Billy Hart

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For other uses, see William Hart.
Billy Hart
Billy Hart.jpg
Hart performing in 1978
Background information
Born (1940-11-29) 29 November 1940 (age 75)
Washington, D.C. United States
Genres Jazz, jazz fusion
Occupation(s) Musician, educator
Instruments Drums
Years active Early 1960s - present
Associated acts Herbie Hancock,
Website Official Site

William "Billy" Hart (born November 29, 1940) is an American jazz drummer and educator who has performed with some of the most important jazz musicians in history.


Billy Hart at Bach Dancing & Dynamite Society, Half Moon Bay CA (Photo: Brian McMillen)

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.

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).

At the age of 70, Billy Hart works steadily and teaches widely.[citation needed] Since the early 1990s he spends considerable time at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, and is adjunct faculty at the New England Conservatory of Music and Western Michigan University. He also conducts private lessons through The New School and New York University. Hart often contributes to the Stokes Forest Music Camp and the Dworp Summer Jazz Clinic in Belgium.

He leads a group with Mark Turner, Ethan Iverson, and Ben Street. He is also featured in a trio led by pianist Jean-Michel Pilc, another led by guitarist Assaf Kehati, and an all-star band, the Cookers, with Billy Harper, Eddie Henderson, David Weiss, Craig Handy, George Cables and Cecil McBee, who have toured extensively and recorded two CDs.[citation needed]

Hart resides in Montclair, New Jersey.[1]


Photos: Hreinn Gudlaugsson


As leader[edit]


With Quest

  • II (Storyville, 1987)
  • Midpoint - Quest III Live at the Montmartre Copenhagen Denmark (Storyville, 1987)
  • N.Y. Nites - Standards (PAN Music, 1988)
  • Natural Selection (Pathfinder/Core, 1988)
  • Of One Mind (CMP, 1990)
  • Re-Dial (Live in Hamburg) (Outnote, 2007)
  • Circular Dreaming (Enja, 2011)
Billy Hart (right) with Johnny Alegre (center) and bassist Ron McClure (left). This photo was taken in New York City when they recorded "Johnny Alegre 3" for MCA Music.

As sideman[edit]

With Yelena Eckemoff featuring Mark Turner, Joe Locke & George Mraz

  • A Touch of Radiance (L & H Production, 2014)

With Yelena Eckemoff featuring Arild Andersen

  • LIONS (L & H Production, 2015)

With Paul Bley

With Hamiet Bluiett

With Catalyst

  • Perception (Muse, 1973)
  • Unity (Muse, 1974)

With Stanley Cowell

  • Setup (SteepleChase, 1994)

With Miles Davis

With Richard Davis

With Dave Douglas

With Charles Earland

With Sonny Fortune

  • Awakening (Horizon, 1975)
  • It Ain't What It Was (Konnex, 1992)

With Chico Freeman

With Stan Getz

  • McCoy Tyner Quintet / Stan Getz Quartet – Jazz Jamboree 74, Vol. 2 (Muza, 1975)
  • Various – Standard School Broadcast "Music Makers": Woodwinds & Reeds (Chevron, 1975)
  • Stan Getz featuring João GilbertoThe Best of Two Worlds (Columbia, 1976)
  • Stan Getz Quartet feat. Niels-Henning Ørsted PedersenLive At Montmartre (SteepleChase, 1977)
  • Stan Getz, Philippe SardeMort d'un pourri (O.S.T.) (Melba, 1977)
  • Another World (Columbia, 1978)
  • The Stan Getz Quartet – Pure Getz (Concord Jazz, 1982)
  • The Master (Columbia, 1982)
  • Blue Skies (Concord Jazz, 1982, issued in 1995)

With Dick Griffin

  • Now Is the Time (Trident, 1979)
  • The Eighth Wonder & More (Konnex, 1994)

With Herbie Hancock

With Billy Harper

With Eddie Harris

With Eddie Henderson

With The Jazztet

With Duke Jordan

With Lee Konitz

  • Lee Konitz Nonet – Yes, Yes, Nonet (SteepleChase, 1979)
  • Lee Konitz Nonet – Live at Laren (Soul Note, 1979, issued in 1984)

with Harold Land

With Azar Lawrence

With Charles Lloyd

With Joe Lovano

With Pat Martino

With Bennie Maupin

With Cecil McBee

With Mingus Dynasty

  • Live At Montreux (Atlantic, 1980)
  • Live At the Theatre Boulogne-Billancourt Paris (Soul Note, 1989)

With Wes Montgomery

  • Live at Jorgies Jazz Club (VGM, 1961, issued later)
  • Live at Jorgies Jazz Club and More (VGM, 1961, 1968, issued later)

With James Mtume

  • Mtume Umoja Ensemble – Alkebu-Lan - Land of the Blacks (Live at The East) (Strata-East, 1972)
  • Rebirth Cycle (Third Street, 1974, issued in 1977)

With Tisziji Munoz

  • Heart Trance Revelation (Anami Music, 2014)

With James Newton

With Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen

  • Trio 1 (SteepleChase, 1978)
  • Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen Quartet – Dancing on the Tables (SteepleChase, 1979)

With Hannibal Marvin Peterson

  • Hannibal Marvin Peterson, The Sunrise Orchestra – Children of the Fire (Sunrise, 1974)
  • Naima (Eastworld, 1978)

With Pharoah Sanders

With Iñaki Sandoval

With Wayne Shorter

With Jimmy Smith

With Idrees Sulieman

With Charles Sullivan

With Horace Tapscott

With Buddy Terry

With McCoy Tyner

With Tom Varner

With Buster Williams

  • Pinnacle (Muse, 1975)
  • Crystal Reflections (Muse, 1976)
  • Heartbeat (Muse, 1979)
  • Dreams Come True (Buddha, 1980)

With Joe Zawinul

With others


  1. ^ "The State of Jazz: Meet 40 More Jersey Greats", The Star-Ledger, September 28, 2004.
  2. ^ Chinen, Nate. New York Times. New York Times Retrieved 11 August 2015.  Missing or empty |title= (help)

External links[edit]