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Omar Hakim
Born: February 12th 1959 in New York, NY. USA

Omar Hakim takes advantage of every hot, new percussion option out there, from acoustic drums, to Roland's electronic V-Drums-which he MIDIs into his Power Mac-when he plays drums for and produces the greats of pop and jazz fusion.
Omar Hakim.
A respected percussionist and producer in these two distinct worlds of music, Omar may be the only person who can say he's played drums for David Bowie, Madonna, Sting and Miles Davis.

Omar has performed with:
Urban Knights
Clide Criner
Dave Grusin
Joab Osborne
Maria Carey
Weather Report
Michael Brecker
Larry Carlton
Lee Ritenour
Michel Petrucciani
David Bowie
John Scofield
Tom Grant
Miles Davis
Brian Ferry
David Sanborn
Al DiMeola
Kazumi Watanabe
Marcus Miller
Jim Tunnell
Bruce Springsteen
Bob Thompson
Michael Colina
Ursula Dudziak
Chaka Kahn
and many more

photo courtesy of www.cidrumming.com
Omar performing at the Sam Ash Drum Exposition at the Manhattan Center in NYC.

When Roger Linn built the first commercially available drum machine, [early 80's] giving any non-percussionist with a few bucks the ability to easily create drum loops using samples of real drums."This changed drummers' lives all over," explains Hakim. "But instead of feeling defeated by the whole trend, I decided to go my local music store, purchase a drum machine and learn how to use it." Like his first drum, Hakim learned to master the Linn Drum Machine very quickly. "I've pretty much followed the changes with electronic drumming from the 80s up until now," he says. "You've gotta stay on top of these technological changes. It's very important if you're a professional musician." "Sometimes, if people know you from rock, they think of you as a rock drummer and don't expect you to play anything else. Or, if they know you in jazz, then they typecast you as a jazz drummer," explains Hakim. "I was conscious of the fact that I didn't want people to know me as a rock drummer or a jazz drummer, but as a total musician. So I always made sure I let people know that I was about music." "I knew that setting up my career in this way was going to make my life very interesting and would keep me open-minded musically," added Hakim. "It was and is always very important to me that I expose myself to everything so that I could & can grow as a musician."



Omar explains his warm up routine and his concept of dynamics and touch. He also discusses playing in 6/8 and plays a brilliant 6/8 solo. Along with a 5-piece band, he performs a wide range of styles and demonstrates the grooves slowly



In 'Express Yourself', Omar discusses how to develop a fluid style on the drums based on posture, balance and logical drum set-up. He also shares some of his experiences working with artists like David Bowie and Weather Report. Includes several solos and three compositions performed with a band.

Omars latest collage : his new Frame that allows him to mount his Pearl acoustic kit and his V-Drums as two separate configurations on one integrated DrumFrame system. You can sample this on his solo almum Groovesmith, Wow Omar ... I hope that is a swizel seat!

Omar Hakim's drum collage.

courtesy of Mike Dolbear.com

Omar Hakim Live Chat transcript
During our recent visit to NAMM 2004 we held a live chat with the great Omar Hakim. Here's some selected questions from the transcript.

Question: I was wondering when you're www.omarhakim.com may start to run
OMAR HAKIM: There’s a lot of people asking me that - I'm talking to a few designers now and I will choose one soon to do the work
Question: Great, are you primarily using V Drums now
OMAR HAKIM: No I'm still playing Pearl Drums as well. Depending on the artist, and or recording session
Question: I'm looking to add a digital pad to my existing analogue kit and wondered if you recommended any?
OMAR HAKIM: I never consider the V drums a replacement for Acoustic drums, they are something I add to my "tool kit" I'm a big fan of Roland's V drum pads with the nylon mesh drum heads.
Question: I heard that you did a tour with Take 6 and Marcus Miller last year
OMAR HAKIM: Yes I did do that tour. It was the first time Marcus and I played together in about 10 years. The shows were fantastic.
Question: I've got your two instructional videos and I would like to say what an inspiration they are to me
OMAR HAKIM: Thank you very much Tim. We're planning to re-release them on DVD soon. I'm going to be gathering some additional material just for the DVD release.
Question: To a young musician, what advice would you give to become the best that you can be?
OMAR HAKIM: Practice as much as you can, listen to many different styles of music because that will help you keep your mind open. Also visualise and focus on your goals in the music industry, then do something everyday toward that goal
Question: Who are your musical heroes
OMAR HAKIM: There are many! Miles Davis, Art Blakey, Buddy Rich, Elvin Jones, Lenny White, Billy Cobham, Earth Wind And Fire, John Coltraine to name but a few....
Question: I know it's hard to answer, but how do you groove?
OMAR HAKIM: You are very right - it IS hard to answer that! But I had a teacher who once said "some things can't be taught, they must be caught" What that meant for me is sometimes listening to my favourite drummers and musicians and emulating the things I hear puts me in the direction of understanding different approaches to grooving.
Question: I also wonder what should I practice each day
OMAR HAKIM: What I used to do is practice to my favourite recordings. In developing your own style it's good to study and try to emulate other drummers' styles. The interesting thing about that is you always end up playing your own version of what you hear. and inside of that you will find the seed for your own style.
Question: What are some of the most memorable performances and recordings you’ve done
OMAR HAKIM: The performances: weather Report at the Hammersmith Odeon 1983 Those shows were the basis for the second album I did with weather Report called Domino Theory. Next would be Sting at Radio City Music hall 1985 and lastly.......... ....my first gig ever with my Fathers band "the Nomads" when I was 10 years old.

