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Hello! I’m Adam

ADAM HAY - BIO (scroll further down for TESTIMONIALS)

"Adam Hay is awesome! PASSION AND KNOWLEDGE! If I could take lessons from him I would." Paul Bostaph (SLAYER)

Born in 1976, Adam Hay is a freelance drummer/drum teacher living in Canada, having played well over 2000 shows since the early/mid 1990s all over the US and Canada with Quintuple Platinum selling artist Chantal Kreviazuk (Sony/2x Juno Winner/3x Nominee), multiple Diamond (million) selling artist Raine Maida (Sony/Our Lady Peace/4x Juno Winner), Sarah Slean (Warner/Juno Nominee), Justin Rutledge (Six Shooter, Juno Nominee), Martina Sorbara (Mercury/Dragonette, Juno Nominee and Winner), Royal Wood (Dead Daisy/Six Shooter/ Juno Nominee), Patricia O'Callaghan (EMI), John Barrowman (Sony UK), Filipina diva Sharon Cuneta (Sony Philippines), KC Concepcion (Sony Philippines), Jeff Healey (George Harrison/multiple award winner), Dr. Draw, Luisito Orbegoso (Montreal Jazzfest Grand Prix winner), Cindy Gomez, George Koeller (Peter Gabriel/Bruce Cockburn/Dizzy Gillespie), Alexis Baro (David Foster/Paul Schaffer/Tom Jones) Lesley Barber (composer for Film/TV), Jay Danley (award winner), Sonia Lee (first violinist with Toronto Symphony Orchestra for 6 years/Detroit Symphony Orchestra), Kevin Fox (Celine Dion, Justin Bieber), The Mercenaries, MOKOMOKAI, Gregory Hoskins, Leahy, Eric Schenkman (The Spin Doctors) and hundreds more. He has also recorded with producer David Bottrill (Peter Gabriel, Tool, Smashing Pumpkins, Rush).

Adam has appeared everywhere from live national TV in front of millions of people (MTV, CTV's Canada AM, City TV's Breakfast Television, CBC, Rogers TV, Mike Bullard on CTV, etc) and live radio shows, award ceremonies, TV and Radio commercials as a jingle artist, sold out theaters and festivals, music videos, national TV Season launch parties, many full length albums, record company showcases in the USA and Canada, minuscule cafeterias, to downtown sidewalks as a busker earlier on.

His session drumming has turned up on TV and Film Soundtracks including the Farrelly Brothers film 'Fever Pitch', the HBO series 'Regenesis', the CBC series 'This is Wonderland', the CTV movie 'Playing House', the film 'The End of Silence', the Warner Music Canada soundtrack to the Food Network's 'The Surreal Gourmet', 'Gray's Anatomy', the Shaw Festival, BBC's 'Being Human', the feature film 'Pete's Christmas', most recently, the CBC series 'Cracked', a BBC film, an upcoming feature film, two ads for Ford Trucks, Zellers, Sprint, and Molson. Recently Adam has played on a number of songs for the Youtube 'Dinostory' animation series by Howdytunes, garnering millions of views.

Producers he's worked with include: David Bottrill (Peter Gabriel, Tool, Smashing Pumpkins, Rush), Ian Blurton (legendary Canadian producer/musician), Raine Maida (Our Lady Peace), Brian Moncarz (Our Lady Peace), Matt DeMatteo (Danko Jones, Big Wreck), Mike Langford (Hawksley Workman, Jeff Martin of The Tea Party, Sloan), Vic Florencia (Jason Mraz) James Paul, Royal Wood, Steve Gadsden, Clive Desmond, Ed Zaski, Dave Misener, Justin Rutledge, Lesley Barber ('Manchester By The Sea'), Dave Clarke.

Adam has done over 200 sessions, written 11 books (3 non-fiction), made two documentaries, written 2 drum books, interviewed 53 pro drummers, organized a portrait of 98 pro drummers, toured Canada 4 times, played 18 trips in USA. He's engineered 57 sessions and 12 records as an assistant in post-audio. He's studied drumming in West Africa and Cuba and with several legendary Canadian teachers. He's done 2 solo records. He's worked as a record producer doing rumba, punk-pop, improvisations with Bartosz Hadala, and roots/singer-songwriter projects. He's led meditations using huge gongs. He has a degree in Philosophy. He's travelled to Latin America 6 times, West Africa, and Europe.

