LUCAS GILLAN, drums
Lucas Gillan has been teaching drum lessons in the Chicago area since 2007. He teaches jazz drum set as part of the adjunct faculty at Wheaton College and is the percussion instructor at Fenwick High School. With a broad musical background that includes everything from garage bands to jazz gigs to professional orchestras, Lucas has a unique perspective on what kind of experiences music can offer.
His teaching approach balances a solid grounding in music fundamentals with a creative spirit that is open to each student’s musical interests. As a beginner himself, Lucas was much more interested in writing his own music than in learning how to play the music of others, and he passes on that creative spirit to his students.
Lucas originally began making music in his hometown of Tucson, AZ, where he performed in church, punk clubs, and all-city jazz ensembles by the time he had graduated from middle school. His passion for music led him to the renowned jazz-studies program at Northern Illinois University. He graduated with a major in jazz studies and a minor in journalism in 2007.
Aside from being an inspired teacher, Lucas is an active performer in Chicago’s music scene. He leads his own jazz group, Lucas Gillan’s Many Blessings, which released its debut album, Arroyo, in September 2017. He plays drums in the nationally-known soul/pop group The Right Now, and performs as a freelancer with a wide variety of different musicians in Chicago's diverse music scene. He has performed at venues ranging from the Jazz Showcase to the United Center. In 2017, he graduated with a Master of Music in jazz studies at DePaul University, where he studied closely with world-renowned drummer Dana Hall.
When he's not busy with his studies or his careers as a performer or teacher, Lucas enjoys reading, exploring the outdoors, and experiencing the cultural riches of Chicago with his wife, Anna.