photo courtesy of threeviews.com/
1982 Tour Personnel (Pictured from left)
Joe Zawinul - Keyboards; Jose Rossy - Percussion; Omar Hakim - Drums; Victor Bailey - Bass; Wayne Shorter - Sax

Omar Hakim is a fusion drummer and session man extraordinaire whose talents have graced a tremendous variety of big name recordings in the jazz, pop, and R&B fields dating back to the early '80s. Born in New York City in 1959, Hakim began playing drums at age five, and by age ten was performing with his father, swing trombonist Hasan Hakim (Duke Ellington, Count Basie); he also performed with boyhood friend and future fusion star Marcus Miller. Hakim landed his first big break in 1980 when he joined Carly Simon's backing band; soon after, he became the drummer for Weather Report in time for 1982's Record, and he also landed a gig playing on David Bowie's return to the American pop charts, Let's Dance. He remained with Weather Report until the group's breakup in 1985, and his high-profile engagements helped land him work on Sting's The Dream of the Blue Turtles and Dire Straits' Brothers in Arms, among others. By this time, Omar was teaching himself to program drum machines, which put him in even greater demand as a pop, rock, and R&B session musician, and landed him work with Madonna. Meanwhile, he continued his work as a jazz fusion drummer; just a partial list of his credits over the '80s and '90s includes work with Miles Davis, David Sanborn, Roy Ayers, George Benson, Joe Sample, John Scofield, Lee Ritenour, and Najee. In 1989, Hakim released his first solo album, Rhythm Deep, which occupied a middle ground between jazz, R&B, and pop, and gave him a chance to showcase his vocal abilities as well. The results earned Hakim a Grammy nomination. During the '90s, Omar continued to improve his skills in the realm of electronic percussion, keeping abreast of new technologies and thereby keeping his session career in good stead. He performed on albums by Mariah Carey, Celine Dion, and Jewel, among other big time pop stars, and initially kept his jazz work going as well, though it had tapered off by the middle of the decade. In 2000, Hakim released his second solo album, The Groovesmith, which took a musical approach similar to his first effort and was produced on his own Macintosh ProTools system. ~ Steve Huey, All Music Guide


Omar's solo CDs / DVDs
2000 Groovesmith ... Omar Halim on the Oh Zone Entertainment  Label
1990 Omar Hakim ... Rhythm Deep on the Grp Records Label
2000 Omar Halim ... Groovesmith on the Oh Zone Entertainment Label
"The Groovesmith" shows people something more of Omar ... that he's a composer, a singer and a keyboardist, in addition to being a drummer.

