Professional drummer based in New York City. Available for high-quality live drum tracking as well as electronic drum programming. I am currently using the latest version of Pro Tools so I am available for work on cloud collaboration projects as well. I have over 20 years of experience on the instrument and a degree in Audio Engineering.
“Markham’s polystylistic percussing belies an interest in all sorts of non-jazz topics”
— Dave Wayne (All About Jazz)
It is true to say that Luke Markham’s path has not been that of the typical “Jazz Musician”. After years of private studies with mentor Blake Fleming (The Mars Volta, Dazzling Killmen, Laddio Bolocko) during his time at SUNY Oneonta, Markham decided to forego an institutional performance education. Instead, he turned his sights to diving headfirst into the thriving music scene of New York City.
Since relocating to Brooklyn in 2012 Luke has continued his private studies with top local players and built a playing career that has taken him across the United States and Europe performing the gamut of musical styles and genres.
Luke’s deepest passion has remained improvised music. But his fascinations have also extended to production and composition. His drum set playing has been described as having a “goading, teasing, driving propulsion” (Carol Banks Weber, axs.com).
“Markham’s ability to caress with appropriate textures, and push and pull, give an effective creativity to the overall sound”
—-Nolan Debuke (The Jazz Word)
Would love to hear from you. Click the contact button above to get in touch.
129 Reviews - 24 Repeat ClientsEndorse Luke Markham
Luke is an exceptionally talented drummer with a keen sense of timing, dynamics and chops! Highly recommend for your project.
Luke was excellent to work with. His drumming perfectly captured what I was trying to accomplish with my song and his performance elevated it substantially. He was timely and professional and even gave me multiple takes to use. And importantly his mics and sound quality are top notch.
As usual Luke absolutely killed it. He gave us everything we needed in a timely manner and it sounds fantastic. Definitely recommend hiring Luke!!!
Amazing job as always!!
Very prompt and professional!!
I really appreciate that he was very patient and kind even though I took so much time to move forward, and delivered multiple takes every time I requested for the changes. Thank you so so much!!
Luke's playing is very responsive and musical. Service-minded and easy to work with. He did a top performance on the tune! I highly recommend Luke.
There is nobody I'm choosing over working with Luke. He is always prepared, rocks and kicks it out, sounding great every time
Luke is a fantastic Drummer, he makes your project sounds amazing. Please save yourself some time if you are looking for quality Drumming. Luke delivers high quality recording, you won't be disappointed.
Another jam Luke just nailed with multiple options for me to choose from. It was hard to decide between the stellar takes thanks Luke!
Luke Markham does incredible work every time that I hire him and I would recommend him to anyone who wants to work with an amazing drummer.
Luke nailed this song with both the performance and the tone and he is super easy to work with! He provided multiple options and was super flexible during tracking!
This job was for a song that Luke helped build months ago and revisited drums now and just killed it! Super solid drumming and production skills that somehow just keep getting better and better!
What an allstar!
Luke's killer drumming and orchestration are a huge winner again. He is the total package!
Luke had a very musical and lyrical approach to all of the drum and production work he performed on this song, and it still has energy and rocks! If you want a drummer that can breathe life into your productions hire Luke!
Luke Markham is best around.
Every thing he does is pro.
You will not be disappointed.
Luke went above and beyond in his drum recording, sending over multiple takes with different options. His playing is ace and he handed in the finals several days ahead of the deadline - would love to work with him again in the future!
Luke is an absolutely outstanding musician. Not only that he is a pleasure to work with, offering a client centred approach in which he does his utmost to realise the vision presented. Luke is also very creative, offering lots of ideas and alternatives to choose from. Thanks again Luke!
Luke Markham's work is consistently wonderful and he is always a joy to work with!
This was a tough song with a weird syncopated groove and odd time signatures. Luke made it sound natural and easy with the right energy he just totally nailed it the only man for the job!
This song is way more musical and fun to listen to now thanks to the production and drumming contribution by Luke. Just a killer all around musician and in this case the only man for the job!!
Luke is wonderful. A true professional. Can turn a mediocre demo into a polished drum track. I rely on him for all my drum needs and he has never let me down. Will continue to work with Luke whenever I need drums
Interview with Luke Markham
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: Recording music for an ear training app!
Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
A: Vocals - YAEVIN, Ian Abel Bass - John Gray
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: Digital. Flexibility in editing, collaborating, automating, etc. And plug-ins are getting better every day. That said, I love outboard compressors.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: Every day is different. I get to be creative and flexible for a living. I can't ask for much more than that.
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: Q: How many mics do you have? A: I can have up to 16 mics on the kit at a time. I typically use 8 but will happily add more on request. Q: Can you mix your drum tracks? A: Yes, for an additional fee.
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: Sometimes people see the word "jazz" and immediately associate that with overplaying. I find equal pleasure in playing minimalistic and in the pocket as I do freely improvising.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: I like to hear reference tracks of drum sounds that they like or think would be fitting for the project. I also like to know if they want me to stick to the demo (if one is provided) or provide some more exploratory takes as well.
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: Even if you don't "speak musically," more information is always better! A direction that may seem vague can have a lot of information still! And it ALWAYS has more information than no direction at all.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: 1. Istanbul Agop 22" Signature ride 2.16" 30th-anniversary hats 3. 20" Gretsch Brooklyn Kick Drum 4. Craviotto Ambrosia Maple Snare 5. Metronome
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: I have been playing the drum set for over 20 years at this point. I studied privately with Blake Fleming for 4 years while getting my audio engineering degree at SUNY Oneonta. Then I dove headfirst into the New York City music scene. I've been making a living by performing and recording in the NYC metropolitan area ever since.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: Expressive. I focus on the big pulse and moving with the song. The emotional content of a piece is a part of how I play. I cannot separate the two, and I don't think that one should always try to.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: Kendrick Lamar. I love the way he incorporates live musicians into his tracks. Hearing a great lyricist over Thundercat and Robert Glasper? C'mon.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: I play a lot of modern jazz. But I am also very at home in the pop and singer-songwriter worlds. I like creating parts that can put a simple, but well-written, song into the right "frame."
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: I'll always start by charting out the song. Even if I don't intend to read the chart at all during the recording process I find that it helps me to internalize the form and focus on details that one might otherwise miss. Then, depending on the amount of information I was given by the artist, I will explore different time feels; particularly where the backbeat is going to be placed. This is the biggest decision in how a listener will "feel" the piece. From there I build up. Kick pattern, the grid implied by the cymbals, and so on until the part is crafted.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: I have an 11x14 live room with OC-703 acoustically treated fiberglass panels as well as a floated floor beneath the drum set.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: My living heroes are Mark Guiliana, Chris Dave, Marcus Gilmore, Dave King, Herbie Hancock, Justin Brown, Bill Stewart, Robert Glasper, Lionel Loueke, many many more.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Make a template for each type of project you do!!!! Having everything set up correctly in one-click is a huge time saver. And you can constantly be dialing in the templates to be more and more efficient. I even go as far as having disabled plug-ins that I use the most already in the channel strip. So when it's time to mix, one click and I have a great starting point.
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: My favorite album that I've been a part of thus far is "A Dark and Stormy Day" by Alessandro Fadini. I feel that this performance captured who I am as a musician more so than any project I've been a part of in the past.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: My drumming will be exactly what you need for your project. Whether it be subtle, or a track-defining groove.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: Creating drum parts for an artist and helping them realize their song's full potential even if they don't have rhythmic ideas yet in place.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: Support, creativity, but most importantly flexibility to fit the artist or producer's vision.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: Session Drumming