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Canadian Heritage

Bill Graham


BILL GRAHAM (drummer), now deceased, was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. It was there as a teenager in the ‘40s that he was first exposed to some of the great touring bands that came to town – led by the likes of Red Norvo, Sidney Catlett, and the great Louis Armstrong himself – and knew he wanted to become a musician. He related to be-bop almost as soon as there was be-bop, crafting the hard-edge style of playing that would become his trademark and take him to the forefront of the Montreal, Vancouver, and Toronto jazz scenes where he would remain for the next several decades.

Graham played drums in two separate “Sound of Toronto Jazz” Concerts at the Ontario Science Centre in the ‘90s: as leader of his own Bill Graham Sextet (with pianist Mark Eisenman, trombonists Bob Livingston and Terry Lukiwski, saxophonist Don “D.T.” Thompson, bassist Dave Field) on December 17, 1990, and later as a member of the (pianist) Mike Lewis Trio (with Steve Wallace on bass) on March 9, 1998.


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