Al DiMeola Kiss My Axe Drums
Alfonso Blackwell Alfonzo Blackwell Vocals (Background), Multi Instruments, Producer, Engineer, Vocal Arrangement, Mixing, Instrumentation
Alyson Williams Raw Drums
Anita Baker Giving You the Best That I Got Drums
Arlyn Gale Back to the Midwest Night Drums, Vocals
Astrud Gilberto So & So: Mukai Meets Gilberto Drums
Aziza Mustafa Zadeh Dance of Fire Drums
Bemshi Womanchild Percussion
Billy Mann Billy Mann Drums, Vocals (Background)
Bob James Ivory Coast Drums
Bobby Broom Clean Sweep Drums, Vocals (Background)
Bobby McFerrin Beyond Words Drums
Bruce Hornsby Harbor Lights Drums, Percussion
Bruce Springsteen 18 Tracks Drums
Bryan Ferry Boys and Girls Drums
Buddy Rich Burning For Buddy: A Tribute To The Music Of Buddy Rich Drums
Carmen Lundy Old Devil Moon Drums
Carole King City Streets Drums
Celine Dion Let's Talk About Love (Australia) Drums
Celine Dion Let's Talk About Love (Canada Bonus Tracks) Drums
Chaka Khan C.K. Drums
Cheb Mami Dellali Drums
Chic In Japan Drums
Chic Live at the Budokan Drums
Christoph Spendel New York Groove Drums
Citizen Cope Citizen Cope CD Drums
Color Me Badd Time and Chance Drums
Darlene Love Paint Another Picture Drums
Dave Grusin Migration appeared on - Drums, ?
David Bowie Changesbowie Drums
David Bowie Let's Dance Drums
David Bowie Let's Dance (Bonus Tracks) Drums
David Bowie Let's Dance - Limited Edition Drums
David Bowie Tonight Drums
David Broza Away from Home Drums
David Broza Best Of David Broza Drums
David Lee Roth Diamond Dave Drums
David Morales The Program Drums
David Sanborn As We Speak Drums
David Sanborn Love Songs Drums
Dire Straits Brothers in Arms Drums
Don Johnson Heartbeat Drums
Ellis Hooks Hand Of Gold Drums
Ellis Hooks Up Your Mind Drums, Percussion
Ellis Hooks Uncomplicated Drums
Emmanuel Ese Soy Yo Drums
Eugene Maslov When I Need To Smile Drums
Everything But the Girl The Language of Life Drums
Exposé Exposé Drums
Fonzi Thornton The Leader Drums
Freddie Jackson Time for Love Drums, Hi Hat
Gabrielle Roth Tongues Drums
George Benson In Your Eyes Songwriter/Composer (Being With You)
George Benson Love Remembers Drums
Gerald Veasley Look Ahead Drums
Grover Washington, Jr. Soulful Strut Drums
Jason Miles Celebrating the Music of Weather Report Drums
Jay Beckenstein Eye Contact Drums
Jeff Conway Jeff Conway Drums
Jennifer Lopez This Is Me... Then Drums
Jennifer Lopez Reel Me (Bonus EP) Drums
Jennifer Lopez Reel Me (Bonus DVD) Drums
Jewel Foolish Games Drums
Jewel Down So Long Drums
Jimi Tunnell Trilateral Commission Drums
Joan Osborne Relish Drums
Joe Sample Ashes to Ashes Drums
Joe Sample Spellbound Drums
John Scofield Liquid Fire: The Best Of John Scofield Drums, Electric Percussion, Percussion
John Scofield Still Warm Drums, Electric Percussion, Percussion
John Scofield Slo Sco: Best Of The Ballads Drums, Electric Percussion, Percussion
Jonathan Butler Deliverance Drums
Jonathan Elias Requiem For The Americas - Songs From The Lost World Drums
Judy Collins Fires of Eden Drums
Julia Fordham Julia Fordham Drums
Kazumi Watanabe Mobo, Vols. 1 & 2 Drums
Kazumi Watanabe Mobo, Vol. 1 Drums
Kazumi Watanabe Mobo, Vol. 2 Drums
Kenny G. G Force Drums
Kenny Lattimore Timeless appeared on - Drums ?
Kenny Loggins The Unimaginable Life Drums
Larry Carlton Very Best Of Larry Carlton Drums
Lee Ritenour World Of Brazil Drums
Lee Ritenour Collection Drums
Lee Ritenour Festival Drums
Lee Ritenour Larry & Lee Drums
Lee Ritenour Very Best Of Lee Ritenour Drums
Lionel Richie Louder Than Words Drums
Luis Salinas Rosario Drums
Marcus Miller The Sun Don't Lie Cymbals, Drums, Drums (Bass)
Mariah Carey Mariah Carey Drums
Mariah Carey Merry Christmas Drums
Marion Meadows Another Side Of Midnight Drums
Martha Wash Martha Wash Drums
Me-2-U Me-2-U Drums
Michael Brecker Now You See It...Now You Don't Drums
Michael Colina Rituals Drums
Michael Zentner Playtime Drums
Michel Petrucciani Best Of Michel Petrucciani - The Blue Note Years Drums
Michel Petrucciani Playground Drums
Mick Jagger Primitive Cool Drums
Mike Mainieri Seventh Avenue South Drums
Miles Davis Amandla Drums
Miles Davis Tutu Drums, Percussion
Miles Davis Music from Siesta Drums, Percussion
Modulations Moving in the Right Direction Drums
Mother's Finest Meta-Funk'n Physical Drums
Najee Just an Illusion Hi Hat
Najee Love Songs Drums
Najee Najee's Theme Drums
Najee Tokyo Blue Drums
Najee Embrace Drums
Nancey Jackson Free (Yes I'm Free) Drums
Neal Schon I On U Drums
Neal Schon Late Nite Drums
Nelson Rangell Truest Heart Drums
Noel Pointer Never Lose Your Heart Drums
O'Jays Emotionally Yours Drums
Peter Frampton Premonition Drums
Philip Bailey Inside Out Drums, Percussion
Rhian Benson Gold Coast Drums
Richard Bona Scenes from My Life Drums
Roger Hodgson Hai Hai Drums
Roy Ayers Soul Essentials: Best Of Roy Ayers Drums
Roy Ayers Virgin Ubiquity II: Unreleased Recordings 1976-1981 Drums
Sammy Hagar I Never Said Goodbye Overdubs
Sophie B. Hawkins Tongues and Tails Drums
Sophie B. Hawkins Best of Sophie B. Hawkins Drums
Special EFX Just Like Magic Drums
Special EFX Peace of the World Drums
Stanley Jordan Magic Touch Drums
Stanley Jordan Best Of Stanley Jordan Drums
Sting Bring on the Night Drums
Sting If You Love Somebody Set Them Free Drums
Sting The Dream of the Blue Turtles Drums
Sting Very Best Of Sting & The Police Drums
Terence Blanchard Malcolm X (Original Score) Drums
The Great Jazz Trio - Hank Jones July 6th-Live at Birdland N.Y. Drums
The Missing Links Groovin' Drums
The Rippingtons Curves Ahead Drums
The System Don't Disturb This Groove Drums
Tom Browne Love Approach Drums, Handclapping
Tom Grant In My Wildest Dreams Drums, ?
Tom Grant The View from Here Drums
Toshi Kubota Bumpin' Voyage Drums
Toshi Kubuta Sunshine, Moonlight Drums, Performer
Tracy Chapman Matters of the Heart Drums
Urban Knights Urban Knights Drums, Vocals
Urszula Dudziak Sorrow Is Not Forever...But Love Is Drums
Victor Bailey Bottom's Up Drums
Victor Bailey Low Blow Drums
Victor Bailey That's Right Drums
Weather Report Domino Theory Drums
Weather Report Forecast: Tomorrow Drums
Weather Report Procession Drums
Weather Report Record Drums, Vocals, Guitar
Weather Report Sportin' Life Drums
Weather Report This Is This!
Will Downing A Dream Fulfilled Drums
Will Downing Love's the Place to Be Drums

