Ivan Alexander Spence Jr.

Ivan Alexander Spence Jr. whom you can call “Alex,” began his formative musical education began in Heidelberg High School in Heidelberg, Germany where he grew up.  He is originally from Atlantic City, New Jersey, however at 10 years old his mother and stepfather received a contract to work as Department of Defense contractors in Frankfurt, Germany. Relocating to Heidelberg after living for 7 years in Frankfurt due to military base closure, there was a large arts community where he chose to enroll in guitar classes. Thereafter, he chose to pursue music further by attending the Music Technology Recording Arts program at the private school Bloomfield College, located in Bloomfield, New Jersey. In the degree program, which was lead by jazz saxophonist Peter Gordon who’s worked with the likes of Arthur Russell of the Talking Heads, Elliot James Murphy Jr., and avant-garde violinist Laurie Anderson Alex learned jazz-improvisation and musical composition. Currently, He is a freelance guitarist and audio engineer who is recording projects for local musical artists, and is in process of putting together a house band for the Jazz-Funk Connection located at 2355 Platte Place here in Colorado Springs. His influences range from musicians that he has played with in church from his early days of learning guitar in Germany, to the likes of cellist Arthur Russell whom he has recorded and jammed with alongside Peter Gordon. He still considers himself self-taught because post formal guitar instruction in high school he has been studying the guitar on his own. His Bachelor of Arts degree is in Creative Arts Technology with a concentration in Music Technology, this means that he specializes in the equipment systems for both recording and performing music live. His instruction specialization is in teaching proper guitar playing technique to prevent injury, economical picking and note voicing. Post-graduation when Alex ran a Recording studio in East Orange, New Jersey he began informally teaching kids from 16-19 how to play guitar for a year, although he is capable of teaching anyone from 7-19. His teaching philosophy while developed in an informal setting, still has the strict training from working with formally trained Jazz musicians. It entails: completing musical phrases regardless of mistakes, isolating troublesome measures in a piece of music being performed for refinement, and improvising in the key of the practiced piece to explore alternative ways of expressing the piece’s performance. Moreover because Alex believes the desired mindset of a musical performer is non-strenuous flow, after evaluating the skill-set of any prospective student he tries to adapt to their concentration ability. If their ability to concentrate allows for rigorous training, he applies a laid back approach and vice versa if they cannot. Alex believes he is at the service of the student, and the parent’s desired results. Alex is an inspired musical artist that believes in pushing the boundaries of virtuosity and expression. Music for him is about upholding or challenging convention and providing boundless freedom to the intellect. Join him for an adventure of a lifetime.