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New Season, New Faces: Spectrum Welcomes Graham Campbell


Guitarist, composer, and lover of avocados and toboggans: Graham is the newest addition to Spectrum’s intrepid team of Artistic Producers.



Tell us a little about yourself? When did you first pick up a guitar, and when did you know it would be something you wanted to pursue seriously?

I started guitar in 6th grade, but before that I had taken piano lessons since I was 5. I think I always knew from a young age that I wanted music to be my life, but it was in high school when guitar really began to be my favourite instrument to play.


Before you decided to join us as an Artistic Producer, we actually approached you to collaborate on our concert this December. Tell us a little about what you are going to bring to the stage for “Journeys” this winter.

Shortly after I graduated Humber I fell in love with Brazilian music, through the music of Novos Baianos, Gilberto Gil, and Caetano Veloso. I started learning Portuguese so I could sing along with my favourite songs and understand what they meant. I’ve written and arranged music inspired by these artists and others. One thing I love about Brazilian music is that it can incorporate anything under the sun and fit anywhere, whether it’s with a bunch of percussionists and singers, a rock band, or a chamber ensemble. I’ve been arranging music for guitar and strings for my group Campbell/Afiara, and am excited to try some new things with the Ton Beau Quartet. I’ll also be bringing some music that I wrote while traveling in Spain, as well as the very first composition I wrote after moving to Toronto, when it was still a new and unfamiliar city.


What are you looking forward to the most in your new role with us?

I’m really excited about the opportunity to explore what being an artistic producer is all about. A whole new outlet for creativity has just opened up for me through Spectrum. It’s not just about making music but putting together entire programs and finding ways to have the greatest impact on an audience.


Lightning Round!

If I Wasn’t a Guitarist I’d be a: goat farmer

Top five tunes on your iTunes playlist right now: Schubert String Quintet (The Borodin), Just Squeeze Me (Paul Desmond/Ed Bickert), Eu Sambo Mesmo (Gilberto Gil), Death (Busman’s Holiday), Stardust (Gene DiNovi)

Favourite Movie: Rockers

Favourite Food: pumpkin pie

Guilty Pleasure Song: Yo No Sé Mañana (Luis Enrique)

Best Show You’ve Seen Recently: YUKA CD release at the Lula Lounge


- Ben Dietschi

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