Mike is a Drummer/Producer/Music Director with over 25 years experience, available for sessions, subbing and touring.

Mike has an extensive repertoire and diverse musical background that have allowed him the opportunity to work as a drummer, producer, writer, arranger, and music director with many of N.Y. & L.A.'s talented singers, songwriters and bands.  

Mike also runs his own recording studio Mudshark Sound Labs where he produces music for television and film and records drum tracks for artists and songwriters all over th globe. 


New Jersey native Mike Holowatch picked up his first pair of drumsticks at the tender age of 5. Recognizing his raw talent, his parents took him for lessons with New York-based session drummer and educator Pat O’Donnell. Mike was a natural.

By age 12, he was even playing weddings as a sub for O’Donnell. Thirsting to become a master drummer, Mike seized the opportunity to work with some of the best teachers in New York and New Jersey, including Rick Dior, Jack Winters and Tom Nichols. Under their guidance, he studied and mastered a variety of drumming styles, including classical percussion, jazz, rock, R&B, and funk.  

In high school, Mike studied tympani and classical percussion, and for three years running, was the first-chair timpanist in the New Jersey All-State Wind Ensemble. He also played in the percussion pit with the Rutgers Honors Symphony and New Jersey Youth Symphony.

He enrolled in William Paterson College’s music program and studied under Ray Desroches as a classical percussion major. He also studied Music Education, Business and Audio Recording at WPU. While still in college, Mike shared the stage with the likes of Maceo Parker, P-Funk All Stars,  and Groove Collective as a founding memberof the 42 Main St. Delicatessin Band.

After college, Mike found himself immersed in New Yorks underground hip-hop scene all the while keeping up his chops in rock, blues, reggae, jazz and evetually afro-beat.

Mike is a world-renowned musician and consummate professional who consistently strives to achieve deeper levels pocket,  groove and understanding of feel. As a drummer, he says his core philosophy is to make people dance and enjoy themselves. His drumming style is organic and well-rounded and his hard work and determination have given Mike the unique 
opportunity to grace many of the worlds legendary stages.


The following are styles in my drumming comfort zone:

  • Rock & Roll,  Blues, Folk,  Roots,  Americana
  • Pop,  Dance, Funk,  Soul,  and Rn'B, Hip-Hop, Gospel
  • Country:  Traditional,  Contemporary,  and Altenative
  • New Orleans Second Line & Zydeco,  
  • Southern Rock,  Garage Rock,  Punk, and Inie Rock,
  • Afro-Beat, High-life, and many traditional African Styles
  • Roots Reggae,  Ska,  Dance Hall,  One-Drop,  Rock Steady
  • Jazz,  Big Band,  and Swing 
  • Experimental Noise,  Sound Effects and Film Scoring 

Drum tracks recorded using LogicX, Antelope Audio Goliathg Thunderbolt interface/mixing console,   Octava, Neumann, Audix, Sure, AKG, Senheiser, Rhode, and Audio Technica Mics.  Using a wide variety of new and vintage acoustic drums, cymbals and hand percussion as well as a library of midi instruments. 

Drum Sets:

  • Yamaha Recording Custom Birch 24"BD,  22"BD,  10"TT,  12"TT,  16"FT
  • Yamaha Club Custom Kapur 20"BD, 10&12"TT, 14&16FT
  • Early 70's Maple Ludwig 20"BD, 13X9"TT, 14X12"TT, 16"FT
  • Bone Customs Bubinga Kit 22"BD 12"TT 16"FT 14X8"SD

Individual Snare Drums:

  • 6 x 14 Brass Shell Black Beauty Snare
  • 6 x 14 Ludwig Steel Superphonic Snare
  • 5 x 14 Ludwig Steel Superphonic Snare
  • 6 x 14 Vintage 10 lug Slingerland Maple Snare
  • 5.5 x 14 Yamaha Oak Custom Snare
  • 5.5 x 14 Yamaha Absolute Maple Snare
  • 5.5 x 14 Yamaha Steel Snare
  • 8  x 14  Bone Customs Bubinga Snare
  • 5 x 12 DW Maple Popper Snare
  • 5 x 14 Gretsch Aluminum Shell Snare 1930's
  • 8.5 x 14 Custom Shop Maple Snare
  • 3 x 13 Pearl Brass Piccolo Snare
  • 4.5 x 14 Vintage Pear Student Snare
  • 6 x 10 Mapex Steel Soprano Snare
  • 10 x 14 Custom Snare converted from a vintage Slingerland tom
  • 12 x 14 Ludwig Marching Snare with Calfskin heads 1920's
  • 12 x 14 Rogers Marching Tom 1920's
  • 12 x 25.25 Ludwig Pioneer Marching Bass Drum 1920's


  • 21" Sabian HHX Groove Ride
  • 20" Zildijian A Custom Ride
  • 20" Zildijian K Constantinople Ride
  • 20" Zildijian Heavy A ride 1970's
  • 20" Zildijian Crash of Doom
  • 18" Sabian HHX China
  • 18" Zildijian China Trash
  • 18" Sabian HHX Evolution Crash
  • 18" Zildijian A Heavy Crash 1970's
  • 18" Istanbul Agop Crash 1980's
  • 19" Turkish Crash/Ride
  • 20" Turkish Crash
  • 17" Sabian HHX Legacy Crash
  • 16" Sabian HHX Evolution Crash
  • 15" Zildijian K Dark Hats
  • 15" Zildijian A Rock Hats 1970's
  • 15" Zildijian A Jazz Hats 1970's
  • 14" Wuhan Trash Hats 
  • 14" Zildijian K/Z Hats 1980's
  • 14" Zildijian K Constantinople Hats
  • 14" Zildijian A Light Hats 1960's
  • 14" Sabian Hand Hammered Hats
  • 14" Sabian AAX Rock Sizzle Hats 1980's
  • 13" Sabian AAX Studio Hats
  • 13" Wuhan Trash Cina
  • 10" Zildijian Recording Hats

Meinel Cajone, LP Congas, Bongos and various bells, shakers, whistles, found/homemade percussion and sound effects:

Glastonbury Festival, Glastonbury, UK
The Forum, London, UK 
Gent Festival, Gent, Belgium
Festa Sete at the Theatre de la Mer, Montpellier, Fr. 
The LaPalma Jazz Festival, Rome, Italy
The Supernatural Festival, Utrecht, Netherlands
The Milkveg, Amsterdam
The Jazz Cafe, London, UK
The New Jersey Jazz and Blues Festival, Red Bank, NJ

The Saint, Asbury Park, NJ
The Stone Pony, Asbury Park, NJ
The Wetlands, NYC
Terra Blues, NYC
The Bitter End, NYC
Nu Blu, NYC
The Viper Room, LA
The Roxxy, LA
Whiskey a Go-Go, LA
The House of Blues, LA 

photos by: Paul Rumohr