Mickey Hart's Biography

Mickey Hart, the multi-Grammy Award winner and drummer for the legendary rock band the Grateful Dead, was born Michael Steven Hartman, in Brooklyn, New York, in 1943. Hart is a present day renaissance man, a creative genius; a musician, author and an artist. He is a multi-Grammy Award winner for his contribution to the world of music, an author of books; and fortunately for his fans and the public, he has been a fountain of creativity, producing a trove of unique and exciting artwork.

In 1967, Hart joined the incomparable rock band, the Grateful Dead; and, besides a break with them from 1971 to 1974, he flourished with the band until their official dissolution in 1995. He has played with various groups since, and is currently on tour with Dead & Company, a band consisting of former Grateful Dead members and John Mayer.

Mickey Hart has had a lifelong fascination with ethnomusicology and "all things percussion". These passions were the impetus to produce Planet Drum, in 1991, which remained at #1 on the Billboard World Music Chart for 26 weeks, receiving the first ever Grammy Award for Best World Music Album. Hart was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of the Grateful Dead in 1994. In 2011, Smithsonian Folkways, the nonprofit record label of the Smithsonian Institution, released the Mickey Hart Collection, consisting of 25 albums; music spanning the globe from the Sudan, Tibet, Latvia, Brazil, et al.

In addition, Hart has authored four books about the history and the traditions of drumming; "Drumming at the Edge of Magic", "Planet Drum", "Spirit into Sound: The Magic of Music" and "Songcatchers: In Search of the World's Music". In "Drumming at the Edge of Magic" and "Planet Drum", Hart starts at the beginning of the universe, at "beat one", with the universe exploding with stars, planets, our sun, us. "First sound/first light", writes Hart. He magically transports his intense, primal sense of rhythm and vibrations directly onto various surfaces, canvas, plexiglass, wood, drumheads, etc. incorporating light, design and color. The results are visually amazing.

"I love the flow of things, to be in the moment, to experience magic. I can feel the vibration, I can see it in the colors, and I become both. This mix is exotic and profound in a vibratory and sensual way for me."