Arts & Entertainment Industry Forum: Graham Hawthorne

Sought-after session and backing drummer Graham Hawthorne stops by to perform and speak with Dr. Lo Faber (01/09/2017).

About Graham Hawthorne

Drummer Graham Hawthorne continues to be one of the most sought-after studio and backing musicians in the music industry, and has played on hundreds of records, movie soundtracks, and commercial jingles. Born in Chicago and raised by musical parents, Graham's father Harry was himself a highly-regarded studio, jazz, and classical percussionist, who eventually went on to teach at the University of Miami School of Music. As a child, Graham was surrounded by talented musicians, live performance, and percussion.

In 2001, Graham backed singer/songwriter legend Paul Simon on a fifty-city nationwide tour, which included performances at the Grammy Awards, The Late Show with David Letterman, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and a sold-out show with Paul McCartney at Los Angeles' famous Greek Theater. Since 2003, Graham has been the drummer of choice for the visionary artist David Byrne, who is best known as the former frontman of The Talking Heads. He has also worked with a number of celebrated artists in the jazz and world genres.

Through his work with these headliners and other artists, Graham has traveled extensively across the world, and has continually researched, studied, and practiced new rhythms and styles to add to his repertoire. In 2002, h he released his first solo album, MBALAFUNK, which combines his various musical influences with Senegalese rhythm and drumming. Around this time, Graham started experimenting with modern digital production techniques and DAWs such as ProTools. These production skills, combined with his mastery of percussion, have allowed him to work with household names including Bon Jovi, Faith Hill, and Hans Zimmer.

Today, Graham continues to back sessions and performances as an in-demand drummer and producer, while assisting up-and-coming musicians as a clinician and teacher.