Mickey Hart's Planet Drum Tour
Pioneering percussionist Mickey Hart started his Planet Drum tour in Santa Barbara this week with the lineup that collaborated with him for this grammy winning "Planet Drum" CD released in 1991 and "Supralingua" released in 1998.

The concert performers in Los Angeles (pictured) included Indian tabla master Zakir Hussain, Conga master Giovanni Hidalgo, Tama (talking drum) master Sikiru Adepoju and supplemental percussion/vocals by Airto Moreira.

The performance was a two hour packed session of non-stop rhythm jamming with Hart playing xylophone, cowbell set, synthezizer drums (some of which shook the entire building) and kalimba in addition to his full drumset. Zakir's set included frame drum and doumbek in addition to his traditional tabla tarang (melodic tabla set). Giovanni's set centered on conga and timbales. Sikiru focused most of his drumming on his mini-sized Tama which fetched deep Tabla-esque tones to sharp accents throughout the concert. Airto did his own segment of the concert that ranged from Tibetan style throat singing to samba rhythms on the pandeiro, wandering the stage playing anything from clapper sticks to an old broken alarm bell to syncopate the other artist's improvisations.

A Planet Drum concert is one long string of adaptive improvisation as each artist performs a jam and then passes the concept around to other artist. Some of he songs included spoken word, "jugalbandi" rhythmic dueling between Zakir and Giovanni, rhythmic tala singing from Zakir and a center stage kalimba performance by Mickey.

Aside from his performing career, Mickey Hart is also a legendary drum collector (past exhibits of his collection have been displayed at the San Francisco International Airport) who collaborates in multiple rhythmic jam bands (visit his site for latest collaborations). And has published two books, Drumming at the Edge of Magic and Planet Drum, sharing his passion for drums as art objects as well as musical tools.

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More on Mickey Hart's drum projects

More on Planet Drum