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ABOUT

At the age of 14 Graeme won the title of 'Junior Genius' on Thames Television’s 'Nationwide', performing with a Youth Jazz Orchestra. During this time he studied piano with John Baker from the BBC Radiophonic workshop. His first professional engagement was at 17 with country stars Miki & Griff, he then went on to work on the 'Wheatley' circuit backing TV artists such as Mike Reid and Freddie Star.

 

His professional career has led him through many avenues, such as TV and radio sessions, shows, jingles, recording sessions, and tours with vocalists such as Guy Mitchell, Dennis Lotis, Maxine Daniels and the Orchestras of Herb Miller (Glen’s brother) and the Ray Shields Orchestra (which played and appeared in the film 'Yanks').

 

Jazz is Graeme’s real love in music and for some years he played with the Ray Ward Trio in his home county of Essex. During which time he recorded and produced two albums with the Trio and performed at various jazz clubs, Edinburgh Festival and the Royal Festival Hall. In the 1980's he formed the 'Graeme Culham Big Band', playing the music of Buddy Rich and Count Basie as well as featuring original compositions. The band recorded its first album in 1986. During this time Graeme was invited to talk about his drumming and big band on BBC and Local Radio.

Diversity is the name of the game and the various Jazz styles have not been an exception to the rule. This included a residency at the 'Caza Bar', Switzerland run by British trumpeter Bob Wallis, alongside traditional jazz musicians Mac White, Alan Bradley and Chez Chesterman. At the end of this stint he was asked to guest with the 'Original Hallelujah Stompers' at the ‘Jazzhaus’  in Freiburg, West Germany.

 

Graeme has performed with jazz artists such as Eddie Thompson, Pete Jacobsen, Slim Gaillard, Buddy Tate, Kenny Ball, Art Farmer, Don Rendell to name a few and the late Ronnie Scott who was quoted as saying that “Graeme was one of the best jazz drummers he has worked with”.

 

Apart from various commercial recordings Graeme can be found on many jazz releases such as Jackson Sloan’s 'Old Angel Midnight' album (arrangements by the late Jimmy Deuchar) featuring Dick Morrissey and Pete King. Other albums include Humphrey Lyttelton's 'Calligraph Records' with Roy Williams and Maxine Daniels. The 'Acid Jazz' label on which Graeme performed several recordings for 'Snowboy', “Girl Overboard” from the "3 Faces of Snowboy" featured highly in the U.K Soul charts. He also drummed on the Acid Jazz re-recording of the 'Avengers T.V. Theme'. In the late nineties Graeme released his first C.D titled “the graeme culham jazz quintet” which featured original compositions by its members. The quintet was featured on the Meridian Television programme 'The Pier' and performed at many jazz festivals and jazz clubs.

 

Latterly Graeme toured with the show 'Drum Crazy' with fellow drummer John Petters and was musical director for the 'Southend Jazz Orchestra' together with performing various drum clinics around the country for Ludwig and Premier drums hosted by music shops and art centres.

 

During a very busy and productive point in his career, Graeme was diagnosed with a tumour in his knee which resulted in a total knee replacement, throughout the recovery process Graeme concentrated his efforts into teaching. Together with expanding his private and school pupil roster he has made a full recovery. Graeme has his own successful teaching practices in Rayleigh and Chelmsford, Essex.

 

Graeme continues to play fronting his own Jazz Sextet 'Buddy's Review' paying tribute to the late Buddy Rich featuring current young musical talent. He also performs with various Tribute Acts and Function Bands with engagements in the UK and abroad. In 2012 Graeme started his own monthly jazz club named GC's Jazz Club. In 2013 Graeme was included in the Jazz Archives exhibition project 'History of Jazz in Essex' which is to tour the UK for two years before being entered into the 'National Archives' for historical interest. Apart from freelancing and teaching currently Graeme is touring the UK & Europe with Jackson Sloan & the Rhythm Tones.

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