Jan Hammer

Jan Hammer (born April 17, 1948) is a Czech keyboardist, composer, and producer with a musical career that has spanned more than half a century. One of his earliest recorded performances is an un-credited appearance on a 1964 single by his mother, vocalist Vlasta Průchová. He debuted as a bandleader with the album Malma Maliny, recorded in Munich with bassist George Mraz and released in 1968 on MPS Records.

In 1971, the now-U.S.-based Hammer contributed percussion to one track on the singular album by Coppola/Coppola jazz-pop combo Air. That same year, he rose to global prominence as one-fifth of the international jazz-rock supergroup Mahavishnu Orchestra. He played with the band on two studio albums — The Inner Mounting Flame (1971) and Birds of Fire (1973) — and one live release before departing with violinist Jerry Goodman. The pair recorded one album, Like Children, in 1974 for Nemperor Records before parting ways.

In 1975, Hammer received co-billing on John Abercrombie‘s ECM release Timeless. The keyboardist also resumed band leadership on the jazz-rock/funk album The First Seven Days, released that year on Nemperor. Two further albums in a similar vein followed on the label, including the popular 1976 release Oh Yeah? Concurrently, Hammer played a prominent role on Jeff Beck’s 1976/77 albums Wired and Live. Other notable credits from this period include keyboard work on albums by Billy Cobham, Charlie Mariano, Harvey Mason, Jeremy Steig, Stanley Clarke and Steve Grossman.

In 1979, Hammer fronted his own namesake rock/disco band for two albums on Asylum Records. Two years later, he teamed with Journey guitarist Neal Schon for a pair of jazz-rock albums. In 1985, Hammer composed and performed the era-defining theme for the American crime/action series Miami Vice.


  • Maliny Maliny (1968 • The Jan Hammer Trio)
  • Like Children (1974 • Jerry Goodman & Jan Hammer)
  • The First Seven Days (1975)
  • Oh, Yeah? (1976 • Jan Hammer Group)
  • Melodies (1977 • Jan Hammer Group)
  • Hip Address (1980 • David Earle Johnson With Jan Hammer)
  • Finger Dancing (1981 • Yoshiaki Masuo with Jan Hammer)
  • Untold Passion (1981 • Neal Schon & Jan Hammer)
  • Here to Stay (1983 • Schon & Hammer)
  • Escape From Television (1987)
  • Snapshots (1989)
  • Beyond the Mind’s Eye (1992)

Artist/Album Pages:

Jeff Beck ‎– Wired (1976)
Wired is an album by English guitarist Jeff Beck, produced by George Martin and released in 1976 on ...
Mahavishnu Orchestra ‎– Birds of Fire (1973)
Birds of Fire is the second studio album by multinational jazz-rock ensemble the Mahavishnu Orchestr...
Al Di Meola – Elegant Gypsy (1977)
Elegant Gypsy is the second solo album by American jazz-rock guitarist Al Di Meola, released in 1977...
SHQ were a Czech jazz-rock ensemble from Praha that was active for 28 years, starting in 1961. M...
The Mahavishnu Orchestra with John McLaughlin ‎– The Inner Mounting Flame (1971)
The Inner Mounting Flame is the debut album by multinational jazz-rock ensemble the Mahavishnu Orche...
Jerry Goodman & Jan Hammer ‎– Like Children (1974)
Like Children is a jazz-rock collaborative album between American violinist Jerry Goodman and Czech ...
Mahavishnu Orchestra
The Mahavishnu Orchestra were a multinational jazz-rock ensemble that was active during the early-...
Václav Neckář & Bacily
Václav Neckář & Bacily were a Czech art-rock ensemble from Praha that was active for 20 years,...
Už Jsme Doma
Už Jsme Doma are a Czech avant-garde/art-rock band from Teplice, active since 1985. Members: Mir...
Pražský Výběr
Pražský Výběr were a Czech art-rock band that was active through several iterations across three d...
Bohemia were a Czech symphonic/jazz-rock band, active during the mid-to-late 1970s. The band relea...
Harvey Mason - Earth Mover (1976)
Earth Mover is the second album by American jazz-funk percussionist/composer Harvey Mason, released ...

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