He's been a session/live freelance drummer since 1994 and is a highly sought after private drum teacher (by hundreds of students of all levels and all ages, including award-winning pro drummers), having given over 7,500 drum lessons since 1998, and loving every minute. At one point Adam was teaching over 50 students in one-on-one lessons over four days. He's currently an independent teacher with a focus on training and coaching and will forever remain a student.

Some people Adam has studied with: John Cheeseman (Berklee College of Music), Jesse Capon (Berklee College of Music), David James (Humber), Daniel Barnes (Banff School of the Arts), Darren Sherer (The New Deal), Luis Orbegoso (winner of the Grand Prix de Jazz, Montreal Jazzfest), Blair Martin (Master of Cuban Percussion), Cam Warrack (Metal Drumming Master), David Wood (Crescent School), Michael Beauclerc (Yamaha/Vic Firth/Sabian clinician, Champion Rudimentary Drummer), the legendary Al Cross (Big Sugar, Jane Sibbery), Daniel Rodriguez (in Havana, Cuba), Mike Sloski, Ilios Steryannis (Berklee).


"I was really excited to meet Adam. As a person, he was awesome. As a teacher, he should teach other teachers how to be better teachers." K.B.

"Adam: Great seeing you. You sound excellent! You are doing some really excellent teaching. You are honest, an excellent communicator, an inspiring teacher and your chops are very strong. This is a great foundation. You are the next generation of drumming leaders. Remember who came before us and push hard everyday..... Keep sharing what you are doing. You are raising the standard!!" DOM 'The Teacher' FAMULARO Drumming's Global Ambassador

"I have great admiration for Adam. He's a saint. He's a great musician and educator and perpetual student with an amazing background in music; he's a real friend, tremendously talented, and an all-around very impressive guy. Generous, sincere, honest ... and a seriously heavy musician. But more importantly: an excellent human being. I'm blessed to know him." Al Cross (Big Sugar, Canadian music legend)

"If there are old souls in this world, Adam Hay is one of the oldest. The Toronto born, session/studio/touring groove-guru has crisscrossed the globe with some of the finest talent on the planet and still has time to inspire young minds. Players like Adam are anomalies; perhaps a handful exists in the world. These are the players who play without ego and listen without opinion. They play for the song and the moment, nothing more. They are the truest souls in the sense of the word and bring nothing but growth to our industry. Far beyond chops and groove, Adam strives to be plugged into his creative brain. For him, rhythm is beyond the "one," the pocket and all of the human terminology we have bestowed upon the most ancient of art forms. Having paid his dues on the streets of Toronto to afford the heady dreams of the big stage alongside the likes of Raine Maida and Chantal Kreviazuk, Adam still remains the eternal student." Sean Mitchell, Editor, The Black Page Magazine

"Adam Hay is a consummate professional. A drummers' drummer - Adam is a living example of the daily hard work and dedication to our craft that one must have in order to stand out from the crowd. Our community is very lucky he has chosen to share his knowledge with us through his teaching practice. If I were starting again today I would choose Adam as my teacher. I am proud to call him a contemporary and friend." Jesse Capon (Berklee College of Music)

"This guy is a SERIOUS drummer. I know, I'm a drummer too, and Adam is very, very solid." Rick Camilleri (President of Sony Music Canada)

"Adam is an excellent teacher! I would have run in the opposite direction at the mention of drum notation, but he made it look so easy. It's opened a whole new window for me. Looking forward to many more lessons, I know I'm going to have a great time." D.S.

