Mickey Hart is best known for his nearly three decades with the Grateful Dead, for which he and Bill Kreutzmann transcended the conventions of rock drumming. Exposure to percussion instruments from around the world fueled Hart’s desire to learn about the cultures that produced them. He has written four books about the history and mythology of music.
In 1999 Hart was appointed as a trustee of the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress, where he headed efforts to digitize and preserve the center’s vast collections. Hart has spoken about the healing value of drumming and rhythm on age-related afflictions. He is recording a new solo project, due out in February 2012.