Will Downing Mood Drums

Various Artists A Very Special Christmas, Vol. 2 Drums, Producer
Various Artists Batman & Robin; Music From And Inspired By The "Batman & Robin" Motion Picture
Various Artists Blue Notables Vol. 6 : Blue Ivory - A Modern Piano Dynasty Drums
Various Artists Brownstones and Moonlight Producer, Performer
Various Artists Brownstones & Moonlight: Celebration of Black Music Month Producer, Drums
Various Artists Burning for Buddy: A Tribute to the Music of Buddy Rich Drums
Various Artists Carnegie Hall Salutes the Jazz Masters: Verve at 50 Drums, Performer
Various Artists Drop Squad (Original Soundtrack) Drums
Various Artists Elton John And Tim Rice: Aida Drums
Various Artists Feeling Minnesota Drums
Various Artists GRP Digital Sampler: On the Cutting Edge Drums, Piccolo,Timbales, Vocals Producer, Digital Editing, Digital Mixing, Guitar, Percussion
Various Artists GRP: On the Cutting Edge Drums, Timbales, Vocals, Producer, Performer, Digital Mixing, Piccolo Snare, Guitar, Percussion
Various Artists KBLX - A Celebration of Music Producer, Performer
Various Artists KBLX - The Quiet Storm Drums
Various Artists Live! for Life (AMC Cancer Research Benefit Album) Guitar
Various Artists Malcolm X (Original Soundtrack) Drums
Various Artists New Spirit in Jazz, Vol. 4 Drums
Various Artists Novus Sampler '88 Drums
Various Artists Playboy Jazz Festival Drums
Various Artists Smooth Jazz: The Originals, Vol. 1 Drums
Various Artists Telarc Sampler Drums
Various Artists The Best Smooth Jazz Ever Drums
Various Artists We All Love Ennio Morricone Drums
Various Artists WNUA 95.5: Smooth Sounds, Vol. 1 Drums
Various Artists WQCD: Cool Sounds of CD 101.9, Vol. 1 Drums

Omar Hakim