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).
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41 Reviews - 5 Repeat ClientsEndorse Luke Markham
Luke's Professionalism and Musicality are second to none. He always delivers, making changes and discussing strategy and taking pride in everything he produces. He is the real deal.
Killing as usual.
Can't wait for the next one.
Luke is the King!! Always well constructed and performed drum parts. And the sounds\recording of are of the highest standards!
And the award for greatest file share drum recording and performance goes to ...... the master of the snare, kick, toms, and cymbals.... the lone drummer that puts the word "legend' in place of "session" when using the term "session drummer" it is my favorite Legend Drummer, LUKE!
It's always a pleasure and a privilege to work with Luke!!
great job on the track!
The greatest file share - sound better AND actual drummer of all time is Master Luke. Hit him up and behold your tracks will come alive
And the award for most versatile session drummer ever in the history of file share style home recording during a global pandemic goes to..... Master Luke. He can lay it down thick or he can finesse your canvas. Few I've encountered in my 25 years behind the board have this much ability.
The greatest session man of all time has a fully pro sounding rig in his recording space and also happens to always treat art with the respect and positivity the art deserves. I literally can't find anyone better for all of my music! The force runs strong in Drum Master Luke!!
In all our work together over the years in bands and recording, Luke has brought his great
ideas, friendliness, musical range and abilities to every song. Hire him!
The master with the sticks and skins!!!
check out his work here:
Luke is an incredible drummer and an absolute professional in regards to all aspects of the process. He was communicative and quick to respond.
But most importantly, the quality of the takes and the recordings was outstanding. He provided multiple takes with the full individual mic tracks. I'd definitely say im hard to please but, im absolutely floored at how well it was recorded and played.
I will definitely be working with him again! A+
Yeah...he's it. Looking forward to more work with Luke.
The most Bangin' on The beat. Master Luke brings the force to every track he completes. Always a pro on the kit with versatile clean audio and also to interact with.
Luke is a great guy to work with. A real pro, not just with his drumming but with his detailed placement of mic's. It really makes a big difference. You get a nice big rich drum sound from his process. I highly recommend him!
Amazing job as always!!!!
You DEFINITELY wanna work with Luke. He's super professional, quick, and easy to work with. He made my original track sound SO beautiful! Hire him!
A stellar job and performance as always. Check it out here: http://theclubs.bandcamp.com/track/what-should-we-do
Always a pleasure to work with the super dynamic Luke!
As always Luke's playing and knowledge killed it!!
Working with Luke was one of the best experiences I've had on Soundbetter so far. He's a really talented drummer and will work with you to get the perfect take.
Luke did an excellent job, as always, playing and recording his drum parts. He is open to ideas on how to make a song better, and has great ideas of his own. Hire him!
Luke is a great drummer and played really tastefully on my track. He was really easy to work with and the turnaround was fast. Will definitely be in touch again the next time I need live drums!
Wish I could give more than 5 stars
Luke M for President!
You won't find a better drummer for your project!!!
The greatest session guy of all time, capable of anything at all. A Professional hero on the kit and on the file share. You can only improve your art by working with this upcoming legend.
Luke is an amazing drummer, I'm so glad he's drumming on my projects. He is incredibly reliable and fast as well.
Another stellar Job from Luke!
He kills it every time!!!!
This is your dude for great, recording, communication, ideas and everytang musical.
Another solid, comprehensive and creative job.
As always great ideas and communication.
Thank you Luke!
Looking forward to the next one!
Luke is the Best around.
Adaptable, subtle, melodic, and forward thinking.
He understands the intricacies of what makes a drum part work with your music and what might clash.
He is able to quickly make changes and incorporate feedback.
A consummate Professional.
I've worked with Luke as a session drummer on my own tracks (as a Pop/R&B singer-songwriter) and in live performance settings. Not only is he an amazing drummer that's tasteful and intuitive, he's got a great ear for production and will always give you a handful of really great tracking options. He's very professional; his turn-around time is super quick, he's got a kind, patient attitude, and he genuinely cares that both parties are happy with his results! I highly recommend Luke to anyone looking for a session drummer with tons of knowledge and experience. He'll make sure your track lit.
I first started working with Luke in my freshman year of college. Over the years we have worked on many projects together and it has truly been a privilege to work with him. Not only is he one of the most knowledgeable and talented musicians I have ever worked with but he is also one of the easiest to work with as well. His dedication to his craft is exemplary.
Luke will be a positive addition to any musical project. You can count on him to be on time, prepared and bring an array of ideas to any project. I recommend Luke without reservation.
Working with Luke has been an experience. He took full ownership of the percussive context I wanted to set on each track and brought his expertise and finesse to its execution. My input wasn’t always communicated musically and Luke was able to get an instinctual feel for its translation. We worked remotely and integrating his tracks into the projects was seamless. Having Luke on this project elevated the arrangements & would totally work with him again in the future and do recommend him to anyone. I'm sure Luke can bring a lot to any genre with his unique aesthetic.
I’ve worked with Luke a few times and not only are his skills superb, but also his ability to communicate and get on the level of the project. Luke is Always a top pick
Luke's groove, energy, professionalism and effort are as high as any musician I have worked with in NYC. He pays attention to detail, is always looking to learn, is flexible, and has the best attitude. He is truly a joy to work with, and he is an excellent choice for a drummer for just about any occasion.
On point and in time, I’ve worked with Luke on a ton of recording projects. He’s reliable, creative and really enjoyable to be around.
As a record producer who works with a ton of drummers, I can say that Luke has the chops to perform at the highest quality level. He’s intuitive, always prepared and has good taste. What more could you want?
Luke Markham is a consummate professional and incredible musician. I've worked with Luke for the better part of a decade, and his respect, humility, and skill brought to every project is astounding. His work with me and my debut album, "The Graushua Tree," was incredible. His preparedness for the recording and skill he brought was much need on an 8 hour session. He was always looking for ways to push the music creatively but always willing to take feedback. He is and will be my #1 drummer for recommendations and to share gigs with.
Luke is an incredible drummer and arranger. He takes so much pride in his work and makes sure I’m happy with the finished product. He has helped my project in so many ways and has shown me what my vision for my music was before I even knew myself. I would definitely recommend working with Luke- he’s the best in the business and you will not be disappointed!
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: 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: 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: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: Session Drumming
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: Support, creativity, but most importantly flexibility to fit the artist or producer's vision.
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'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: 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.