Dave Pike was born in Detroit, MI in 1938, he started off as a drummer and later learned marimba and vibraphone. Pike's family moved to Los Angeles in 1954, he played backing for artists such as Dexter Gordon, Harold Land, Carl Perkins, Paul Bley and Curtis Counce. Pike played often around California and then moved to New York in 1960 to tap into a busier Jazz scene.
Pike found greater success on the East Coast, probably occurring through joining the popular Herbie Mann's group with whom he appears on several early recordings. Pike became heavily influenced by the Latin Jazz scene and in 1964, he recorded the album "Manhattan Latin" released on Decca.