Basic Background Info

Birth: October 3, 1946
Location: Unknown
Band: Chet Baker, Tony Bennett, Wayne Shorter, Joe Henderson, Bobby Hutcherson, Woody Shaw, Larry Coryell, Jack Wilkins, Wallace Roney, Geri Allen, Billy Childs, James Genus, Bob Hurst, Chris Potter, Onaje Allan Gumbs, Bobby McFerrin, Al Jarreau, Dave Liebman, Nat Adderly, Oscar Brown Jr., Bill Doggett, Mose Allison, Maxine Brown and more
Genres: Jazz
Instruments: Drums, Percussion
Occupation: Musician



Mike Clark is widely regarded as one of America's foremost jazz and funk drummers. Playing with Herbie Hancock in the early 1970s, Mike Clark gained an international cult following with his crisp and forceful drumming, notably on the Herbie Hancock album, Thrust, released in 1974.

In addition to Herbie Hancock, Mike Clark has performed with such jazz greats as Chet Baker, Tony Bennett, Wayne Shorter, Joe Henderson, Bobby Hutcherson, Woody Shaw, Larry Coryell, Jack Wilkins, Wallace Roney, Geri Allen, Billy Childs, James Genus, Bob Hurst, Chris Potter, Onaje Allan Gumbs, Bobby McFerrin, Al Jarreau, Dave Liebman, Nat Adderly, Oscar Brown Jr., Bill Doggett, Mose Allison, Maxine Brown, Gil Evans and his orchestra, and spent a brief time with Brand X, the much lauded British fusion band started by Phil Collins. Mike Clark has performed at all the major jazz venues and festivals throughout the world.

A popular and busy national clinician, Mike Clark is a former faculty member of Drummers Collective and has been featured in many magazines including Downbeat, Musician, International Musician & Recording World, Modern Drummer, Jazz Times, Guitar Player, Jazz Is, and numerous jazz history and method books.

Mike Clark has accumulated many recording credits that include albums with Herbie Hancock, the Headhunters, Brand X, Eddie Henderson, Jack Wilkins, Mark Puricelli, Mike Wolff, and Alien Army, a group led by guitar legend Jack Wilkins. In 2001, Mike's solo CD Actual Proof received critical praise, as did his 2003 acoustic jazz release, Summertime, featuring Chris Potter and Billy Childs; the album spent several weeks in the top ten jazz charts.

Mike Clark's touring band, Prescription Renewal, which jumped on the scene in the winter of 2000, excited audiences nationwide with an eclectic group of cross generational multi-talents such as Charlie Hunter, Fred Wesley, Skerik, Robert Walter, and DJ Logic, and always featured esteemed special guests including Kyle Hollingsworth of String Cheese Incident, George Porter Jr. of Funky Meters' fame, Les Claypool of Primus, Will Bernard, Larry Goldings, and fellow Headhunters alumni Bill Summers, and became a hit on the flourishing young jam band scene. Mike Clark toured in 2000 and 2001 with the Roots Funk All Stars, a collaboration that brought together Mike with James Brown trombonist Fred Wesley, former Headhunter associate and funk bassist legend Paul Jackson, Dr. Lonnie Smith and Robben Ford. In 2004 Mike Clark teamed up for a series of performances with fellow drumming legend Lenny White and formed the two-drummer powerhouse band New Brew, which featured music inspired by Bitches Brew, the landmark Miles Davis' recording.

Mike Clark is currently keeping busy touring with his own Prescription Organ Trio / Duo, featuring Jerry Z. The band does clinics and plays clubs and concerts across the nation. He's also a regular in pianist Mike Wolf's band, Impure Thoughts, and continues to participate in Headhunters projects around the world. Mike Clark recently attended the annual PASIC convention in Austin, Texas, where he performed with fellow drummer Jim Payne to an enthusiastic sold-out crowd. Mike spent 2007 touring Europe, South America, South Africa, and Russia.



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Album Year Album Name Album Band
1974 They Say I'm Different Betty Davis
1974 Thrust Herbie Hancock
1975 Flood Herbie Hancock
1975 Man-Child Herbie Hancock
1976 Rumplestiltskin's Resolve Shawn Phillips
1976 Yesterday's Dreams Alphonso Johnson
1977 Heaven Michael Boothman
1977 Spaced Shawn Phillips
1977 Straight from the Gate The Headhunters
1979 Best of Herbie Hancock [CBS] Herbie Hancock
1981 Search Party Brian Auger
1989 Give the Drummer Some Mike Clark
1989 Side Step Brad Buethe
1990 Alien Army The Jack Wilkins Trio
1991 Funk Stops Here Mike Clark with Paul Jackson
1991 Melting Point Marc Puricelli
1991 Musicmasters Jazz Collection, Vol. 2 Various Artists
1992 Blues and the Abstract Truth Suzanne Pittson
1993 New York Funk, Vol. 1 Jim Payne
1995 Jazzmine Yvonne Roome
1995 Master Drummers, Vol. 3 Mike Clark
1995 Shade Marc Puricelli
1996 Raven Dave Ellis
1996 Vie En Roome Yvonne Roome
1997 Monsters from the Deep Ned Sublette & Lawrence Weiner
1997 Pulp Fusion, Vol. 1: Funky Jazz Classics & Original Breaks Various Artists
1998 Charlie Brown's Holiday Hits Vince Guaraldi Trio
1998 Hunter Henry Franklin
1998 Only You Tami Davis
1998 Return of the Headhunters! The Headhunters
1998 This Is Jazz, Vol. 35 Herbie Hancock
1999 Jazz: The Definitive Performances Various Artists
1999 Naked Soul Raymond Jones
1999 Pickin' Jerry Reed
2000 Ken Burns Jazz Herbie Hancock
2001 Survival of the Fittest Headhunters
2003 Evolution Revolution The Headhunters
2003 Goodbye September The Deal
2003 Summertime Mike Clark
2004 Dangerous Vision Michael Wolff & Impure Thoughts
2004 Jambodians Various Artists
2005 Big Fun Tonite Danny Draher
2005 Face the Truth Stephen Malkmus
2005 Fried Plantains George Pajon, Jr
2006 Antonio's Giraffe The Mackrosoft
2006 Charlie Brown Christmas [40th Anniversary] Vince Guaraldi
2006 Love and Destruction Michael Wolff
2008 Blueprints Of Jazz Vol. 1 Mike Clark
2008 The Headhunters: Live In Europe The Headhunters
2010 Carnival Of Soul Mike Clark
2011 Platinum The Headhunters
2013 Wolff & Clark Expedition Michael Wolff & Mike Clark
2013 Low Standards Jeff Berlin
2013 Miles Of Blu Tommy Adamo Funk Poet
2013 Mixology Chester Thompson


  • Clark is regularly called "the most sampled drummer in hip hop." His beats have been used on tracks by musicians as diverse as NWA, Grandmaster Flash, Britney Spears, and Prince.

Instruments of Choice



Drums: Drum Workshop
Cymbals: Paiste
Hardware: Drum Workshop
Sticks: Vic Firth

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