Visiting Assistant Professor of Music- Applied Jazz Drums
BS in Music Education, MM in Jazz Performance -
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Professor Spencer has performed with international jazz artists throughout the US and the world. These have included such artists as Wayne Shorter, David Liebman, Hank Jones, Cedar Walton, Clark Terry, Joe Henderson, Red Rodney, the Count Basie Orchestra, Chet Baker, Sonny Stitt, and Wynton Marsalis.
As a Chicago studio musician, Spencer has recorded hundreds of nationally televised product commercials as well as a number of major motion picture soundtracks. He recently appeared on national TV with vocalist Barbra Streisand and performed at the famed Green Mill Jazz Club in Chicago with tenor saxophonist and composer Bob
Joel Spencer has performed at Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen with vocalist Joe Williams, the Umbria Jazz Festival in Perugia, Italy with trumpeter Red Rodney, the North Sea Jazz Festival in Holland with pianist Ellis Marsalis, the Red Sea Jazz Festival in Eilat, Israel with saxophonist Frank Tiberi, and in Berlin with pianist Daniel Barenboim and the Ellington Tribute Orchestra.
As an educator, Spencer has served as Applied Jazz Drum Set Instructor at DePaul University, Coordinator of Jazz Studies at Northwestern University, and Director of Jazz Ensemble at the University of Illinois at Chicago. In addition, he has been featured as a guest artist-clinician with a number of major university jazz programs throughout the country.
I feel my role demands a dual responsibility: teacher and mentor. Not only must I share my valuable performance experiences as a professional musician, but also ensure that students develop the creative skills and techniques necessary to succeed artistically in the ever-changing musical landscape of the 21st century.