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Vern Spevak

Spevak Percussion Concepts, Inc. & The Vern Spevak Big Band
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Vern Spevak is a Chicago Emmy Award winning international performer and music educator who has spent decades earning his reputation as a top ranked drum set player and percussionist.

Early years:

Representing the 6th generation of drummers, Vern Spevak hails from a long family lineage in the art of drumming. Vern grew up in Brookfield, IL, where he learned to play the drums and percussion from his father, Vernon Spevak Sr., a jazz drummer. Vern’s grandfather, Edward F. Spevak, a vaudeville/silent movie percussionist, was also a substantial influence in Vern’s early development as a young performer.

Vern Spevak was awarded a full tuition scholarship and earned a degree in Music Performance from Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, IL. As a young college student, Vern was a member of the internationally acclaimed NIU Jazz Ensemble. Vern performed and toured with many world class musicians, including jazz legends Dizzy Gillespie and Louie Bellson.

While mentoring for several years under the caring eye of one of his childhood drumming heroes, Louie Bellson, Vern was featured in a WTTW film documentary produced by Michael Hirsh titled “A Year in the Life of the Greatest College Jazz Band in America.” This documentary featured a drum battle between Louie Bellson and Vern and was aired nationally. Both Bellson and Spevak received Chicago Emmy Awards for their contribution to the project (see Youtube, Bellson/Spevak drum battle).

After his college years, Mr. Spevak had a very busy schedule performing with his own band and freelanced with other top artists throughout the Chicagoland area. Mr. Spevak has performed as a side man with many celebrities including Mary Wilson (The Supremes) and Jay Leno (Late night talk show host).

Early product endorsements extended to Mr. Spevak were by the Slingerland Drum Company who marketed the Vern Spevak Model VSN drumstick. (1982).

Current times:
Mr. Spevak is currently bandleader of his own musical group, the Vern Spevak Big Band (VSBB). The VSBB performs throughout the Chicagoland and Midwestern area and consists of many Chicagoland top performers. The VSBB and its members have a special dedication toward jazz education and have received rave reviews through their school clinic and concert performance schedule. The group was a featured as guest artists to perform at the opening night ceremonies of the Illinois Music Educators Association Convention (ILMEA). The Vern Spevak Big Band performed to a packed house at the Peoria Convention Center on January 25, 2017.

The Vern Spevak Big Band also performs free community jazz concerts several times per year at the bands home studio in Oswego, IL. (See the Vern Spevak Big Band Facebook page to stay connected!)

The Vern Spevak Big Band has recorded its debut album, Legacy, and will be released the beginning of this summer (2020)

Vern Spevak is the president and education director of Spevak Percussion Concepts, Inc., the nations largest and most highly acclaimed privately owned percussion school. Located in Oswego, IL the 6200 square foot, one acre facility has served thousands of students. Offering both private and semi-private instruction to percussionists of all ages and ability levels, the studio provides students with a unique learning experience.

As an independent jazz artist, Vern Spevak was a special guest at the 23rd annual Klaipeda Castle Jazz Festival, in Klaipeda, Lithuania. Joined by VSBB band mate David Katz (trumpet), the two longtime friends performed together on Saturday June 3rd, 2017 on the festival main stage to a large international audience of jazz lovers. The program was broadcast on live national Lithuanian TV.

Mr. Spevak is a Christian artist and has performed in Kampala Uganda (East Central Africa), for the Watoto Children’s Ministry. www.watoto.com.

Vern Spevaks current product endorsements include Remo, Inc (drumheads and world percussion), Schwebke Custom Drums, and soon to be (in 2020) Innovative Percussion (drumsticks and mallets).