“I just got done seeing Spero jam,” raves Chris Devins, music connoisseur and executive producer of Hot Wax TV. “Spero was jammin’!” Spero was recently featured in the Hyde Park Jazz Festival, which Devins comments showcases the best young jazz musicians from Chicago.
“Spero is fresh and exciting,” adds Chicago’s most prominent female Latin artist Guia Rivera. “Even people, who don’t like jazz, like Spero. He’s that good.”
What can we expect from a musician who has three generations of Spero coursing through his bloodline? It was his father and grandfather who raised him in the tradition of true musicianship. But what we don’t expect: abnormality. He’s fearless to break from the established rules of music theory, truly wild in improvisational technique. Spero constantly pushes the boundaries onstage and offstage with his eccentric, signature style of playing. When you hear him experiment with jazz fusion onstage, you wonder, is this guy high or something? Think Jimi Hendrix but on a keyboard. Spero’s drug of choice: coffee. He’s racked up so many points on his Starbucks card, he’s one junkie who just can’t live without java. Fans, be aware that a fresh batch of chocolate brownies will appease the budding jazz musician.
Another question: Can one truly equate jazz musician with being sexy? Today we can. Depending on his mood, Spero decides if he wants to rock a ‘fro this fashion season. The ladies love him regardless. Spero, perhaps, draws upon the Freudian instinct to procreate. He’s already begun to give birth to a revolution mating hiphop, rock, and metal with avant-garde jazz. The result is his current jazz fusion album “Live in 25” available at online stores.
His credo comes from studying Jazz Piano and Composition at the University of Illinois – Urbana – Champaign. A proud Fighting Illini, Spero graduated with a Bachelor’s in Music Composition and Jazz Performance. He further studied jazz piano with world-renowned musicians include the likes of Chip Stephens, Joan Hickey, and Chip McNeal. His most recent recording on Frank Catalano’s Mighty Burner album debuted at 11 on the Jazz Billboard Charts, and after 20 weeks on the Billboards became a best-selling jazz album for 2006. He has shared the stage with countless respected musicians, including Harrison Bankhead, and Leon Joyce (of the Ramsey Lewis Trio), Frank Russell, Dede Sampio, and Robert Lee Irving III (the latter three of the Miles Davis ensembles).
This past year Spero has built a name for himself as a solo artist. Each performance is a revelation in the sporadic experiment of jazz fusion. Those hip to the music happenings in Chicago flock to Spero’s performances at the House of Blues Chicago, The Green Mill, Andy’s Jazz Club, Martyrs, Fitzgerald’s among many venues. Greg Spero has toured nationally with his closest collaborators in his GMG Trio, whose most recent album was nominated as Best Jazz Album of the Year by the Chicago Music Awards.
Spero is an instrumental leader on the new scene. We’re letting the world know Chicago still breeds the forerunners in jazz fusion.
Edited by gns13 on 25 Mar 2010, 05:00
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