Greg Spero is a musician on a mission. A multifariously creative force who’s built an entire ecosystem that empowers self-expression, Spero creates music and tech that embodies limitless possibilities. A Los Angeles-based pianist/keyboardist, producer, arranger, composer, bandleader, YouTube educator, label-owner and internet entrepreneur, he’s devoted a good deal of his time to building vehicles that connect fellow artists with audiences.
“We all have this ability to be infinitely expansive, to be everything that we want to be,” he says. “It’s a matter of how we manifest our goals.”
What sets Spero apart isn’t so much his expansive vision as his combination of musical prowess and entrepreneurial acumen. As a recent piece for the Philadelphia public radio station WRTI declared, "Any notion that supremely talented musicians cannot be savvy, intentional entrepreneurs is upended by the idea of Greg Spero."
Familiar to a diverse array of listeners through his collaborations with the pop star Halsey and the funk/fusion Miles Electric Band, Spero has also composed music for film, theater and television, written songs with Rolling Stones bassist Darryl Jones, and co-produced tracks with Ski Beatz. In recent years he’s focused on Spirit Fingers, his powerhouse quartet featuring a cadre of the era’s definitive players, including bassist Hadrien Feraud (or Max Gerl), Italian guitarist Dario Chiazzolino, and drummer Mike Mitchell (aka Blaque Dynamite, a key Kamasi Washington collaborator). AllAboutJazz summed up the combo by describing Spero as “an undeniably gifted pianist” who has assembled “a veritable supergroup in terms of their prodigious talent...Imbued with preternatural levels of skill and a high replay value"
The group released an eponymous debut album on Shanachie Entertainment entitled Spirit Fingers, a project centering on a piece hailed by WGBO’s Nate Chinen as “a cinematic composition whose main attraction is the polyrhythmic groove [that] morphs and changes like a weather system.”
Seamlessly synthesizing his improvisational jazz aesthetic with his love of hip hop, modern classical music and pop, the album confirmed Spero’s reputation as an innovative artist who has forged a highly personal rapprochement between jazz and popular music. Co-produced by Makaya McCraven, the 2020 follow-up release, PEACE, adds the sultry, confidently blues-tinged vocals of Judi Jackson and alto sax master Greg Ward into the mix while displaying “an impressively expanded sonic palette,” according to Downbeat. Spero’s new album, 2022’s The Chicago Experiment, is a collaboration showcasing his hometown comrades Makaya McCraven, Marquis Hill, Joel Ross, Irvin Pierce, Jeff Parker, and Darryl Jones. Building on the Windy City’s long, vaunted history as a hotbed for blues, jazz, and experimental music, the Ropeadope album follows in the footsteps of a series of city-centric projects launched two decades ago by Questlove, Christian McBride, and Uri Caine’s The Philadelphia Project.