From Miles Davis to David Bowie, to Madonna and Sting, Omar Hakim is one of the most versatile drummers on the planet. He played remarkable drum grooves on countless timeless hits.
Born in New York City to a musical family, Omar Hakim began playing the drums at five years old. By the age of ten, he was performing publicly with his father Hasan Hakim, a trombone veteran of the Duke Ellington and Count Basie bands. Seeking to broaden his horizons Omar successfully branched out into other genres of music, in the process developing a career that bridged styles in a way that no other drummer before him had ever attempted. He did his very first tour of the U.S. in 1974 (at age 15) with an artist named Jae Mason. The Jae Mason Group featured Denzil Miller on keyboards, Eddie Martinez on guitar, and Larry Smith on bass, and opened for Hall and Oates, Sly and the Family Stone, and other pop-rock stars from the era. It was during these years that he befriended several other gifted musicians that he would collaborate with during the ’70s and beyond, including Nile Rodgers, Marcus Miller, Don Blackman, Victor Bailey, Hugh Masekela, Bobby Franceschini, Jerry Brooks, Abdul Zuhri, Weldon Irvine, Barry “Sunjohn” Johnson, Bobby Broom, just to name a few.
Just 21 years old in 1980, young Omar’s star was on the rise, with his reputation growing quickly in New York City circles and beyond. His high school buddy and dear friend Marcus Miller introduced him to vibraphone master and producer Mike Mainieri, who had just finished producing the “Tochika” album for Japanese virtuoso guitarist Kazumi Watanabe. The two drummers featured on the album (Peter Erskine and Steve Jordan) were not available for a Japanese tour in the spring of 1980, but thanks to Marcus, Mainieri took a chance and hired Omar. After seeing his versatility, Mainieri hired Omar to play in Carly Simon’s touring band in 1980. He went on to record and tour with Gil Evans’ Big Band, David Sanborn, and many others. Soon after he joined the groundbreaking fusion band “Weather Report,” a job he would keep permanently until the band’s breakup in 1985. Besides the three albums he recorded with Weather Report, Omar was also tapped by an old friend (and producer extraordinaire) Nile Rodgers to play on David Bowie’s epic return to the pop charts, 1983’s “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, Music from Siesta), Dire Straits (Brother in Arms, Money for Nothing), and Sting (The Dream of the Blue Turtles, and the popular “rockumentary” movie Bring on the Night). Building on these successes, in 1989 he found time to produce and release his first solo album, Rhythm Deep, which earned him his first Grammy nomination.
In the early 1990s, Omar toured and recorded with Lionel Richie and international pop superstar Madonna, working with her for eight years. During this period, Omar was also called to work on the sessions for Michael Jackson’s “HIStory: Past, Present and Future, Book I” album. Although busy in the pop circuit, Omar never abandoned the jazz world. He was a founding member of the Jazz Super Band “Urban Knights” along with Ramsey Lewis, Grover Washington Jr., and bassist Victor Bailey, which also featured his songwriting and vocal skills.
Still going strong into the new millennium, Omar reconnected with his long-time friend Nile Rodgers for the reunion of the seminal 1970’s dance-funk band CHIC, after performing and recording with CHIC internationally from 1997-2007. In 2003, he got a call from one of his favorite artists (and Weather Report collaborator) Bobby McFerrin. Together with Chick Corea, Richard Bona, and Gil Goldstein, this group recorded a wonderful album called “Beyond Words” and toured the European festival circuit in 2004.
In 2012, Omar received an interesting call from the band Daft Punk to participate in their Grammy-nominated album “Random Access Memories.” Omar’s infectious groove can be heard on their smash single “Get Lucky” and several other tracks on the album…
I’m glad to share the note-for-note drum transcription of the second part (including the amazing drum solo) played by Omar Hakim on “Giorgio by Moroder” by Daft Punk, from the album Random Access Memories (2013). Any feedback and comment would be much appreciated. Keep on drumming!
The full drum sheet music for “Giorgio by Moroder” is now available for purchase!
More Transcriptions: a collection of six full drum sheet music.
Biography source: http://omarhakim.com/history