cover photo by Chuck Andersen

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RJ Spangler

RJ Spangler


Drummer RJ Spangler has been on the Detroit music scene 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 15 years as a Messenger, RJ went on to running the band for Detroit blues guitar master Johnnie Bassett. With Johnnie, RJ made his way coast to coast in both the US and Canada as well as many European tours.

His résumé includes blues and R&B gigs with Eddie Kirkland, 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, Bob Schultz, Eddie Bo, Andre Williams, Nathaniel Mayer, Robert Penn, Eddie & Jimmy Burns, Pinetop Perkins, Ron Levy, Shirley King, James Montgomery, Martha & the Vandellas, Catfish Hodge, Hamonica Shah, Mr. Bo, Willie D. Warren, Michael Ray & the Cosmic Krewe, Thornetta Davis, Jos'lyn B, Geno Parks, the Griswald Brothers as well as jazz gigs with James Carter, Faruq Z. Bey, Bill Heid, Leon Thomas, Marcus Belgrave and Roy Brooks.

Today he is a WC Handy nominated drummer, producer of CDs & live events & guiding force behind the Planet D Nonet in addition to leading a very busy organ trio.

RJ is on over 70 nationally available CDs.

View RJ's Full Discography

Projects / Bands

Planet D Nonet, RJ Spangler Trio...and more


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  • Saturday, March 18, 7pm Paxton/Spangler Band celebrate NEW CD Berkley Coffee 14661 W 11 Mile Rd, Ste 500 Oak Park, MI
  • Tuesday, March 21 5pm Paxton/Spangler band 5 O'Clock Rush Jazz Series Metropolitan United Methodist Church 8000 Woodward Avenue, Detroit
  • Saturday, March 25 3pm RJ Spangler Quintet w/ James O'Donnell Cromaine Library 3688 N. Hartland Rd. Hartland
  • Saturday, March 25 7:30pm Paxton/Spangler Band Fishbone's Rhythm Kitchen 23722 Jefferson Ave, Saint Clair Shores
  • Friday, March 31 6pm Paxton/Spangler Band Gumbo's New Orleans Restaurant 55 Walnut, Mt Clemens
  • Sunday, April 2 3pm to 6:30pm - Turnaround Bar, 14619 Kercheval Ave. Detroit - A benefit to raise funds for the Planet D Nonet's Summer Upper Peninsula Tour with three bands:  O'Donnell/Steiger's Eastside Rhythm Rascals, The Paxton/Spangler Band,
    The Eat It Up Trio - An afternoon of jazz, swing, New Orleans funk & world jazz rhythms. 
  • Saturday, April 7, the Paxton/Spangler Septet at Arlyn's Good Beer in Bowling Green, OH.
  • Sunday, April 16, the RJ Spangler Quintet w/ James O'Donnell at the Farmington Community Library in Farmington, 2pm.
  • Monday, April 17, The Paxton/Spangler Band at Harrison's Speakeasy in Harrison Township. 6pm.
  • Friday, April 28, The Paxton/Spangler Band at Gumbo's in Mt Clemens. all you can eat Crawfish night! 6 to 9 pm.

Planet D Nonet

Untitled Document

Spangler Jazz & Blues Productions represents:  Airey B & her Blues Troupe & T-Bone Paxton.

To book the Planet D Nonet contact Aileen Rohwer at Great Lakes Performing Artist Associates.



Recordings are available for purchase in both CD and downloadable formats.

Record Labels

Find recordings from RJ Spangler at these record labels:
Detroit Music Factory Eastlawn Records

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RJ Spangler

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