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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. The Messengers were a small Big band with between 10 and 12 musicians and played music from Ellington to Sun Ra, New Orleans R&B and African Township Jazz.
After 17 years as a Messenger, RJ went on to running the band for Detroit blues master Johnnie Bassett, whom was not that well known at the time. The combination of RJ's work and Mr. Bassett's incredible talent took them across America and Europe many times. Along the way, RJ has played with 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, James Montgomery, Robert Penn, Eddie & Jimmy Burns, Pinetop Perkins, Ron Levy, Shirley King, Catfish Hodge, Harmonica Shah, Mr. Bo, Willie D. Warren, Michael Ray & the Cosmic Krewe, Thornetta Davis, Jos'lyn B, The Griswalds, Martha & the Van Dellas, The Drifters as well as James Carter, Leon Thomas, Marcus Belgrave. RJ studied briefly with Detroit Jazz master 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. He leads an organ trio/quartet at the Buzz Bar in downtown Detroit featuring Keith Kaminski on sax, Duncan McMillan on organ and often Johnnie Bassett, Dwight Adams and others.