Jan Hammer Jan Hammer

Jan Hammer's musical career is as firmly rooted in the fundamentals of classical, jazz and rock as it is committed to the future of electronics, synthesized sound, the possibilities of interactive media, television, film and animation. His walls are lined with Grammy awards and gold and platinum plaques from around the world. His name is found on scores of recordings spanning the 1970s to the '90s — solo albums, collaborations with the Mahavishnu Orchestra, Jeff Beck, Al Di Meola, Mick Jagger, Carlos Santana, Stanley Clarke, Neal Schon, Elvin Jones and many others.

Jan has composed and produced soundtracks for a long list of motion pictures, the music for 90 episodes of Miami Vice (which spun-off four soundtrack albums and its worldwide #1 hit theme song), 20 episodes of the popular British television series Chancer, and the music for BEYOND the Mind's Eye, one of the all-time best-selling music videos in Billboard chart history.

Jan Hammer was born in Prague, Czechoslovakia. He began playing piano at age four; formal classical instruction began two years later. By 14 he was performing and recording throughout Eastern Europe with his own jazz trio. He entered Prague Academy of Muse Arts, but with the Russian invasion in 1968, he came to the U.S., to attend the Berklee School of Music in Boston (on a scholarship) and become a citizen.

Jan spent a year as keyboardist/conductor with Sarah Vaughan. In 1971, he became a member of the original Mahavishnu Orchestra, (then) the most successful group ever to record and tour in the jazz-rock fusion genre, selling over 2 million records worldwide, and performing 530 shows before their December 31, 1973 farewell concert.

Read more

Tags

Album Reviews
Read more articles

Photos

Albums

Album Sketches in Jazz by Jan Hammer

Sketches in Jazz

Red Gate Records
2020

buy
Album Seasons: Pt. 1 by Jan Hammer

Seasons: Pt. 1

Red Gate Records
2018

buy
Album Maliny Maliny by Jan Hammer

Maliny Maliny

Promising Music/MPS
2009

buy
Album The Early Years by Jan Hammer

The Early Years

Nemperor
1992

buy
Album Oh, Yeah? by Jan Hammer

Oh, Yeah?

Nemperor Records
1976

buy
Album The First Seven Days by Jan Hammer

The First Seven Days

Atlantic Records
1975

buy

Watch

Similar Jazz Musicians

Pat Metheny Pat Metheny
guitar
Archie Shepp Archie Shepp
saxophone
Lyle Mays Lyle Mays
keyboard
Patrice Rushen Patrice Rushen
keyboard

Shop for Music

Start your music shopping from All About Jazz and you'll support us in the process. Learn how.