Just before the Canadian leg of the 2015 North American Tour Journey was faced with finding a new drummer, Fast!
Who they found was none other than Superstar Drummer Omar Hakim. Omar started out as a graduate of the New York School of Music and Art, He began his career recording with various pop and soul groups. His father, Hasan Hakim, had played trombone for Duke Ellington and Count Basie and that influence helped to warm the younger Hakim's ear up for the part he would play in one of the most famous jazz fusion acts ever, Weather Report.
In 1984, Hakim did most of the drum work on Dire Straits' album Brothers in Arms, when the previous drummer Terry Williams' performance was found unsuitable for the desired sound of the album after most of the songs had already been recorded. Hakim recorded all the drum tracks on the album in two days and then left. Williams was, however, brought back for the tour.
By the mid 1980's, Hakim was teaching himself to program drum machines, which put him in even greater demand as a pop, rock, and R&B session musician, and landed him work with Madonna. Meanwhile, he continued his work as a jazz fusion drummer; just a partial list of his credits over the 1980s and '90s includes work with Miles Davis, David Sanborn, Roy Ayers, George Benson, Joe Sample, John Scofield, Lee Ritenour, and Najee. In December 1989, Hakim released his first solo album, Rhythm Deep, which occupied a middle ground between jazz, R&B, and pop, and gave him a chance to showcase his vocal abilities as well. The results earned Hakim a Grammy nomination.
During the 1990s, Hakim continued to improve his skills in the realm of electronic percussion, keeping abreast of new technologies and thereby keeping his session career in good stead. He performed on albums by Mariah Carey, Celine Dion, and Jewel, among other successful pop stars, and initially kept his jazz work going as well, though it had tapered off by the middle of the decade.
In 2000 Hakim released his second solo CD, The Groovesmith, which was produced, recorded and mixed in his personal recording studio "The OH-Zone".
In 2010 Omar formed a band with wife Rachel Z called "The Trio of OZ" and they recorded and toured extensively internationally behind their highly successful eponymous release. In 2014, he released his third album, entitled We Are One with great critical reception. He is currently in the studio working on the second "The Trio of OZ" to be released in 2016 on his label OZmosis Media Group.
More information can be found about Omar Hakim at his website;
These are the dates Omar Hakim played with Journey;
June 20 - Los Angeles, CA - Hollywood Bowl
July 4 - Provo, UT - Stadium of Fire
July 6 - Winnipeg, MB - MTS Centre
July 8 - Calgary, Alberta - Fort Calgary
July10 - Penticton, BC - South Okanagan Events Centre
July11 - Vancouver, BC - Rogers Arena
July 13 - Victoria, BC - Save-on-Foods Memorial Centre
July 15 - Prince George, BC - CN Centre
July 16 - Dawson Creek, BC - EnCana Events Centre
July 18 - Edmonton, AB - Rexall Place
July 19 - Lethbridge, AB - ENMAX Centre
July 21 - Regina, SK- Brandt Centre
July 22 - Saskatoon, SK - SaskTel Centre
July 25 - Hamilton, ON - First Ontario Centre
July 26 - Kingston, ON - Rogers K-Rock Centre
July 28 - Montreal, QC - Centre Bell
July 30 - Moncton, NB - Moncton Coliseum
July 31 - Dartmouth, NS - Alderney Landing
Aug. 2 - St. John's, NL - Mile One Centre
Aug. 3 - St. John's, NL - Mile One Centre
Here's a statement from Omar on replacing Deen Castronovo;