Music Lakeside Summer Concert Series on Beautiful Belleville Lake Brought to you by the Belleville Area Council for the Arts HOME SCHEDULE DIRECTIONS STUFF

Lifelong buddy's RJ Spangler & Tbone Paxton started working together in 1980 with a very popular band around Detroit called the Sun Messengers. They toured the east coast, Midwest and deep south for a number of years. Back then Tbone was awarded a Motor City Music Award for best trombonist. Since that time, he has also become quite an engaging vocalist. In fact, he has been nominated the last two years as best jazz vocalist at the Detroit Music Awards. The two are cornerstone members of the 9 pc Planet D Nonet, and as such, have toured to 11 states, released as many CDs and garnered 6 Detroit Music Awards. Now they have offer this stripped-down project – just four musicians, with a new CD about to drop.


Tbone and RJ have performed in New Orleans and backed singers from there on their tours up north like Johnny Adams, Earl King & Edde Bo for many years, so the music of NOLA is always prominent in their performances; from trad-jazz to R&B. The Great American Songbook: Johnny Mercer, Hoagy Carmichael, Duke Ellington & the Harlem Jive of Fats Waller as well as the proto jump/swing of Louis Jordan are also a big part of each performance. Add some gut-bucket trombone & RJ's experience with blues, swing and world jazz on drums and you have an idea what to expect at their shows. They are favorites at festivals, art fairs, jazz clubs, brew pubs, private parties as well as libraries.John “Tbone” Paxton is a veteran trombonist and vocalist professionally active in Southeastern Michigan for many years. He is the featured singer and trombone soloist with the award-winning jazz ensemble, the Planet D Nonet. John is a 2nd generation musician and a son of the “Jazz Age.” His soulful sense of swing, phrasing, and his ability to interpret and bring personal meaning to a lyric allows him to connect to his audience at an emotional level, both as a vocalist and as an instrumentalist.


John was integral member of the Sun Messengers band for decades, leaving to develop his own career as a jazz singer and trombonist. He has had long associations with many of the great Detroit area bandleaders like Paul Keller, Eddie Nuccilli, Scott Gwinnell and piano master Mr B. Tbone has also played with a lot of great blues and R&B men as well, including Earl King, Johnny Adams, Sir Mac Rice, Pinetop Perkins and even Latin Jazz Great Eddie Palmieri! His repertoire reflects all of these influences, most notably, growing up in a musical home influenced by his father Fred, who was an accomplished pianist working all the major rooms in the area. In fact, a regular pianist at the London Chop House for fifty years! His repertoire features both hits and obscure rarities by such artists as Fats Waller, Frank Sinatra, Danny Barker, Nat Cole and Louis Jordan, creating his own personal take on the Great American Songbook.


John draws the audience in and brings passion, soul, a unique repertoire, joy and authenticity to his performances everywhere and every night!! Look for his upcoming recording “Back in Your Own Backyard” with the RJ Spangler Quartet on the Detroit Music Factory imprint.


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 run the band for Detroit blues guitar master Jhonnie Bassett. With Johnnie, RJ made his way coast to coast in boththe US and Canada as well as many European tours.

   RJ’s resume includes blues and R&B gigs with Eddie Kirkland, the Drifters, Earl King, Wanda Rouzman, James “Thunderbird Davis, Big Jay McNeely, Larry McCray, Francine Reed, Tad Roninson, Shawn Oittman, Sir Mack Rice, The Falcons with Eddie Floyd, Johnnie Adams, Bob Schutz, Eddie Bo, Andre Williams, Nathaniel Mayer, Robert Penn, Eddie and Jimmy Burns, Pinetop Perkins, Ron Levy, Shirley King, James Montgomery,Martha and the Vandellas, Catfish Hodge, Harminica Sha, Mr. Bo, Willie D. Warren, Michael Ray and the Cosmic Krewe, Thornetta Davis, Jos’lyn B, Geno Parks, the Griswa;ld Brothers as well as jazz gigs with James Carter, Faruq Z. Bey, Bill Heid, Leon thomas, Marcus Belgrave and Roy Brooks.

Today, RJ is a WC Handy nominated drummer, producer of CDs and live events and a guiding force behind the Planet D Nonet in addition to leading a very busy organ trio. RJ can be heard on over 70 nationally available CDs.

The Paxton Spangler Band