Origin Artist

Joel Spencer

Joel Spencer may be the busiest drummer in town
Chicago Jazz Magazine

Joel Spencer has been a Professional Musician and Music Educator for the past 25 years.

Joel has performed with a number of internationally known jazz artists in Chicago and throughout the world. These appearances have included such artists as Weather Report alumnus Wayne Shorter, David Liebman, Hank Jones, Cedar Walton, Barney Kessel, Clark Terry, Michael Feinstein, Cissy Houston, the Red Rodney Quintet, Joe Williams, Scott Hamilton, John Campbell, Dorothy Donegan, the Count Basie Band, Chet Baker, Sonny Stitt, Junior Mance, Phil Woods, Wynton Marsalis, Benny Golson, and pianist/conductor Daniel Barenboim of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

In recent years Joel has traveled to Europe appearing at Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen with the Jazz Members Big Band, the Umbria Jazz Festival in Perugia, Italy with vocalist Joe Williams and pianist Dorothy Donegan, The North Sea Jazz Festival in Holland with jazz pianist Ellis Marsalis and bassist Major Holly and the Red Sea Jazz Festival in Eilat, Israel with Frank Tiberi and a select group of Chicago musicians sponsored by the Ameritech Corporation.

In 1997, The Brighter Side: The Joel Spencer/ Kelly Sill Quartet featuring Chris Potter and Garry Dial was released on Jazz Alliance Records. The recording has received radio play and critical acclaim throughout the United States, Canada, Europe and Japan.

1997 brought the release of the soundtrack for the MGM motion picture Hoodlum, for which Spencer provided all of the drum tracks. Recently he finished recording the soundtrack for the United Artists motion picture Unconditional Love.

1999 brought the release of two additional recordings. Interior Window- Joel Spencer & Mike Kocour on Lakeside Jazz of Chicago Records, which was nominated for "Best Jazz CD of 1999" by The Chicago Music Awards. In addition, Spencer's performance on Tribute to Ellington with Chicago Symphony conductor/pianist Daniel Barenboim and a select group of musicians from the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. In September of 1999 Barenboim and the "Ellington Tribute Orchestra" traveled to Berlin to perform the European record release for Tribute to Ellington.

In May of 2004, Spencer served as an accompanist and performer for the National Jazz Piano Competition at the Jacksonville Jazz Festival in Jacksonville, Florida. Also in May of 2004, Spencer appeared as a feature clinician at the National Vintage and Custom Drum Show in Chicago sponsored as an Endorsement Artist for the Premier Drum Company.

While Spencer is predominately recognized for his career accomplishments as a jazz artist and recording musician, his career has not been limited to performance only. Joel has always maintained a very active schedule as an educator and clinician while pursuing his career as a performer.

In 2004 Spencer became a full-time faculty member in the Northwestern University School of Music. At the rank of Lecturer, Spencer serves as Coordinator of the Jazz Combo Program and instructor of Jazz History, Graduate Studies in Jazz Pedagogy, Jazz Perspectives, and Studio Percussion.


Joel Spencer currently serves as an Endorsement Artist for the following products.

Premier Drums
Zildjian Cymbals
Craviotto Snare Drums
Regal Tip Sticks and Brushes
Aquarian Drum Heads


Dick Reynolds
Origin 82632

Kelly Sill / Jim McNeely / Joel Spencer
Origin 82473


For more information about Joel Spencer, please visit: http://www.spencerdrums.com.

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