Born: November 23, 1956 Primary Instrument: Drums
Drummer RJ Spangler has been on the Detroit music seen for many years, in fact he earned his first Motor City Music Award in 1982 with a band he co-founded called the Sun Messengers. After 17 years as a Messenger, RJ went on to running the band for Detroit blues master Johnnie Bassett. With Johnnie RJ made his way across America and Europe many times.
RJ has also played with Martha & the Van Dellas, The Drifters, Earl King, Wanda Rouzan, James Thunderbird Davis, Big Jay McNeely, Larry McCray, Francine Reed, Tad Robinson, Shawn Pittman, Sir Mack Rice/the Falcons with Eddie Floyd, Johnny Adams, Eddie Bo, Andre Williams, Nathaniel Mayer, Robert Penn, Eddie & Jimmy Burns, Pinetop Perkins, Ron Levy, Shirley King, James Montgomery, Catfish Hodge, Harmonica Shah, Mr. Bo, Willie D. Warren, Michael Ray & the Cosmic Krewe, Thornetta Davis, Jos'lyn B, The Griswalds as well as James Carter, Bill Heid, Leon Thomas, Marcus Belgrave in addition to studies with the late great Roy Brooks.
Today he is a WC Handy award nominated drummer, a record producer and manager/drummer for Alberta Adams, Joe Weaver, the Motor City R&B Pioneers and the Odessa Harris Group. RJ is on over 30 nationally available CDs.
RJ's latest projest is an organ jazz group called the RJ Spangler Trio that features Keith Kaminski on sax and Duncan McMillan on organ. Frequent guests at their regular Tuesday night gig at the Buzz Bar in downtown Detroit include Bluesman Johnnie Bassett, trumpet great Dwight Adams and others. RJ is also forming a tentette with trumpeter James O'Donnell, playing the music of Duke Ellington to Sun Ra.
Nominee - Best Drummer - WC Handy Blues Awards (Memphis) (2001)
WDET's 300 most important persons in Detroit music (2001)
Best Locally Produced CD (Sun Sounds Orchestra) - Metro Times Music Awards (1991)
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