Billy Hart

Last updated
Billy Hart
Billy Hart.jpg
Hart performing in 1978
Background information
Born (1940-11-29) November 29, 1940 (age 79)
Washington, D.C., U.S.
Genres Jazz, jazz fusion
Labels Horizon, Gramavision, Arabesque, HighNote, Enja, SteepleChase, ECM
Associated acts Herbie Hancock, The Cookers

Billy Hart (born November 29, 1940) is an American jazz drummer and educator.



Hart was born in Washington, D.C., where early on in his career he performed with soul artists such as Otis Redding and Sam and Dave, and then later with Buck Hill and Shirley Horn, and was a sideman with the Montgomery Brothers (1961), Jimmy Smith (1964–1966), and Wes Montgomery (1966–68). Following Montgomery’s death in 1968, Hart moved to New York, where he recorded with McCoy Tyner, Wayne Shorter, and Joe Zawinul, and played with Eddie Harris, Pharoah Sanders, and Marian McPartland. [1]

Hart was a member of Herbie Hancock's sextet (1969–73), and played with McCoy Tyner (1973–74), Stan Getz (1974–77), and Quest (1980s), in addition to extensive freelance playing (including recording with Miles Davis on 1972's On the Corner ). [1]

Since the early 1990s, Hart has been associated with Oberlin Conservatory of Music, [2] and is also adjunct faculty at the New England Conservatory of Music [3] and Western Michigan University. [4] He also conducts private lessons through the New School and New York University. The drummer often contributes to the Stokes Forest Music Camp and the Dworp Summer Jazz Clinic in Belgium. [5]

He has led a group with Mark Turner, Ethan Iverson, and Ben Street, is featured in a trio led by pianist Jean-Michel Pilc, another led by guitarist Assaf Kehati, and has performed in a band known as the Cookers, with Eddie Henderson, David Weiss, Craig Handy, George Cables and Cecil McBee, all who have toured extensively and recorded two CDs. [6]

Hart resides in Montclair, New Jersey. [7]


Billy Hart at Bach Dancing & Dynamite Society, Half Moon Bay, California Billy Hart 1.jpg
Billy Hart at Bach Dancing & Dynamite Society, Half Moon Bay, California

As leader


Billy Hart (right), Johnny Alegre (center), and bassist Ron McClure (left), recording Johnny Alegre 3 in New York City McClure-Alegre-Hart.JPG
Billy Hart (right), Johnny Alegre (center), and bassist Ron McClure (left), recording Johnny Alegre 3 in New York City

With Quest

As sideman

With Franco Ambrosetti

With Pepper Adams

With Kenny Barron

With Walter Bishop Jr.

With Paul Bley

With Hamiet Bluiett

With Joanne Brackeen

With Nick Brignola

With George Cables

With Catalyst

With Arnett Cobb

With Johnny Coles

With Larry Coryell

With Stanley Cowell

With Buck Clarke

With Albert Dailey

With Miles Davis

With Richard Davis

With Joey DeFrancesco

With Dave Douglas

With Ray Drummond

With Charles Earland

With Yelena Eckemoff

With Teddy Edwards

With Sonny Fortune

With Chico Freeman

With Hal Galper

With Carlos Garnett

With Stan Getz

With Dick Griffin

With Herbie Hancock

With Billy Harper

With Eddie Harris

With Eddie Henderson

With Buck Hill

With Shirley Horn

With The Jazztet

With Duke Jordan

With Jimmy Knepper

With Lee Konitz

with Harold Land

With Andy LaVerne

With Azar Lawrence

With Charles Lloyd

With Joe Lovano

With Pat Martino

With Bennie Maupin

With Cecil McBee

With Mingus Dynasty

With Wes Montgomery

With Ralph Moore

With Frank Morgan

With James Mtume

With Tisziji Munoz

With James Newton

With Judy Niemack

With Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen

With Hannibal Marvin Peterson

With Doug Raney

With Pharoah Sanders

With Iñaki Sandoval

With Jarmo Savolainen

With Zbigniew Seifert

With Wayne Shorter

With Jimmy Smith

With Idrees Sulieman

With Charles Sullivan

With Horace Tapscott

With Buddy Terry

With McCoy Tyner

With Warren Vaché

With Tom Varner

With Buster Williams

With Joe Zawinul

With others

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  1. 1 2 Cook, Richard; Morton, Brian (2000). The Penguin Guide to Jazz on CD (Fifth ed.). Penguin Books. ISBN   9780140514520.
  2. "Oberlin Conservatory of Music faculty page". Oberlin Conservatory of Music. Retrieved 22 February 2020.
  3. "New England Conservatory of Music faculty page". New England Conservatory of Music. Retrieved 22 February 2020.
  4. Wood, William. "Master jazz drummer Billy Hart returns to Western Michigan University drum choir". Kalamazoo Gazette. MLive Media Group. Retrieved 22 February 2020.
  6. Micallef, Ken (15 May 2017). "With Experience on their Side, The Cookers Heat Up Dizzy's". DownBeat. DownBeat. Retrieved 22 February 2020.
  7. "The State of Jazz: Meet 40 More Jersey Greats", The Star-Ledger , September 28, 2003, backed up by the Internet Archive as of September 27, 2008. Accessed September 15, 2017. "Billy Hart -- A versatile, inventive drummer, Hart lives in Montclair."
  8. Chinen, Nate (5 May 2015). "Review: John Raymond, Uncovering the Possibilities of the Familiar". The New York Times. Retrieved 11 August 2015.