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LARRY SPIVACK

 

Larry Spivack
     

Born in Brooklyn, New York in 1954, Larry's first instrument was the accordion. "My teacher was John Maggio, who played and taught every instrument." As a teenager Larry switched to drums and played with a local garage band. At James Madison High he began writing arrangements for school shows. He learned harmony in an unusual way: "My friend loaned me a fake book and I copied out the music to 300 songs. I could pretty much figure out chord changes after that."



At Brooklyn College Larry studied with Morris "Arnie" Lang, a member of the New York Philharmonic percussion section regarded as one of the top orchestral cymbal players in the world. While a student, Larry purchased a used combo organ and began playing club dates on weekends. "I wasn't that good, but keyboard players always worked."

Larry also fell in love with the vibraphone. He took lessons from jazz virtuoso David Friedman and began composing solos and chamber music featuring the vibes.



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Larry continued his education at the Juilliard School where he studied with legendary timpanist Saul Goodman and world-class snare drummer Elden "Buster" Bailey. "I was incredibly lucky to have studied with so many old masters." He received a Master of Music Degree in 1977.


Upon graduating Larry began his career as a freelance musician in New York City, composing his first filmscore and substituting in the Broadway production of A Chorus Line. He also wrote a 3-second fanfare for brass and percussion that was aired on ABC-TV from 1980-1982 to announce that programs were being broadcast with closed captioning for the hearing-impaired. "It was on before all of their prime-time shows, so my music was heard by millions."

 

 

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