Mickey Hart, perhaps best known for his rhythmic genius on drums with the rock band Grateful Dead, is now in the process of picking up where he left off in his highly successful Worlds Within Tour. In a special performance at the Howard Theatre on Tuesday, he performs with his current group, the Mickey Hart Band.
While fans can expect a few Grateful Dead hits, the show will consist primarily of music from the band's new album, "Mysterium Tremendum," where he utilized the talents of Grateful Dead lyricist Robert Hunter. And it is through this album and the 2007 Grammy Award-winning "Global Drum Project" that Hart's true passion is most manifest.
"I have combined sonic images of the formation of our universe with sounds drawn from musical instruments," he explained. "It's all about the vibrations that make up the infinite universe."
Sound, rhythm and vibrations, and the power to transport the human psyche to worlds beyond via worlds within, have fascinated Hart for almost as long as he can remember.
|Mickey Hart Band|
|» Where: Howard Theatre, 620 T St. NW|
|» When: 6 p.m. doors, 8 p.m. show Tuesday|
|» Info: $27 in advance, $32 day of; 202-803-2899; thehowardtheatre.com|
"I was into the rhythm -- the way things moved and sounded -- when I was 4 or 5 years old." he recalled. "The rain fascinated me, the cars, the buildings being destroyed. I was fixated on that as music. Musicians know that music works on a lot of levels -- now science is beginning to measure those stimuli as a serious [entity.]"
Hart wants to be part of the process -- music as medicine, therapy and a giver of energy.
Hart, who notes that "the band is on fire ... and ready to play," is joined onstage by percussionist Sikiru Adepoju, vocalist Crystal Monee Hall, singer and multi-instrumentalist Joe Bagale, drummer Greg Schutte, guitarist Gawain Mathews and keyboardist Jonah Sharp, and who also serves as sound engineer. Also performing are the African Showboyz, four brothers from Ghana who mesmerize audiences through rhythmic dance and raw energy.
Hart noted that audiences enjoy the new directions his music has taken.
"They stop shouting the songs now that they know they can be part of this experiment and this adventure of being able to be transported to other places and come back safely after three hours," he said.