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)
Send me an email through 'Contact' button above and I'll get back to you asap.
104 Reviews - 19 Repeat ClientsEndorse Luke Markham
Luke is a state of the art drummer hands down!!
I will call on him once again soon!
Luke is a master at his trade. His skills go beyond being a great drummer. He’s got a great ear for production and is a stellar musician.
Luke is superb! A five star drummer and professional.
It was a pleasure. I won't hesitate to work with him again. He can easily collaborate and follow any direction, quick communication and turn around.
Thank you Luke.
I explained to Luke what I was looking for along with a few references and he sent me an amazing track that launched my song where I was hoping.
Always love working with Luke. Very easy and good communication. Never have had to compromise my desired outcome.
Best in the biz. Luke is the type of guy that all musicians are jealous of for how good he is at his craft, and an absolute pro all around.
Wonderful guy, very talented drummer. Have worked with Luke a few times and he is always outstanding. A+++
Luke is easily the Best studio drummer the internet has to offer.
Luke was great to work with. Super quick, very talented and very accommodating. Can't fault him.
Luke was an absolute pleasure to work with! He was super quick, completely accurate with what we envisioned and a very innovative drummer - great sound and character ! He gave us a good mic setup and a couple of takes to choose from and was open to revisions. He was a great decision for us, glad we got to work with him!
Greatest virtual drummer on planet Earth!
Luke is a friggin magical maniac. These tracks are soooo good! Couldn't be happier with the whole experience. Ya gotta hire him.
There is a reason why Luke is one of the first percussionists whom I contact when I want great sound and an amazing performance!
Absolutely love what Luke did. He gave the song a new life. Totally elevated it. Can't recommend him enough. Go get it!
Luke is super cool guy i asked him to play some live drums into my song ( kind of jazz/D&B) i had previously programmed my drums pattern to that song , but sought for something bit more sophisticated, Luke was just that option he done amazing job very dynamic and also colorful drums/ beat i love his playing technique and would anytime work with him again . If you looking for drummer with passion and communicative skills just drop him a line and im sure you will be not disappointed
Honestly, anyone who DOESN'T use Luke for their project has made a big mistake. Huge. Great work, once again!
Luke was a joy to work with once again! The drums are a highlight of the track and he was professional and prompt. 10/10 would recommend.
Whether it's a straight ahead tune or all it's over the grid, Luke delivers his high quality standard of self engineered performance to your inbox every single time. The force is strong in Master Luke Markham
Grateful that I don't have to say: "Please Lord help me find a drummer on the internet that can professionally perform & record the drums to my music without ever even being in the same room" The search is over. It's Master Luke Markham & the "remote & versatile drum performance" FORCE .. is with him
Luke is as creative as he is talented. I've worked with hundreds of drummers and he's by far one of the top guys on my list of favorites. Multi-genre, excellent feel and musically supportive to the fundamentals of the songwriting.
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