Photo of drummer Mike Clark at Wide Hive Records in Berkeley, California.

Mike Clark

Mike Clark is an American drummer and recording artist who has recorded and toured with Headhunters (member), Herbie Hancock (Thrust), Tony Bennett, Larry Coryell, Vince Guaraldi, Joe Henderson, Eddie Henderson, Bobby Hutcherson, Wayne Shorter, and Dr Lonnie Smith.

While often referred to as the “Tony Williams of funk,” Mike Clark considers jazz his first love. He gained worldwide recognition as one of America’s foremost jazz and funk drummers while playing with Herbie Hancock in the early seventies. His incisive playing on Hancock’s “Actual Proof” garnered him an international cult following and influenced generations of drummers.

Mike has performed with such well-known jazz greats as Christian McBride, Chet Baker, John Scofield, Nicholas Payton, Woody Shaw, Donald Harrison, Albert King, Mike Wolff, Wallace Roney, Billy Childs, Chris Potter, Bobby McFerrin, Nat Adderley, Oscar Brown Jr., and Gil Evans and his Orchestra.

During the late Sixties, he led his own jazz organ trio, until he met Hancock in 1973. With Hancock, Mike set the rhythms for the acclaimed group, The Headhunters. Afterwards, he did a two-year stint with Brand X, the British jazz/rock fusion band founded by Phil Collins. With them he recorded ”Do They Hurt?” and “Product.”

By 2000 Mike made a foray into the popular jam band scene. His group Prescription Renewal pulled together cross-generational talents, such as Charlie Hunter, Fred Wesley, Skerik, Robert Walter, and DJ Logic, and featured special guests such as Donald Harrison, George Porter Jr. of The Meters, Les Claypool, Larry Goldings and fellow Headhunters alumnus Bill Summers. Mike also toured with The Roots Funk All Stars.

Along with James Brown's drummer Clyde Stubblefield, Mike's beats with The Headhunters (most notably "God Make Me Funky") include some of the most sampled in hip hop. Featured in every jazz magazine as well as numerous jazz history and method books, Mike is a popular and busy clinician. His book Funk Drumming: Innovative Grooves & Advanced Concepts was published in 2012 by Hal Leonard.

    Releases by This Artist

  • The CD Cover Art for Mike Clark / Kosen Rufu
  • Picture of the cover of Daggerboard & The Skipper