Basic Background Info

Birth: September 11, 1943
Location: San Francisco, California
Band: Grateful Dead, Rhythm Devils
Genres: Rock
Instruments: Drums, Percussion
Occupation: Musician


Drummer and percussionist Mickey Hart is best known as half of the Grateful Dead's rhythm section the Rhythm Devils. Mickey Hart became interested in drumming and world rhythms as a student when Nigerian drummer Babatunde Olatunji performed at his school and allowed students to experiment with his drums.

Mickey Hart joined the famed Grateful Dead in the late summer of 1967. Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann created the powerful rhythm section behind the band, appropriately called the Rhythm Devils. Together Hart and Kreutzmann introduced audiences to an array of international percussion instruments and their exotic sounds. To the dismay of many fans, in early 1971 Mickey Hart took a sabbatical from the Dead and worked as a solo artist. However, several members of the Dead performed on his first solo album, Rolling Thunder, released in 1972.

Mickey Hart returned to the Dead, and to Kreutzmann's side, in 1974 and stayed with the band until they officially disbanded in 1995. Meanwhile, he continued several other projects, including the 1976 release Diga, which he also produced. The Diga Rhythm Band experimented with world fusion beats. Mickey Hart immersed himself in not only world instruments, but the cultures of those instruments and their histories.

Mickey Hart contributed nearly all of the music for the film Apocalypse Now in 1979 and 1980. In 1983, Mickey Hart released a compilation of music he created during recordings all around the world with various cultural groups. Hart also reinvigorated the Diga Rhythm Band and worked with his Babtunde Olatunji. In the late 1980s, Mickey Hart released an interesting album inspired by the sound of his son's heartbeat while in the womb, called Music to Be Born By.

Full of knowledge and experience, Mickey Hart wrote several books sharing his wealth. In 1990 he published Drumming at the Edge of Magic and the following year he published Planet Drum. An accompanying album, also called Planet Drum, won a Grammy Away for Best World Music Album in 1991. Mickey Hart also authored Spirit into Sound: The Magic of Music, and Songcatchers: In Search of the World's Music.

Most recently, Mickey Hart worked on Global Drum Project with Zakir Hussain, Sikiru Adepoju, and Giovanni Hidalgo; they released an album in 2007.



2012Mysertium TremendumMickey Hart Band2013SuperorganismMickey Hart Band

2008Vault BoxThe Grateful Dead2008Vault BoxThe Grateful Dead

Album Year Album Name Album Band
1967 Grateful Dead The Grateful Dead
1968 Anthem of the Sun The Grateful Dead
1969 Aoxomoxoa The Grateful Dead
1969 Live/Dead The Grateful Dead
1970 American Beauty The Grateful Dead
1970 Workingman's Dead The Grateful Dead
1970 Blows Against the Empire Paul Kantner & Jefferson Starship
1971 If I Could Only Remember My Name David Crosby
1971 Grateful Dead (Skull & Roses) The Grateful Dead
1971 New Riders of the Purple Sage The New Riders of the Purple Sage
1972 Rolling Thunder Mickey Hart
1973 Baron Von Tollbooth & the Chrome Nun Paul Kantner & Grace Slick
1974 Tales of the Great Rum Runners Robert Hunter
1974 Sarangi: The Music of India Ustad Sultan Khan
1975 Blues for Allah The Grateful Dead
1975 Seastones Ned Lagin
1975 Tiger Rose Robert Hunter
1976 Diga Diga Rhythm Band
1976 Reflections Jerry Garcia
1976 Diga Rhythm Band Mickey Hart/Diga Rhythm Band
1976 Before Time Began The New Riders of the Purple Sage
1976 Struggle Woody Guthrie
1977 Terrapin Station The Grateful Dead
1977 Lovin' in the Valley of The Moon Norton Buffalo
1978 Shakedown Street The Grateful Dead
1978 Eclipse Hamza El Din
1978 Desert Horizon Norton Buffalo

