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Mickey Hart
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Mickey Hart
Mickey Hart, Web 2.0 Conference.jpg
Hart at the Web 2.0 conference in 2005
Background information
Birth name Michael Steven Hartman
Born September 11, 1943 (age 73)
Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
Genres Rock, world music
Occupation(s) Musician
Instruments Drums, percussion
Years active 1960s–present
Associated acts Grateful Dead, The Other Ones, The Dead, Rhythm Devils, Dead & Company

Mickey Hart leading a drum circle, February 2005
Mickey Hart (born Michael Steven Hartman, September 11, 1943) is an American percussionist and musicologist. He is best known as one of the two drummers of the rock band Grateful Dead. He was a member of the Grateful Dead from September 1967 to February 1971 and from October 1974 to August 1995. He and fellow Dead drummer Bill Kreutzmann earned the nickname “the rhythm devils”.

Contents [hide]
1 Early life and education
2 Career
3 Personal life
4 Works
4.1 Books
4.2 Albums
4.3 Video
5 See also
6 Notes
7 References
8 Further reading
9 External links
Early life and education[edit]
Michael Steven Hartman was born in Brooklyn and grew up on Long Island attending Lawrence High School before dropping out as a senior and leaving for Europe.[1]

Hart became interested in percussion as a grade-school student. A few months out of high school he discovered the work of Nigerian drummer Babatunde Olatunji.[2] Olatunji later taught Hart and collaborated with Hart and the Grateful Dead on a regular basis.[3]

Before joining the Grateful Dead, Hart and his father, Leonard Hart, a champion rudimental drummer, owned and operated Hart Music, selling drums and musical instruments in San Carlos, California.

Hart joined the Grateful Dead in September 1967 and left in February 1971 when he extricated himself from the band due to conflict between band management and his father.[4] During his sabbatical in 1972 he recorded the album Rolling Thunder. He returned to the Dead in 1974 and remained with the group until their official dissolution in 1995. Collaboration with the remaining members of the Grateful Dead continued under the name “The Dead”, as well as playing with Dead & Company which started in 2015.

Alongside his work with the Grateful Dead, Hart has flourished as a solo artist, percussionist, and the author of several books. In these endeavors he has pursued a lifelong interest in ethnomusicology and in world music.[5] His travels and his interest in all things percussion-related led him to collect percussion instruments, and to collaborate with percussion masters the world over.

Hart was influential in recording global musical traditions on the verge of possible extinction, working with archivists and ethnomusicologists at both the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress and the Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage at the Smithsonian Institution. He is on the Board of Trustees of the American Folklife Center and has been a spokesperson for the “Save Our Sounds” audio preservation initiative. He also serves on the Library of Congress National Recorded Sound Preservation Board and is known for reissues and other recordings with historical and cultural value.

In 1991, Hart produced the album Planet Drum, which remained at #1 on the Billboard World Music chart for 26 weeks,[6] and received the first ever Grammy Award for Best World Music Album.[7]

Hart has written books on the history and traditions of drumming throughout history. His solo recordings (featuring a variety of guest musicians) are percussive but verge on New Age. His enthusiasm for world music traditions and preservation and collaborative efforts is comparable to that of guitarist Ry Cooder.

In 1994, Mickey Hart was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of the Grateful Dead.[8]

In 2000, Hart became a member of the Board of Directors of the Institute for Music and Neurologic Function, a not-for-profit organization that studies the healing power of music[9] – continuing his investigation into the connection between healing and rhythm, and the neural basis of rhythm. In 2003, he was honored with the organization’s Music Has Power Award, recognizing his advocacy and continuous commitment to raising public awareness of the positive effect of music.[10]

Mickey Hart (in background, playing drums) and Bob Weir (playing guitar) performing at the Mid-Atlantic Inaugural Ball during the presidential inauguration of Barack Obama, January 20, 2009.

Tipper Gore and Mickey Hart playing drums together during a The Dead concert in April 2009
Hart was also a judge for the 3rd annual Independent Music Awards to support independent artists’ careers.[11]

After the death of Jerry Garcia and the consequent dissolution of the Grateful Dead in 1995, Hart continued to play music with various groups including members of the Grateful Dead. In the 1996 Furthur Festival, Mickey Hart’s Mystery Box played, as did Bob Weir’s band Ratdog.

In 2005, Hart and the members of the band Particle joined to create the Hydra Project.

During 2006, Hart teamed up with fellow Grateful Dead bandmate Bill Kreutzmann, Phish bassist Mike Gordon and former Other Ones lead guitarist Steve Kimock, to form the Rhythm Devils, a nickname that refers to Hart and Kreutzmann’s drum duets and improvisation. The band features songs from their respective repertoires as well as new songs written by Jerry Garcia’s songwriting companion Robert Hunter. The Rhythm Devils announced their first tour in 2006, which ended at the popular Vegoose festival in Las Vegas, Nevada over the Halloween weekend.

