Born: September 11, 1955 | Died: July 25, 2008 Primary Instrument: Guitar, electric
Over the course of his career, from his mid ‘70s run with The Brecker Brothers to his various stints as a “hired gun” for everyone from Gil Evans and David Sanborn to Billy Joel and James Brown, Hiram Bullock earned his reputation as a bona fide guitar hero. But all along, Hiram has also been developing his skills as a singer/songwriter and charismatic live performer. His style is not easily categorized, since his playing is a creative blend of rock, funk, blues, and jazz. It is easy to say, however, that his music is fun !
Hiram Bullock was born in Osaka, Japan and came to America at the age of 2. As a child, he studied piano at the Peabody Conservatory of Music in Baltimore, Maryland, playing his first recital at the age of 6. He learned to play the saxophone at age 11, and began playing the bass guitar in junior high school rock bands as a teenager. He switched to guitar at age 16, admittedly “to meet more girls”. Hiram attended the University of Miami music school, where he studied with Pat Metheny and Jaco Pastorius, and where he met many of the musicians that he would play with throughout his professional career. One of his steady nightclub gigs was with the singer Phyllis Hyman, and this eventually led him to New York.
Almost immediately after arriving in the Big Apple, Hiram’s international career began. He first played with David Sanborn, meeting producer Phil Ramone and playing on many gold and platinum albums. His credits include: The Brecker Brothers, David Sanborn, Paul Simon, Chaka Khan, Pete Townsend, Bob James, Sting, James Brown, Miles Davis, Kenny Loggins, Billy Joel, Barbra Streisand, Burt Bacharach, Roberta Flack, Spyro Gyra, Eric Clapton, Al Green and James Taylor. He has worked with many others; a full discography can be found on the discography page of this website.
Hiram gained a huge following as the barefoot guitar player on Late Night with David Letterman. From the inception of the show until 1984, he was a regular member of the World’s Most Dangerous Band, led by Paul Shaffer. Other television work includes being a member of the house band on Saturday Night Live, and working as the musical director on David Sanborn’s critically acclaimed Night Music show. He was also seen acting the part of a musician in Under Siege (starring Steven Segal); he wrote 6 of the internal songs in the film.
Hiram’s career as a solo artist began in 1983. He has produced all of his albums, which include many of his own songs. His albums span many different genres of music, from the contemporary jazz of “From All Sides” to the rock of “World of Collision”; from the latin-influenced “Carrasco” to the organ-trio jazz of “Late Night Talk”. The style that Hiram’s fans have come to expect in live performances is exemplified by the group-oriented funky rock of “Color Me”, and continued with “Try Livin’ It” and his latest release, “Too Funky 2 Ignore”. He is also known as a dynamic performer, who gives his all for the sake of the show.