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Omar Hakim

The Omar Hakim Experience, The Trio of OZ, Ozmosys, Daft Punk, Sting, David Bowie


"When I need a big fat deep tone on my kick drum I rely on the EMAD Heavyweight to help me make it happen!"



Widely acclaimed for his versatility, technological prowess and groove, Omar Hakim is one of the most successful drummers and session men of the past forty-five years. He has collaborated with artists ranging from Miles Davis to Madonna to Daft Punk, and has left his imprint on hundreds recordings including several under his own name. Born in New York City to a musical family, Omar began playing the drums at age 5. At the age of ten, he was performing publicly with his father Hasan Hakim, a trombone veteran of the Duke Ellington and Count Basie bands. This period formulated Omar's traditional and improvisational jazz drumming techniques, and built a strong foundation for his unique drumming style. His father's friendship with John Coltrane enabled young Omar spend time with Elvin Jones and Art Blakely. And at age 11 he studied with (then Count Basie big band drummer and master technician) Clyde Lucas. This expertise in the Jazz tradition is what attracted band leader Mike Manieri to hire Omar and Music & Art HS classmate and future bass star, Marcus Miller for the Band Steps Ahead in 1980. Seeking to broaden his horizons and implementing Duke Ellington's theory that, "there are only 2 types of music... good and bad," he successfully branched out into other genre's of music. Allowing him to balance and develop a career that bridged many styles of music in a way that no other drummer before him had ever done. After seeing Omar's versatility, Mike Manieri (who was also producing Carly Simon) hired him to play and sing in her touring band in 1980. He went on to record and tour with Gil Evans Big Band, David Sanborn and many others. Soon after, he filled in for a tour of the groundbreaking fusion band "Weather Report," a job he would keep permanently until the band's breakup in 1985. In addition to the three albums he recorded with Weather Report, he also landed a gig playing on David Bowie's 1983 return to the American pop charts, "Let's Dance." His early successes led to many more high profile engagements and by the end of the 1980s, Omar had performed on landmark recordings with artists such as Miles Davis (Tutu, Amandala, and Music from Siesta soundtrack album), Dire Straits (Brother in Arms, Money for Nothing) Anita Baker (Giving You the Best That I Got) and Sting (Dream of the Blue Turtles, and the popular "Rockumentary" movie Bring on the Night). His drum solo in Sting's movie on the song "I Burn For You" is considered by many fans and critics alike to be one of the greatest drum solos to be documented on film. It was a powerful and virtuosic jazz drum solo in the middle of a rock show that took fans by surprise and excited them to respond with standing ovations every night of the tour. Building on these successes, in 1989 he even found time to produce and release his first solo album, Rhythm Deep, which earned him his first Grammy nomination. His busy career continued well into the 90's and 2000's. He was also a founding member of the Jazz Super Band "Urban Knights" along with Ramsey Lewis, Grover Washington Jr. and bassist Victor Bailey. The band featured his songwriting and vocal skills. He also recorded and toured with Lionel Ritchie for 4 years and International Pop Superstar Madonna for 8 years. Omar was also exploring the latest advances in electronic drums and keeping up with the newest recording and percussion technologies. He was so excited about the Roland Musical Instruments Co. development of the "V-Drums" that he became the first international spokesman and adopter of that technology. His versatility put him in even greater demand, and his eclectic interests kept him busy in the pop, jazz, rock, fusion and R&B worlds. Using V-Drums with Madonna on one hand and recording and performing on acoustic drums with Hank Jones Great Jazz Trio, he further established himself as a major innovator on his instrument. In 2009 he formed The Trio of OZ with his wife, pianist and keyboardist extraordinaire Rachel Z. Their eponymous debut album was released in 2010 (on their own OZmosis Records) to impressive critical acclaim and was named the top debut of 2010 by Jazziz Magazine. Omar has collaborated with dozens of prominent artists including (most recently) his studio work on the Grammy Award winning album "Random Access Memories" by: Daft Punk; Kate Bush's return to the concert stage in 2014 for her "Before the Dawn" Concert Series in London. Touring Drummer with the band "Journey" for their 2015 Canadian Tour. And various other tours and sessions with Madonna, Weather Report, Sting, Miles Davis, Lionel Richie, Chaka Khan, Anita Baker, Bobby McFerrin, John Scofield, Bruce Springsteen, Michael Jackson, Celine Dion, Jewel, J-Lo, D'Angelo, Mariah Carey, and to name a few. In 2014, Omar released his long awaited 3rd solo album "We Are One" by: The Omar Hakim Experience. The album not only features his powerful drumming, but also showcases his skills as a composer, producer, arranger and recording engineer. The highly respected jazz critic and writer Bill Milkowski called We Are One "the great drummer's magnum opus in a long and illustrious career." 2019 is a landmark year for Omar who is celebrating his 50th Anniversary as a professional drummer. Look out for his new band project Ozmosys feat. Rachel Z on keyboards and piano, Kurt Rosenwinkel on guitar and Linley Marthe on bass. The album is titled "Eye's to the Future" will be released fall 2019."




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