GRAHAM LEAR has garnered critical acclaim for his drumming worldwide. His roots in R&B, Rock and Jazz were developed and honed through years of performing with musical giants such as Santana and Gino Vannelli, as well as a host of other equally talented musicians. Canadian rock icon Neil Peart has acknowledged Lear as an influence, as has Mark Kelso, former Head of Percussion Studies at Humber College, Toronto. Some highlights of a touring schedule that has taken him to almost every country in the world, Graham performed at the historic original Live Aid Concert (1985), Apple’s US Festival in California (1982), Bill Graham’s International Peace Walk in Moscow (1987) in addition to three appearances at the prestigious Royal Albert Hall, London, England. He is the 2010 recipient of the FCLMA Lifetime Achievement Award, and was inducted into the FCLMA Hall of Fame in 2018. Originally from Plymouth, England, Graham began drumming at age eight, auditioning for the Police Boys Concert Band of London, Canada. An early student of Police Band alumnus Don Johnson and Robert Comber, he also cites Canadian jazz great Terry Clarke and Mandela drummer Penti Glan as musical influences. Additional tutoring with Ralph Humphrey, Bernard Purdie, Duduka DaFonseca, and Grove School of Music, culminated in the development of a unique style that is validated by the thousands of views of his drum solos on YouTube. In 1974 Graham moved to Los Angeles with Canadian singer Gino Vannelli during which time the Grammy nominated Powerful People and Storm At Sunup were recorded, produced by A&M records icon Herb Alpert. Significantly, drumming legend Buddy Rich covered two tracks from those sessions, Storm At Sunup and Love Me Now, for his Speak No Evil album. The critically acclaimed Vannelli recording, Gist Of the Gemini followed, recorded by Beatles engineer Geoff Emerick at Air Studios UK. Carlos Santana, hearing Vannelli’s recordings on his European tour bus, tasked manager Bill Graham with finding Lear to audition for his band. The rock impresario personally located Graham in Toronto rehearsing with guitarist Domenic Troiano, and within the month, Lear was performing before a sold out Wembley stadium with Santana. Recordings from the ensuing European tour resulted in the double platinum album Moonflower for the group. 1987 found him with rock group REO Speedwagon for their U.S. and South American tours, and with the Canadian progressive group Saga for their European tours. Relocated to Portland OR in 1990 found Graham reunited with Gino Vannelli for his Yonder Tree CD on the Verve label, acclaimed by Gino as a personal favourite. The jazz project Clovis ensued with saxophonist Tom Bergeron of Western Oregon U. He also worked with Native American Music Award winner Gary Small, and multiple live dates with Joe Cocker percussionist Bobby Torres and saxophonist Patrick Lamb. He also performed with jazz/fusion ensemble Sacbe’ at the Berklee College Latin Cultural Festival Boston. Graham has been featured in two articles for Modern Drummer, Drums and Perc., Drums Etc. and Sticks magazine and performed clinics at Musicians Institute of Los Angeles, Frankfurt, Toronto, St. Louis and Tampa. His personal passion for music has always been R&B and jazz, having performed at the inaugural Niagara on the Lake Jazz Festival in 2014, with three more in recent years. He endorses DW drums, Zildjian cymbals, Headhunters sticks-creations, Remo heads, LP percussion.
