Mickey Hart joined the Grateful Dead in September 1967, and left in February 1971. He re-joined the band for good in October 1974. 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.
Hart is also a percussionist, a solo artist, and the author of several books. 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. Nigerian drummer Babatunde Olatunji performed at schools around the country in the late 1950s and had the students try out the drums. Hart had been one of those students and he never forgot the experience. Olatunji later taught Hart and collaborated with Hart and the Grateful Dead on a regular basis.
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 2000, Mickey Hart became a member of the Board of Directors of the Institute for Music and Neurologic Function, a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to seek to establish new knowledge and develop more effective therapies which awaken, stimulate and heal through the extraordinary power of music -- 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
Hart's album Planet Drum not only hit #1 on the Billboard World Music Chart, remaining there for 26 weeks, it also received the Grammy Award for Best World Music Album in 1991—the first Grammy ever awarded in this category.
Mickey Hart has authored books on the history and traditions of drumming throughout history. His solo recordings (featuring a variety of guest musicians) are percussive of course, but also verge on New Age music categorically. His enthusiasm for world music traditions and preservation and collaborative efforts is comparable to that of guitarist Ry Cooder.
Before joining the Grateful Dead, he and his father, Leonard Hart, a champion rudimental drummer, owned and operated Hart Music, selling drums and musical instruments in San Carlos, California.
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, former Phish bassist Mike Gordon and former The Other Ones lead guitarist Steve Kimock, to form the Rhythm Devils, a nickname that refers to Hart and Kreutzmann's legendary drum solos 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.
Mickey hart - At The Edge
1. #4 For Gaia
2. Sky Water
3. Slow Sailing
4. Lonesome Hero
5. Fast Sailing
6. Cougar Run
7. Eliminators, The
9. Pigs In Space
Mickey Hart - Thunder
1. Rolling Thunder / Shoshone Invocation
2. The Main Ten / Playing In The Band
3. Fletcher Carnaby
4. Chase, The
5. Blind John
6. Young Man
7. Deep, Wide & Frequent
8. Pump Song
9. Granma's Cookies
10. Hangin' On
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