Music of Upper & Lower Egypt

Various Artists
1979 Jazayer Plus Ali Jihad Racy Jazayer plus Ali Jihad Racy
1979 Apocalypse Now Original Soundtrack
1980 Go to Heaven The Grateful Dead
1980 Apocalypse Now Sessions Mickey Hart
1980 Rhythm Devils Play River Music The Rhythm Devils
1981 Dead Set The Grateful Dead
1981 Reckoning The Grateful Dead
1982 Dead Ahead [DVD] The Grateful Dead
1982 Promontory Rider: A Retrospective Collection Robert Hunter
1983 Yamantaka [Bonus Tracks] Mickey Hart/Henry Wolff/Nancy Hennings
1983 Dzintars: Songs of Amber The Latvian Women's Choir
1983 Digital Domain: A Demonstration Various Artists
1986 Tibetan Tantric Choir Gyuto Monks
1986 Honor the Earth Powwow: Songs of the Great Lakes Indi Various Artists
1987 In the Dark The Grateful Dead
1987 Light of the Spirit Kitaro
1987 Escape from Noise Negativland
1988 Other Side of This Airto Moreira
1988 Drums of Passion: The Invocation Babatunde Olatunji
1988 Travelling Jewish Wedding Golden Gate Gypsy Orchestra
1988 Watchfire Pete Sears & Friends
1988 Folkways: The Original Vision Various Artists
1989 Drums of Passion: The Beat Babatunde Olatunji
1989 Peace on Earth Country Joe McDonald
1989 Dylan & the Dead Dylan & the Dead
1989 Built to Last The Grateful Dead
1989 Freedom Chants from the Roof of the World Gyuto Monks
1989 Music to Be Born By Mickey Hart
1989 Dafos Mickey Hart/Airto/Flora Purim
1990 Doc Watson Family Doc Watson
1990 Without a Net The Grateful Dead
1990 Venu Hariprasad Chaurasia
1990 At the Edge Mickey Hart
1991 Infrared Roses The Grateful Dead
1991 Planet Drum Mickey Hart
1991 Apocalypse Now Sessions Rhythm Devils
1991 One from the Vault The Grateful Dead
1991 Around the World for a Song Various Artists
1991 Voices of the Rainforest [Rykodisc] Various Artists
1991 Zakir Hussain & The Rhythm Experience Zukair Hussain & The Rhythm Experience
1992 Two from the Vault The Grateful Dead
1992 Navajo Songs Various Artists
1993 Men Are Made in the Paint Bill Walton
1993 Rare, Live & Classic Joan Baez
1993 Endangered Music Project: Spirit Cries Various Artists
1993 Spirit Cries Various Artists
1994 Best of Both Worlds: Rykodisc/Hannibal World Music Sampler Various Artists
1994 Big Bang: In the Beginning Was a Drum Various Artists
1994 Music of Indonesia: Music for the Gods Various Artists
1994 Warriors KFOG All Star Jam Various Artists
1995 Dick's Picks, Vol. 3 The Grateful Dead
1995 Lovin' in the Valley of the Moon/Desert Horizon Norton Buffalo
1996 Live! Fillmore West 1969 Country Joe & the Fish & Friends
1996 Rock 'N' Roll Heaven Frank Novato
1996 Arista Years The Grateful Dead
1996 Dick's Picks, Vol. 4 The Grateful Dead
1996 Dozin' at the Knick The Grateful Dead
1996 Mickey Hart's Mystery Box Mickey Hart
1996 Watchfire [Relix] Pete Sears & Friends
1997 Dick's Picks, Vol. 5 The Grateful Dead
1997 Dick's Picks, Vol. 6 The Grateful Dead
1997 Dick's Picks, Vol. 8 The Grateful Dead
1997 Dick's Picks, Vol. 9 The Grateful Dead
1997 Live at Fillmore East 2-11-69 The Grateful Dead
1997 Warriors of Virtue Original Soundtrack
1997 Kundun Philip Glass
1997 Marching to Mars Sammy Hagar
1997 Downhill From Here The Grateful Dead
1997 Best of Ellipsis Arts: Big Bang Various Artists
1997 Correa de Azevedo: Music of Cear· and Minas Gerais Various Artists
1997 Discoteca Collection: Missao de Pesquisas FolclÛricas Various Artists
1997 Furthur Various Artists
1997 Furthur More Various Artists
1997 Utom: Summoning the Spirit Various Artists
1998 Superlingua Mickey Hart/Planet Drum
1998 Arthur S. Alberts Collection: More Tribal, Folk and Cafe Music of West Africa Various Artists
1998 Mondo Beat: Masters of Percussion Various Artists
1998 New Visions: World Rhythms Various Artists
1998 Selections from Mondo Beat Various Artists
1998 Yoruba/Dahomean Collection: Orishas Across the Ocean Various Artists
1998 Offerings Vas
1999 Dick's Picks, Vol. 13 The Grateful Dead
1999 Dick's Picks, Vol. 15 The Grateful Dead
1999 Strange Remain The Other Ones
