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Heaven Was Detroit: From Jazz to Hip Hop and Beyond

The first of its kind to capture the full spectrum of Detroit popular music from the early 1900s to the twenty-first century.

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


Untitled Document
  • Friday, August 12, the Paxton/Spangler Band at a PRIVATE EVENT
  • Saturday, August 13, the Paxton/Spangler Band at Fishbone's in St Clair Shores. 6:30 pm.
  • Sunday, August 14, the Paxton/Spangler Band at a wedding
  • Wednesday, August 17, Paxton/Spangler Septet, Southfield Library Concert, outdoors, 6 to 8 pm. 
  • Saturday, August 27, the Paxton/Spangler Band at the Detroit Club,
  • Saturday, September 3, The Paxton/Spangler Band at the Old Timers Day at the Rabbit Hash Barn, Rabbit Hash, KY, 3 pm.
  • Sunday, September 4, The Paxton/Spangler Band at a wedding gig
  • Thursday, September 8, The Paxton/Spangler Band at the Ypsi Ale House.
  • Friday, September 9, the RJ Spangler Band at the Grosse Pointe Woods Library, 6 pm.
  • Saturday, September 10, the Paxton/Spangler Band at ImaginATE Restaurant.
  • Sunday, September 11, The Paxton/Spangler Band at the Dahlia Festival in Jefferson-Chalmers, Detroit.
  • Wednesday, September 14, The Paxton/Spangler Band at York in Ann Arbor, 6 to 8 pm.
  • Friday, September 16, the RJ Spangler Band at a private event
  • Saturday, September 17, the Paxton/Spangler Band at ImaginATE Restaurant.
  • Sunday, September 18, The Paxton/Spangler Band at Private event in Toledo, OH
  • Thursday, September 22, RJ Spangler Trio, Anton Arts Center, Mt Clemens, 6 to 7 pm.
  • Saturday, September 24, Paxton/Spangler Septet, Arlyn's Good Beer in Bowling Green, Ohio. 

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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