Graham Hawthorne


Graham Hawthorne was born in Chicago to musical parents. His father Harry Hawthorne is a drummer/percussionist/educator, currently teaching at The University of Miami. As a child prodigy drummer growing up in Chicago, Graham began playing with many well-known jazz musicians, groups, and orchestras including Ira Sullivan, and The Chicago Civic Orchestra. Because of a natural affinity towards any quality music, he became a musical chameleon early on. While attending The University of Miami School of Music Graham continued his early interest in ethnic music, working with Latin, Caribbean and Reggae bands. He also played jazz with the likes of Dave Leibman and Jon Hendricks and toured with numerous pop acts including Aretha Franklin, Liza Minelli, Debarge, Crystal Gayle, Melissa Manchester, and Burt Bacharach. In New York Graham has played and recorded with such varied artists as David Byrne, Bon Jovi, James Brown, Joan Osborne, N’dea Davenport, Donna Summer, Francis Dunnery, Lori Carson, Linda Eder, Randy Brecker, Hubert Laws, Noel Pointer, David Lynch (Lost Highway), and Todd Solondz (Welcome to the Dollhouse). In 2001he took over the drum chair with Paul Simon from drumming legend Steve Gadd. In recent years Graham has made frequent trips to Africa, South America, and various islands to study and research music. The fruits of these labors are reflected in his work with world music artists Hasan Hakmoun (Morocco), Tohnino Horta (Brazil), Harry Belafonte, El General/C+C music factory (Latin dancehall), Aster Aweke (Ethiopia), Richard Bona (Cameroon), Ruben Rada (Uruguay), and others. The culmination of his wide variety of musical experiences and influences is the production of an album called MBALAFUNK, a totally new popular music form. Graham Spent the better part of 2004 on the road touring with David Byrne, and continues to do so. He is busy writing his own material, conducting masterclasses in the New York area, and recording in the studio when he is not touring.