'Adam Hay loves drums. They are his living, his lifeblood, his soul. He is dedicated to his craft and he knows his stuff! Whether in performance, or instructing young drummers, it's his passion for the instrument that is his greatest attribute. It's what drives him and impresses me most of all!' Flavio Monopoli (Session Drummer / Producer)

"Can't say enough about this guy. Hay is too talented for his own good! Ridiculous drummer, unbelievable author, amazing teacher, and one of the craziest, funniest, honest people you'll ever have the chance to meet. He must be stopped." Adam Warner (Royal Wood/Jill Barber/Steve Page/Canadian Drumming Legend)

"Whether I've needed help with concrete issues of hand and foot technique, or more ethereal concepts of expression and passion for music, Adam Hay has always been there to guide me on my journey. Adam's an outstanding musician, an inspiring teacher and one of the nicest guys you could ever hope to meet." Matt Bennett (Five Star Trailer Park)

"The thing I appreciate about Adam's teaching method is that he understands the student's end result; he gets what they are trying to understand and accomplish and helps them attain the next level in their drumming." Louie Le Coche (Zim Zum)

"I can't say enough good things about the high quality drum lessons Adam Hay gives. He practices positive re-enforcement and has always made me feel comfortable during our lessons. I have always felt guided gently but have been ignited with the same excitement and passion that Adam has for drumming throughout my learning journey. His deep knowledge and extensive experience are transferred to his lessons while maintaining the fun factor with the instrument. It has also been a relief to know that Adam is reliable and punctual with his time in all aspects of lessons. I feel lucky to have found such an incredible teacher and mentor. Adam: thank you soooo much for the wicked lessons. It is so fun and enriching to be taught by you. You are really an excellent teacher!" Sarah K.

"I've been taking lessons on and off for about 10 years, and my experience with Adam was near the best (with the exception of my private lesson with Dennis Chambers). During my lessons, Adam quickly assessed my skill level and tailored his teaching to match it perfectly. This made for a great learning experience. Also, in my past experiences, many teachers tended to gravitate towards "their" style, which was usually jazz. And while there is nothing wrong with jazz (of which Adam has quite the mastery) and everyone should eventually study this genre, if you want to rock, it's not always the straightest path to your goal. Adam was able to develop practice drills on the spot that helped me master areas that I wanted to learn, in a way that was simple and focused on mastery. All of these were demonstrated in a great teaching environment. He has an A+ level in 5 things as opposed to a D- level in 10. Adam has passion for music and this pours out when you talk to him about percussion or any other aspect of music. He lives percussion ? this is NOT a side job that he does part time. And finally, Adam is one hell of a nice person and a pleasure to be around. So, if you are in Toronto or the GTA, and you are a beginner and want to learn how to play drums or an experienced player wanting to increase your skill, I can't think of a better person to go see. Adam is your guy." Stephen Hailey (Richmond, Virginia)

"Adam is a great drummer and educator. His passion for music and drumming has definitely influenced my playing and helped me to continue to challenge myself." Chris Frenette

"Adam Hay has improved my vision in my painting, we jam i paint he plays, over the last few years i have had to really listen to him play, i make his notes visible, the notes have matured and expanded so i have to use that much more of my brain and soul." Andres Correa (Master Painter)

"To Adam's Students: PATIENCE!! Rome wasn't built in a day. Practice!" Billy Cobham

"Adam's Students: You exist to serve the music. The music does NOT exist to serve you !" Bill Bruford

"To Adam's Students: Be open, be true to MUSIC!!! And PRACTICE *%#!" Derek Roddy

"Adam is extremely talented and a great teacher. As an instructor he displayed lots of patience and knowledge. I looked forward to our lessons and enjoyed playing my drums with him." - Richard M.

"The way Adam plays to click ... I don't know HOW he does it!" Raine Maida (Our Lady Peace)

"A F**!ing amazing drummer! SO damn smart. Such an exceptional, special person." Chantal Kreviazuk

"He knows a lot when it comes to Cuban music. More than most people. He picked up the quinto part in guaguanco in only two weeks ... it usually takes people YEARS to learn that!" Blair Richard Martin (Master of Cuban Percussion/Klave Y Kongo/Raving Mojos)

"Sensational drummer." Cam Fuller (The StarPhoenix, Saskatoon/Winnipeg)

"To All of Adam's Students: - Listen to Adam - Have Fun! - Enjoy every note you play!" Dom Famularo

"I loved playing music with Adam, and still to this day think he is one of the most talented mofos around, without a doubt, placed on this earth to play drums and make music - and I relish our past together." Royal Wood

Drumset, hand percussion, sessions, live, teaching, learning.


Pro Drummer

Playing pretty much all styles of music.



Birshop's University



B.A. Philosophy