In June and July 2008, Hart led the Mickey Hart Band on a US concert tour. The band consists of Hart, Steve Kimock on guitar and pedal steel guitar, George Porter, Jr. on bass, Kyle Hollingsworth on keyboards, Sikiru Adepoju on talking drum, Walfredo Reyes, Jr. on drums, and Jen Durkin on vocals.[12][13]

In 2010 Hart debuted “Rhythms of the Universe,” a composition based on a variety of astrophysical data. The composition represents a collaboration between scientist and artist, using their own sophisticated tools. Nobel Laureate in physics George Smoot from the University of California, Berkeley, and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), and Keith Jackson, a computer scientist and musician also from LBNL, are providing some of the data for the project. The final result will be a “musical history of the universe”, from the Big Bang onwards through galaxy and star formation, up until modern times, including images from the Hubble Space Telescope and rhythms derived from the cosmic background radiation, supernovae, quasars, and many other astrophysical phenomena. The work premiered at the conference “Cosmology on the Beach” in Playa del Carmen in January 2010.[14]

In April 2010, it was announced that Rhythm Devils will tour in the summer of 2010 with a new lineup including Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann (assorted percussion), Keller Williams (guitar, vocals), Sikiru Adepoju (talking drum), Davy Knowles (guitar, vocals), and Andy Hess (bass).[15]

The Rhythm Devils did only one show in 2011, at the Gathering of the Vibes Music Festival in Bridgeport, Connecticut. This version of the band was Hart, Kreutzmann, Keller Williams, Sikiru, Steve Kimock and Reed Mathis of Tea Leaf Green on bass.[16]

In 2011 Hart debuted a new version of the Mickey Hart Band.[17] This lineup included Tim Hockenberry (vocals, keyboards, trombone, saxophone, other instruments), Crystal Monee Hall (vocals, guitar, hand percussion), Ben Yonas (keyboards), Gawain Mathews (guitar), Sikiru Adepoju (talking drum, djembe, shakers), Ian “Inkx” Herman (drums), Greg Ellis (percussion), Vir McCoy (bass). The band played a few shows in August 2011 on the east and west coasts of the United States. In November and December 2011, the Mickey Hart Band did a 17-date tour with a slightly modified lineup. McCoy and Ellis were not in this lineup, and Widespread Panic band member Dave Schools joined the band as their bass player for the tour.[18][19]

On October 11, 2011, Smithsonian Folkways released The Mickey Hart Collection. Comprising 25 albums, the series includes music from regions that span the globe, including the Sudan, Nigeria, Tibet, Indonesia, Latvia, and Brazil.[20]

Mickey Hart in 2013
In August 2013, the Mickey Hart Band embarked upon a tour with the Tea Leaf Trio, which includes three members of the band Tea Leaf Green, in support of the band’s new album titled Superorganism.[21]

On September 29, 2013, the completed version of his and George Smoot’s film Rhythms of the Universe premiered at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C.[22]

In the summer of 2015, the surviving members of the Grateful Dead (Bob Weir, Phil Lesh, Bill Kreutzmann and Mickey Hart), joined by Trey Anastasio, Bruce Hornsby and Jeff Chimenti, performed a series of concerts to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Grateful Dead. The performances took place at Santa Clara’s Levi Stadium on June 27 and 28, 2015 and Chicago’s Soldier Field on July 3, 4 and 5, 2015. These performances marked the first time Weir, Lesh, Kreutzmann and Hart performed together since the Dead’s 2009 tour and was publicized as the final time the musicians will all perform together.[23]

Mickey is currently touring with Dead & Company, a band consisting of former Grateful Dead members Bob Weir, Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann, along with John Mayer (guitar), Oteil Burbridge (bass), and Jeff Chimenti (keyboards). The band announced 22 concert dates for 2015, from October 29 through December 31, all in the United States.

Personal life[edit]

Mickey Hart, January 2013
Hart has been married since 1990 to lawyer, environmental activist and Sonoma County Regional Parks Director Caryl Hart, with whom he has had two children Reya and Taro.[24] Taro had his heartbeat recorded in utero and used as the basis for the album Music to Be Born By. He lives in Occidental, California.[25] His brother, Jerry Hart, is a radio talk show host and social media business consultant based in San Francisco.[26] Hart is the only Jewish member of the Grateful Dead.[27][28] He is close friends with actress Whoopi Goldberg.

Drumming at the Edge of Magic: A Journey into the Spirit of Percussion. San Francisco: Harper. 1990. ISBN 978-0062503725.
Planet Drum: A Celebration of Percussion and Rhythm. Harper Collins. 1991. ISBN 978-0062504142.
Spirit into Sound: The Magic of Music. Grateful Dead Books. 1999. ISBN 978-1888358230.
Songcatchers: In Search of the World’s Music. National Geographic. 2003. ISBN 079224107X.
Rolling Thunder (1972) – Mickey Hart
Diga (1976) – Diga Rhythm Band
The Apocalypse Now Sessions: The Rhythm Devils Play River Music (1980) – Rhythm Devils
Däfos (1983) – Mickey Hart, Airto Moreira, Flora Purim[29]
Yamantaka (1983) – Mickey Hart, Henry Wolff, Nancy Hennings[30]
Music to Be Born By (1989) – Mickey Hart[31]
At the Edge (1990) – Mickey Hart
Planet Drum (1991) – Mickey Hart
Mickey Hart’s Mystery Box (1996) – Mickey Hart
Supralingua (1998) – Mickey Hart
Spirit into Sound (1999) – Mickey Hart
The Best of Mickey Hart: Over the Edge and Back (2002) – Mickey Hart
Global Drum Project (2007) – Mickey Hart, Zakir Hussain, Sikiru Adepoju, Giovanni Hidalgo
Mysterium Tremendum (2012) – Mickey Hart Band
Superorganism (2013) – Mickey Hart Band
The Rhythm Devils Concert Experience (2008) – The Rhythm Devils
See also[edit]
Steal your square icon.jpgGrateful Dead portal P vip.svgBiography portal
Jump up ^ Needles, Tim. “Interview with Grateful Dead drummer & musicologist Mickey Hart”. Short and Sweet NYC. Retrieved 2015-04-06.
Jump up ^ Hart, Mickey; Stevens, Jay; Lieberman, Fredric (1990). Drumming at the Edge of Magic. San Francisco: Harper. p. 127.


All Text from WIKIPEDIA, the Free Encyclopedia



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