Graeme Kirkland

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Graeme Kirkland was a Canadian record producer, composer, musician, and performance artist during the late 1980s and 1990s.

Musical career[edit]

At age 15, while too young to be formally enrolled, Kirkland studied music in advanced classes at York University. During his teen years, he received three full scholarships to The Banff Centre School of Fine Arts studying and working alongside Big Miller, John Abercrombie, Kenny Wheeler, Don Thompson, Dave Holland, Hugh Fraser, and Albert Mangelsdorff. He also studied privately in Toronto & New York City.

During his musical career, Kirkland played alongside and recorded with the Leslie Spit Treeo, Varga, Jeff Healey,[1] Ashley MacIsaac,[2] Tim Brady, Holly Cole, Mark Feldman, John Zorn, George Koller,[3] Fred Stone,[4] Jane Bunnett, Bob Wiseman,[5] John Gzowski,[6] The Shuffle Demons, Joey Goldstein, as well as the National Ballet of Canada. Kirkland, together with Tom Walsh, composed and played for the Hemispheres Orchestra in 1988.[7] His music was featured on Citytv, MuchMusic,[8] and in the movie Roadkill, which won an award at the 1989 Toronto International Film Festival.

Albums produced by Kirkland include There's No Such Word As Can't,[9] Sleep Alone,[10] and Sing Along With Graeme, which featured famous musicians Mary Margaret O'Hara, and Jim Cuddy from Blue Rodeo.[11] Along with being a respected studio drummer, Kirkland was well known for his street busking performances, using overturned buckets and other available surfaces.[12] He organized his annual Santa's Jolly Christmas Benefit show,[13] as well as the urban-drumming show Graeme Kirkland's Long Distance Canada Day event in Toronto.[14] After his musical career, he became a financial advisor.[15]


Kirkland was a popular performer in Toronto being voted "Best Drummer" by NOW magazine's readers consecutively for 6 years (1996–2001)[16] in their annual Reader's Poll. The runner-up in each of these 6 years was Neil Peart of Rush.



Year Album Artist
1988 There's No Such Word As Can't Graeme Kirkland and The Wolves
1989 Sleep Alone! Graeme Kirkland and The Wolves
1990 Don't Cry Too Hard The Leslie Spit Treeo
1993 Compositional Collage Graeme Kirkland and The Wolves
1996 Sing Along with Graeme Graeme Kirkland
1996 Oxygen Varga
1996 Hi How Are You Today? Ashley MacIsaac
1999 Beat Truths Graeme Kirkland


  1. ^ "Upcoming Concerts". Now Magazine. 22 November 2001. 
  2. ^ "Hi How Are You Today?". CD Universe. 
  3. ^ "Compositional Collage". Discogs. 18 April 2013. 
  4. ^ "Fred Stone". The Canadian Encyclopedia. 17 April 2013. 
  5. ^ "'Tis the Season". Eye Weekly. 17 December 1998. 
  6. ^ "Music and Sound". John Gzowski. 17 April 2013. 
  7. ^ "Tom Walsh". Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians. 18 April 2013. 
  8. ^ McGlynn, Cindy (17 December 1998). "'Tis the Season". EyeWeekly. 
  9. ^ "There's No Such Word As Can't". WorldCat. 17 April 2013. 
  10. ^ "Graeme Kirkland / Sleep Alone". VinylRevolution. 17 April 2013. 
  11. ^ Kastner, Jamie (20 June 1996). "Graeme Kirkland". EyeWeekly. 
  12. ^ Johnson, Brian D. (29 July 1996). "Drumming Finds New Popularity". Maclean's Magazine. Rogers Publishing Ltd. Archived from the original on 13 October 2012. Retrieved 25 March 2008. 
  13. ^ McGlynn, Cindy (17 December 1998). "'Tis the Season". EyeWeekly. 
  14. ^ "Eye Weekly Digestive". Eye Weekly. 18 June 1998. 
  15. ^ "Drummer's New Beat". Now. Now Communications Inc. 16 August 2001. Retrieved 2008-03-25. 
  16. ^ "Best of Toronto 2001 Reader's Poll Award". Now Magazine. NOW Communications Inc. Retrieved 2008-03-27. 

External links[edit]