GRAHAM LEAR Artists toured /recorded with include Gino Vannelli; Santana, Carlos Santana; REO Speedwagon; Saga; Paul Anka; Tom Grant; Gary Richrath; Sacbe’; Randy Porter; Gary Small; Suzi Stern; Clovis; Bidondo Bros.; Truck; Ian Tyson; George Olliver; Natural Gas; Riverson; Syberia; Paris Black; Johnny Martin; Joey Ortega; Les Percussion Des Montreal. Producers Dave Devore, Keith Olsen, Dave Tyson; David Foster; Henry Mancini; Dennis Lambert; Brian Potter, Steve Sexton, Canadian icon Domenic Troiano. Selected recordings include, Gist of the Gemini; Powerful People; Storm at Sunup; Yonder Tree with GinoVannelli. Moonflower; Inner Secrets; Marathon; Zebop; Shango; Viva with Santana. Silver Dreams Golden Reality; Swing of Delight; Havana Moon; Blues for Salvador with Carlos Santana. Second Decade: REO Speedwagon; Natural Gas: Natural Gas; Instinct: TomGrant; Only The Strong Survive: Gary Richrath; Secret Seduction: Paris Black; Syberia: Syberia; Forest 4 The Trees: Randy Porter; Humanly Possible: Johnny Martin; Clovis: Clovis. Major concerts include the historic first Live Aid; US Festival; Moscow Walk for Peace and Cal Jam 2 ( Santana ). Cincinnati, Washington, Atlanta, Nashville, Naples FL symphony orchestras ( Anka ). Also with Mexican jazz ensemble Sacbe for the Latin Cultural Festival at Berklee College of Music in Boston. Video includes Saturday Night Live; Soul Train; P.B.S. Sound Stage; Kennedy Center Concert of the Americas, Viva Santana (C.B.S. Video); REO Speedwagon ( Vina Del Mar Festival Chile & Live in Hawaii), Paul Anka- Night of a Lifetime P.B.S.and Live at Montreal Jazz Festival ’05 plus multiple YouTube links. The sampling and loop CD, Graham Lear’s Latin Rock Drumscapes featuring Orestes Vilato on perc., released by Northstar prod., garnered a 4.5 (out of five) rating in Electronic Musician. “Head, Hands and Feet” the drum solo from Santana’s Moonflower CD and the track “Where Am I Going?” from Gino Vannelli’s Storm At Sunup CD were transcribed for Modern Drummer issues. Other print articles include two cover features in the German publications Drums and Percussion (Jan/84) and Sticks (April/90). Graham was first interviewed for Modern Drummer magazine in July /82, and in the Feb.99 issue. Graham endorses DW drums, Zildjian cymbals, Headhunters Sticks & Creations, Remo heads, LP percussion and Fatcat snare wire
Juno-nominated multi-percussionist, drummer and composer Larry Graves has dedicated himself to innovation, exploring rhythm-based performance traditions from around the world through research, creation and teaching. After studying performance and composition at the Berklee College of Music, he was charmed by the deep sounds and wondrous poly-rhythms of West Africa, and that led him on several journeys to Ghana, Burkina Faso and Senegal to further explore music, dance and language.
Larry’s musical projects have received support from the Toronto Arts Council, Ontario Arts Council and Canada Council for the Arts and he was nominated for a Juno Award in 2007 for his work with the Toronto-based Worldbeat ensemble, Mr. Something Something.
Larry performs with and leads his ensembles, DRUMHAND and Surefire Sweat, as a sideman with various Toronto groups such as The Urban Highlanders and Autorickshaw, teaches drum set and percussion at York University, and creates music for various contemporary dance organizations in Toronto.
Drummer Chris Houle comes from a long line of musical talents. Exposed to music at a very young age as a McCann Family offspring, it was only natural when Chris started playing drums at the age of 9. He joined the stage/big band in his first year of high school and has never looked back. Chris has performed with many local bands over the years, including Ragged Faith, The Burn, Bad Influence, Blues Chronicle, Private Stock, Blue Groove, and Cougar Chick Tribute Band. Currently Chris performs with the Leslie Rohonczy Band, Jenn Morin Band, Disco Inferno, 8 Track, and Comfortably Numb – Canada’s Pink Floyd Show.
During this time, Chris has also had the opportunity to play on numerous demo and original studio tracks, and his work on drums and percussion has been captured on several sessions with Jenn Morin, Leslie Rohonczy, Ragged Faith, and other artists at SoundCreation Studios in Ottawa. Chris also occasionally sits in on drums and lends vocals with local favorites Chris McCann and Straight Goods, Staggering Punters, and Next in Line, enjoying the opportunity to play many diverse styles of music. Among his musical influences, Chris counts multiple decades of talent, ranging from the 1940’s swing and big band sounds, to today’s power pop and modern rock, blues, classic rock, pop, and yes, even disco! Chris’s exceptional meter and hunger for all things new and challenging keeps his bands sounding fresh, and brings energy to live performances.
