If you love jazz...this concert is for you!  We are honored to have three of Detroit's finest jazz players grace the Mangia Mangia concert stage.  Veteran drummer and bandleader RJ Spangler (who, incidentally, is the nephew of the late legendary San Francisco drummer, composer, and radio DJ Robert "Bud" Spangler), along with guitarist Ralph Tope, and Duncan McMillan on Hammond B3 organ bringing together a very tight trio - who deliver a broad brushstroke of everything from jazz standards, to swing, and a splash of funk for a blend that brings something for everyone.
RJ has been on the Detroit music scene for decades.  He earned his first "Motor City Music Award" in 1982 with a band he co-founded called "The Sun Messengers."  After 15 years with the band, RJ went on to head up the band for the late Detroit blues guitar master Johnnie Bassett - touring extensively across the US, Canada, and Europe.  He also toured and recorded with two of Detroit's beloved blues greats.....the late Joe Weaver, and the late great singer Alberta Adams.  
RJ has performed with legendary artists such as Eddie Kirkland, The Drifters, Earl King, Larry McCray, Francine Reed, Tad Robinson, Pinetop Perkins, Thornetta Davis, and too many other performers to list here.  Spangler is a WC Handy award nominated drummer, and was also inducted into the "Michigan Blues Hall of Fame."  He is also one of the proud co-founders of Planet D Nonet...aka...PD9.  In 2007, he and fellow member of The Sun Messengers, James O'Donnell put together this down & dirty little swing band...playing the classic swing of Ellington & Strayhorn, Fletcher Henderson, Count Basie & Benny Carter, as well as more modern jazz by Sun Ra and Pharoah Saunders...always with a Detroit twist.  The "D" stands for Detroit - and the "Nonet" is a group of nine - but it equals a Detroit Music Award for "Best Jazz CD" in 2011, and "Best Traditional Jazz Band" at the 2013 Detroit Music Awards!
Guitarist Ralph Tope picked up the guitar at the age of 16 after hearing Detroit jazz guitar stalwart Perry Hughes.  After months of sitting quietly in the audience soaking up Mr. Hughes' every move...Perry finally approached Tope to ask why he kept coming out.  Ralph exclaimed he wanted to play just like him - so, after much prodding...Perry agreed to teach him.  Within a few short years, Ralph became - and remans an in-demand player on the Detroit scene.  He enrolled at MSU in 2006, here he met and studied under former "Organissimo" guitarist Joe Gloss - and Rodney Whitaker, (former bassist for the Jazz at Lincoln Center orchestra let by Wynton Marsalis) and current head of the Michigan State University Jazz program.  Ralph continues to perform with "Organissimo" and many other talented musicians....bringing his joy of playing to the audience.
Keyboardist Duncan McMillan began studying piano at age 5.  His musical studies continued with Frederic DeHaven at Christ Church in Grosse Pointe, singing in the boys choir.  He also studies jazz piano and music theory with James Hohmeyer, Bess Bonnier and Matt Michaels.
Upon graduation from Western Michigan University, where he received a B.M. in piano and jazz studies, Duncan established himself as a versatile musician, working as a sideman with such artists as Jon Hendricks, Aretha Franklin, Rodney Whitaker, Ira Sullivan, Marcus Belgrave, the late great Detroit blues guitarist, singer & songwriter Johnnie Bassett & the Blues Insurgents, the late vocalist Odessa Harris - and performs frequently with The Paul Keller Orchestra, as well as lending his piano and organ talents with many other talented bands and artists.  In addition to his busy performance schedule, Duncan works as an independent music instructor, teaching piano, improvisation and composition.  
We hope you can join us for what promises to be an outstanding night of jazz music - delivered in an intimate, "up close & personal" setting that puts the focus on the music.
*Our concerts take place in our private banquet room in the rear of the restaurant.  Full dinner & drink menu's available.  Reservations are recommended, as seating is limited.  Call Patti @ (269) 731-5388, or email at: for reservations and information - or you may contact Mangia Mangia @ (269) 226-3333.  Please leave last name and number in your party with the hostess.
Tags:  RJ Spangler, Mangia Mangia, Jazz, Live Entertainment

Tags: Blues, live entertainment, Mangia Mangia, RJ Spangler, Tags: Jazz