Graham Lear is a drummer, best known for his time with Gino Vannelli, Santana and REO Speedwagon. He was born in the United Kingdom on July 24, 1949. In 1952 his family moved to London, Ontario (Canada). He began his professional career at the age of 13 with the London (Ontario) Symphony Orchestra. During his teenage years he practiced, played and toured with several bands in Canada and the United States. Gino Vannelli was the first major recording artist to recognize Graham’s talents and he recorded with Gino on some of his most important work. He has toured and/or recorded worldwide with Carlos Santana, Paul Anka, REO Speedwagon and Saga. He has also worked with T.V./ Film composers Henry Mancini, Domenic Troiano, Jimmy Dale (Pianist/arranger Boss Brass), David Foster, Mexican jazz/fusion group Sacbe, and recorded jingles for Nike, Molson and Avia.
His recordings credits include Moonflower, Inner Secrets, Marathon, Zebop, Shango and Viva (Santana); Swing of Delight, Havana Moon and Blues for Salvador (Carlos Santana); The Gist of the Gemini, Powerful People, Storm at Sunup, Yonder Tree, and Slow Love (Gino Vannelli); Second Decade (REO Speedwagon); Instinct (Tom Grant).
Modern Drummer interviewed Graham (July 82, Feb.99) The solo "Heads Hands and Feet" 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 publications include two cover features in the German publications Drums and Percussion (Jan '84) and Sticks (April '90).
In 2007, Graham was touring internationally with Paul Anka, performing with Gfour Productions' Menopause The Musical in Portland, Oregon plus teaching, recording and performing in the Portland area with local artists.
His sampling and loop CD, Latin Rock Drumscapes featuring Orestes Vilato on percussion, released by Northstar Productions, received a 4.5 (out of five) rating in the Dec.98 issue of Electronic Musician.