Tim Timleck is a Toronto-based drummer who is currently touring with multi-platinum, Juno-award winning rock icon Carole Pope of Rough Trade, Emm Gryner, as well as 80’s inspired hard rockers Trapper (featuring Emm Gryner and Sean Kelly), with whom he recently completed a Canadian arena run in support of Def Leppard)
Tim came up as a drummer in the early 80’s Queen Street scene in Toronto, cutting his teeth with a number of punk and rock n roll bands, and developing a sense of street style that permeates his playing to this day. This led to touring Canada’s then burgeoning cover band bar circuit, playing 7 nights a week, and ultimately landed Tim the drum chair in Atlantic Records recording artists Michael White’s world famous Led Zeppelin tribute band, The White. Tim then further diversified his playing with Virgin Records roots and country artist Lori Yates (alongside such venerable players as Blue Rodeo’s Basil Donovan and guitar legend David Baxter).
His next big touring stint came with 90’s recording act Universal Honey, a gig that had Tim playing festivals, clubs, theatres and arenas all over North America.
Other acts Tim has toured and/or recorded with include Tariq (EMI), Galore (Fading Ways), Crash Kelly (Century Media/EMI) and others, and continues to work as a first call freelance studio and live drummer in Toronto.
Tim is proud to play and endorse Sonor Drums and Headhunters Sticks and Creations.
Derrick Gyles has been playing drums for decades and truly cut his teeth in the music industry during the era of New Wave and Alternative radio in the 1980’s. to stardom and to the forefront of the Canadian music scene.
Derrick now spends his time as president and CEO of MAD Design Company, as well as playing live as a guest drummer for popular artists such as Platinum Blonde, The Spoons, and with members of The Guess Who and Loverboy. Derrick’s exuberance and love for the ‘80s is the indispensable backbone of The Bomb.
Seanʼs credits include being a member of the Kim Mitchell Band for three years as well as working with Alannah Myles, Sass Jordan, Moe Berg and touring and recording with Juno Award winner Derek Miller. He has also performed with Tom Cochrane, Randy Bachman, Sarah Harmer and Louise Pitre among others. He became involved in musical theatre with the original Toronto production of HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH. He was also the principal drummer in the productions of ROCK OF AGES, THE TOXIC AVENGER, OH CANADA WHAT A FEELING! and was picked by Brian May and Roger Taylor for the Queen musical WE WILL ROCK YOU.
Currently, Sean is the drummer in the Toronto production of the hit musical, COME FROM AWAY. He also plays with The Test Icicles (www.thetesticicles.com), as well as doing sessions for numerous artists at his own drum studio.
Tom is a native of Buffalo, N.Y., where he received a degree from SUNY in music and political science. In Buffalo, he was a founding member of Spyro Gyra, playing on their first record, including the hit Shaker Song. He moved to Los Angeles as a member of the smash pop group America, and toured with them for the next several years. Since then, Tom has become a fixture on the L.A. studio scene.
Tom has performed or recorded with numerous artists, including Joe Cocker, Supertramp,Tina Turner, Keiko Matsui, the Rippingtons, Grant Geissman,Michael MacDonald,John Waite, Henry Mancini,Helen Reddy, Engelbert, Patti LaBelle, Monica, Rod Stewart, Michael Buble, Don Felder, and, as a member of various house orchestras, could list just about every major star on the scene. Recently, Tom has been performing with Dennis Quaid’s band, the Sharks, involving TV and live performances around the globe.
Tom’s recording career has included countless movie,TV soundtracks, and jingles. He played drums on the three longest running TV themes; Wheel of Fortune, Jeopardy, and America’s Funniest Home Videos. Other shows include Friends, MadMen,the Office etc. Tom is also a member of the in house orchestra for Hal Leonard publishing, which entails recording myriad types of musical projects for worldwide distribution. Some of those include a live recording with Izzy Chait at the Jazz Bakery, performances with Katey Sagal, Vicki Lewis, Sharon Lawrence, Peter Gallagher, and others in a presentation of Damn Yankees(Georgia Stitt MD). Tom recently performed live at Carnegie hall, in a trio performing music from the creator of Family Guy, Seth MacFarlane.
Recent projects includes record dates with John Batdorf, Robyn Spangler, Pat Marshall, Susan Egan and Georgia Stitt, Power Jazz, Emilio Palame, as well as the usual pallette of session work, including Disney Tokyo’s electric parade, and the current State Farm, and Miller lite campaigns.
Tom has reconnected recently with Helen Reddy, and will be doing dates with her across the country over the next few months.
