Originally form Cornwall, Jim Hart began playing piano and drums aged four and soon extended this to include tuned and orchestral percussion. He started playing jazz and working on modern harmony aged ten. In 1994 he went to Manchester to do his A levels at Chetham’s School of Music. While here he was a percussion finalist in the BBC Young Musician of the Year and won the John Dankworth ‘Most Promising Musician’ award in the BBC Big Band of the Year competition.
He then moved to London to study at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama where he began to focus mainly on playing jazz, both on drums and piano. On leaving the Guildhall, Jim became the drummer for NYJO and stayed with them for three years. During this time Jim also developed as a vibraphone player and became in demand as a drummer and percussionist.
In 2002 Jim formed his own group Gemini with saxophonist Ivo Neame and began writing all the music for it. With this group he went on to be a founder member of London’s innovative LOOP Collective. Gemini’s first album ‘Emergence’ was received to critical acclaim and a successful UK tour followed. Jim used ‘Emergence’ to set up the collective’s label LOOP Records. He is currently working on the second Gemini album. Jim also fronts a second group called the Jim Hart Quartet with Ivo on piano. With this group he recently recorded for Woodville records for release later this year.
He is now the regular drummer for Sir John Dankworth and Dame Cleo Laine and his other major projects at present include Neon, with Stan Sulzmann and Gwilym Simcock, The Liquorice Allsorts with Alan Barnes and Paul Clarvis, The Ivo Neame Quartet, The New Jazz Couriers, Tom Richards Jazz Orchestra and many more. Jim was the winner of a 2007 British Jazz award, the 2006 British Jazz award for ‘Rising star’ and the 2006 Worshipful Company of Musicians Jazz medal. He has worked with a host of international stars including Phil Woods, Joel Frahm, Richie Barshay, Franco Ambrosetti, Julien Arguelles, Shaun Escoffery, The Herbaliser, The Heritage Orchestra and Airto Moreira.
“Some of the best music I’ve heard in a long time. Definitely the best vibes playing I’ve heard in a long time.” – Joe Locke
“Hart has developed an impressively individual voice.” – Jazzwise
“His vibes playing is a revelation” – The Times “One of the brightest stars on the UK and European Jazz scene” – John Surman
“Outstanding….a stunning performance from the rhythmically poised Hart.” – Financial Times