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Jan Hammer

From Academic Kids

Jan Hammer (born 17 April 1948) is a composer and musician.

His career spans the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries, and has won him several Grammy awards. He is probably most well known for Miami Vice Theme and Crockett's Theme, from the popular 1980s US television program, Miami Vice.

Contents

Childhood

Jan was born in Prague, Czechoslovakia (now a part of the Czech Republic). His mother was a well known Czech singer, and his father was a doctor. After a childhood full of music, he entered the highly prestigious Prague Academy of Musical Arts.

Moving to the United States

When the Soviet Union invaded Czechoslovakia, his studies at the Academy were cut short, and he moved to the United States after receiving a scholarship to Boston's Berklee School Of Music.

Mahavishnu Orchestra

Upon completion of these studies, Jan moved to Lower Manhattan and joined the Mahavishnu Orchestra in 1971. In the two years this group was together, they sold over two million records before disbanding in 1973.

Red Gate Studio

Jan spent a considerable sum of his savings on constructing his own recording complex (the Red Gate Studio) on his New York property, which helped his solo career. He went on to record with many of the era's most respected musicians.

Miami Vice

In 1984, the producers of the upcoming television series Miami Vice asked him to take on the task of scoring the music for each episode of the program. Jan agreed, and in 1985 his theme song for the program reached number one on the Billboard Singles Chart. It remains the only instrumental television theme song to reach number one. It remained at the top of the US charts for twelve weeks, became quadruple platinum and earned Jan two Grammy Awards.

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