Austin James Spika was born on October 3, 1988 in Racine, Wisc. Prior to publishing his first solo composition in 2007, Recognized as an outstanding percussionist, Austin has won numerous awards at the district and state solo-ensemble contests. He had been involved with many musical organizations in the Racine and Milwaukee areas including the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Youth Jazz and Wind Ensembles. Austin has studied with many musicians including jazz composer and arranger Mike Tomaro, Mark Pulice, and jazz drum set artist and teacher, Steve Houghton. A 2007 graduate from Horlick High School in Racine, Austin will major in jazz performance at Columbia College in Chicago, Ill.