1999 Living Art, Sounding Spirit: The Bali Sessions Various Artists
1999 Sing Out for Seva Various Artists
2000 Evening Moods Bob Weir & Ratdog
2000 Dick's Picks, Vol. 10 The Grateful Dead
2000 Dick's Picks, Vol. 16 The Grateful Dead
2000 Dick's Picks, Vol. 17 The Grateful Dead
2000 Dick's Picks, Vol. 18 The Grateful Dead
2000 Dick's Picks, Vol. 20 The Grateful Dead
2000 Spirit into Sound Mickey Hart
2000 Running Free Original Soundtrack
2000 Journey with the Sun Paul Winter & the Earth Band
2000 Marching to Mars [Import Bonus Tracks] Sammy Hagar
2001 Dick's Picks, Vol. 21 The Grateful Dead
2001 Dick's Picks, Vol. 22 The Grateful Dead
2001 Golden Road (1965-1973) The Grateful Dead
2001 Nightfall of Diamonds The Grateful Dead
2001 Best of Grammy Awards Kitaro
2001 Apocalypse Now Redux Original Soundtrack
2001 View from the Vault II The Grateful Dead
2001 Into the Music: Jam Bands, Vol. 1 Various Artists
2002 Go to Nassau The Grateful Dead
2002 Postcards of the Hanging: The Grateful Dead Perform the Songs of Bob Dylan The Grateful Dead
2002 Perfect Jewel: Sacred Chants of Tibet Gyuto Monks Tantric Choir
2002 Mondo Head Kodo
2002 Best of Mickey Hart: Over the Edge and Back Mickey Hart
2002 View from the Vault III The Grateful Dead
2002 New Riders of the Purple Sage/Powerglide The New Riders of the Purple Sage
2003 Closing of Winterland The Grateful Dead
2003 Dick's Picks, Vol. 29 The Grateful Dead
2003 American Beauty [Bonus Tracks] The Grateful Dead
2003 Anthem of the Sun [Bonus Tracks] The Grateful Dead
2003 Aoxomoxoa [Bonus Tracks] The Grateful Dead
2003 History of the Grateful Dead, Vol. 1 (Bear's Choice) The Grateful Dead
2003 Live/Dead [Bonus Tracks] The Grateful Dead
2003 Very Best of the Grateful Dead The Grateful Dead
2003 View from the Vault IV The Grateful Dead
2003 Workingman's Dead [Bonus Tracks] The Grateful Dead
2003 New Riders of the Purple Sage [Bonus Tracks] The New Riders of the Purple Sage
2004 Beyond Description (1973-1989) The Grateful Dead
2004 Dick's Picks, Vol. 32 The Grateful Dead
2004 Dick's Picks, Vol. 33 The Grateful Dead
2004 All Good Things: Jerry Garcia Studio Sessions Jerry Garcia
2004 Essential Red Collection Sammy Hagar
2004 American Beauty [DualDisc] The Grateful Dead
2005 Dick's Picks, Vol. 34 The Grateful Dead
2005 Truckin' Up to Buffalo: July 4, 1989 The Grateful Dead
2005 Ladder to the Stars: Garcia Plays Dylan Jerry Garcia
2005 Reflections [Bonus Tracks] Jerry Garcia
2005 Blows Against the Empire [Expanded Edition] Paul Kantner
2005 Silver Solstice Paul Winter
2005 Fillmore West 1969 The Grateful Dead
2005 Grateful Dead Movie Soundtrack The Grateful Dead
2005 Night at the Family Dog Various Artists
2006 Intersections 1985-2005 Bruce Hornsby
2006 Voyage [Box Set] David Crosby
2006 Blues for Allah [Bonus Tracks] The Grateful Dead
2006 Shakedown Street [Bonus Tracks] The Grateful Dead
2006 Terrapin Station [Bonus Tracks] The Grateful Dead
2006 Babel [Original Soundtrack] Gustavo Santaolalla
2006 Very Best of Jerry Garcia Jerry Garcia
2006 Built to Last [Bonus Tracks] The Grateful Dead
2006 Dead Set [Bonus Tracks] The Grateful Dead
2006 Go to Heaven [Bonus Tracks] The Grateful Dead
2006 In the Dark [Bonus Tracks] The Grateful Dead
2006 Reckoning [Bonus Tracks] The Grateful Dead
2006 Best of New Riders of the Purple Sage The New Riders of the Purple Sage
2007 Two from the Vault [Bonus Disc] The Grateful Dead
2007 Live at the Cow Palace: New Years Eve 1976 The Grateful Dead
2007 Four Decades of Folk Rock Various Artists
2007 Love Is the Song We Sing: San Francisco Nuggets Various Artists
2008 Road Trips: Vol. 1, Number 2 The Grateful Dead
2008 Vault Box The Grateful Dead
2008 Long Slow Fade Rainmaker
2012 Mysterium Tremendum Mickey Hart Band
2013 Superorganism Mickey Hart Band


  • Hart's childhood inspiration, Babatunde Olatunji, later regularly collaborated with Hart and the Grateful Dead.

Instruments of Choice



Cymbals: Zildjian
Heads: Remo

Pics & Clips