Tom lives in West Hills, Ca. and is a proud endorser of Paiste Cymbals, Vic Firth sticks, Remo Heads and Headhunters Creations
Luc Boivin has been professionally involved in music for the past 40 years, first as a percussionist, and later as music director, producer, teacher and
composer. Luc has become renowned in stage, recording and television circles. For 12 years Musical Director and bandleader for Télé-Québec’s hit show “Belle
et Bum,” which features different musical performers every week. As such, he has had the opportunity to work with most Quebec artists and many international
performers such as Gino Vannelli, André Gagnon, Angélique Kidjo, Ginette Reno, Holly Cole, Patti Labelle, Johnny Clegg, and many others. “Belle et Bum” has won
two Gémeaux Awards for Best Musical Show of the Year, and one Félix best musical show 2011) Musical director of the legendary tv show Beau et Chaud
has won Gémeaux for best musical show, proof positive of Luc’s versatility, his creativity and his ability to seamlessly adapt his band’s music to the style of so
many different artists. This ability was in evidence when Luc served as Musical Director composer and arranger for the Canada Day celebrations on Parliament Hill in 2010, where
Canadians were joined on the Hill for the Noon Show by Her Majesty the Queen. He then inspired and led his tireless house band to play most of the
accompaniment for both the 70-minute Noon Show and the 3-hour evening show. His ability to combine a sense of professionalism with an upbeat attitude and
creative approach has made him much in demand for large-scale live and broadcast shows that feature many different artists, and he has served as Musical
Director for such shows as the Governor-General’s Performing Arts Awards; Voices of Soul” during the 2005 Montreal Jazz Festival; “Rencontres,” a
highlight of the 2008 Quebec City 400th Anniversary celebrations;( Gémeaux for best musical show of the year) The Queen’s Golden Jubilee Nationwide Gala,
broadcast live from Roy Thomson Hall in Toronto in 2002; and La Fête Nationale in Montréal in 2008, and in Quebec City in 2011.
While directing the music, Luc also performs as a percussionist onstage. His career as a percussionist has led him to perform with the Société de musique
contemporaine du Québec, the Grand Ballets Canadiens Orchestra, and as a studio musician on more than three hundred albums and in hundreds of TV
shows. His live performances placed him on some of the most famous stages in Quebec, across Canada, the United States and in Europe.
He Study at McGill Univesity classical percussions with Pierre Béluse, played with the McGill percussions ensemble and Concept Neuf ensemble, recorded the
album McGill Percussions ensemble Les Sept Jours, Walter Boudreault. Also worked with Claude Vivier in Ottawa in 1971 at the National Art Centre. Study has taken him to New
York, Cuba and Barcelona.
Luc also did a series of thirteen hours of documentaries on world music as a musical director and host of a documentaries on world music (La Symphonie du Nouveau
Monde) arranged for 60 musicians on stage for ARTV in 1993. Work as arranger on different TV and live shows,
Luc co-wrote the “Ulalena” a multi media show in Maui with Michel Cusson, for
Réalisations Productions. He also composed the music for “Immortal Chi” Beijing China productions with
Michel Cyr as collaborator in 2014 He wrote and arranged the music for the show “EQI Cheval Libre” France in 2015 for
Novalux Production and is currently teaching percussions at Université du Québec in Montreal for the past 25
Years. He has and opened his own percussions school in 2011 in Montreal, École de
Buff Allen has had over fifty years of professional playing experience, in jazz, pop, theatre, recording studios, concert tours, television and movies. He is the recipient of a 1989 Juno award for best jazz album category, as well as the 1987 Laureate in the CBC-Alcan competition at the Montreal Jazz Festival, and was a Juno nominee for 2003. He’s had the honour of being able to play with a large number of great musicians, both local and international, including Diana Krall, Michael Buble, Daniel Lanois, Lenny Breau, Ed Bickert, Johnny Hartman, Moe Koffman, Rob McConnell, Sam Noto, Eugene Amaro, Hagood Hardy, Kathryn Moses, Peter Appleyard, Phil Nimmons, Hank Jones, Teddy Wilson, Johnny Guenieri, Red Norvo, Joanne Brackeen, Kenny Wheeler, Bob Murphy, Pat Coleman, Hugh Fraser, and many more
John Collin is an accomplished professional drummer specializing in the jazz and swing genres. He attended the Jazz Program at Humber College and received training with notable great Roger Flock. Hailing from Toronto, John has over twenty years of drumming experience and has played with most of Toronto’s prominent Big Bands.
John currently leads his own jazz ensemble and plays various venues in and around Toronto.