HAMID DRAKE was born in Monroe, Louisiana but for the most part was raised in Chicago. In 1974 he began what was to be a long-term musical relationship with Fred Anderson who introduced him to performing with many of the other artists in the AACM. In late 1977 Drake joined Adam Rudolph and Foday Musa Suso to form the Mandingo Griot society, one of the first groups in the United States to explore the relationship between traditional West African and American musical idioms. He met Don Cherry when the group recorded their first LP on Flying fish Records. Drake’s relationship with Cherry continued until Cherry’s passing in 1995 doing many tours throughout Europe, Japan and the United States with him. Don Cherry provided a major breakthrough for Drake not only musically but spiritually as well. Since 1987 Drake has recorded toured extensively in Europe and the US with German saxophonist Peter Brotzmann and also with bass player William Parker in several of his ensembles and with many other artists.
The list of the people that Drake has worked and recorded with includes David Murray, Pharaoh Sanders, Iva Bitova, Misha Mengelberg, AB Bars, Luc EX, Adam Rudolph, Bill Laswell, Archie Shepp, Napoleon Maddox(Iswhat), DVK with Ken Vandermark and Kent Kessler, Nicole Mitchell, Punkt, Rob Wagner, Rob Brown, Cooper-Moore, Lewis Barnes, Kirk Knuffke, Fred Anderson, and Kidd Jordan.
In 2005 Drake formed the group Bindu and a few years later Bindu Reggaeology both formed with the purpose of highlighting through music and spoken word the spiritual, cultural and social importance that the Divine Mother Tradition (Divine feminine) has played throughout world.