About Lucas

Drummer ■ Educator ■ Composer

Lucas Gillan performs as a drummer in diverse musical settings, teaches multiple instruments to a wide range of ages, and composes and presents his own music on a regular basis.


His drumming has brought him to the top jazz and rock clubs in Chicago, like the Green Mill, the Jazz Showcase, Andy's Jazz Club, Lincoln Hall, Schubas and many more. He has also toured around the country, including shows in St. Louis, Madison, Indianapolis, Cincinnati, Nashville, and Austin. He teaches drum set as an adjunct faculty member at Wheaton College and teaches drums, piano and guitar to a large studio of private students in Chicago and the north shore through Piano Power. He has ten years of teaching experience.


A short list of some of the musicians he has performed with includes:


►Jazz Musicians: Matt Ulery, Marquis Hill, Victor Garcia, Jim Gailloreto, East Hubbard Jazz Orchestra, John Goldman, Terry Bartolotta, Dan Burke

►Singer-songwriter Bonzie (including performances in New York and at Austin’s South By Southwest festival)

►Performing Arts Groups: I Gotta Right to Sing the Blues, Baby Wants Candy, Chicago Tap Theatre


Apart from his work as a sideman and an educator, Lucas also composes and presents his own music. He leads an original jazz quartet called Lucas Gillan's Many Blessings, with whom he has performed at Constellation, Elastic Arts, the Green Mill, the Whistler, the California Clipper, and the Old Town School of Folk Music, among many other venues. In June 2016, Many Blessings performed at the Jazz Record Art Collective, playing Lucas' original arrangements of every track from the 1956 LP Herbie Nichols Trio. Many Blessings' debut album, Arroyo, is set to be released on JeruJazz Records in 2017. Lucas is also the drummer in the Chicago soul/pop band The Right Now, who recently released their third full-length album, Starlight, which includes tracks co-composed by Lucas.


He also occasionally performs as a solo singer-songwriter, and has performed at Chicago's Uncommon Ground many times.


Lucas started playing drums when he was nine years old in his hometown of Tucson, Arizona, and quickly found himself performing frequently in settings as varied as churches, punk clubs and jazz concerts before entering high school. While in high school, Lucas played in Tucson's top student jazz and classical ensembles, including the award-winning Arizona Jazz Academy (now Tucson Jazz Institute). He moved to the Chicago area to attend Northern Illinois University, graduating in December '07 with a Bachelor of Music in Jazz Studies and a minor in Journalism.


While at NIU, Lucas learned from world-renowned educators like jazz studies director Ronald Carter and professor of percussion Gregory Beyer. While playing in Carter's jazz ensemble, Lucas had the privilege of performing with jazz greats Antonio Hart, Claudio Roditi, John Clayton, and Charles McPherson.


In June 2017, he graduated from DePaul University with a Master of Music in Jazz Studies. While at DePaul, he studied drum set with Dana Hall and composition and arranging with Thomas Matta.


    •    Contact Lucas at lwgillan@gmail.com

    •    Find out where he'll be next at the gigs page

    •    Listen to his music on SoundCloud