Mickey Hart

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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 the 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".



Before joining the Grateful Dead, Mickey 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. 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 continues, under the band name The Dead.

Alongside his work with the Grateful Dead, Mickey 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. 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 became interested in percussion as a grade-school student. A few months out of high school he "discoverd the work of Nigerian drummer Babatunde Olatunji".[1] Olatunji later taught Hart and collaborated with Hart and the Grateful Dead on a regular basis. [2]

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,[3] and received the first ever Grammy Award for Best World Music Album.[4]

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