mars Volta. Owens was invited to join that band by its founders, Cedric Bixler-Zavala and Omar Rodriguez-Lopez, at the band’s inception in 2001. He remained a fixture in the band until 2010; the band broke up two years later. Aside from the Mars Volta, Owens was known for his work in the band Free Moral Agents, and he often performed as a session player on albums by TV On The Radio, Shuggie Otis, and Mastodon, among others.
In a statement on the Third Man Records website, White expressed his condolences for Owens’ friends and family. He also announced that the remainder of his Mexican tour would be cancelled in honor of Owens’ memory.