On Saturday, his Godgiven talents are leading him to Lawton.
Graham will offer a free performance at 2 p.m. Saturday at Brookridge Retirement Community, 7802 Quanah Parker Trailway. No RSVP is needed and the public is welcome for an afternoon of food, fun and fellowship.
There's no telling how long his show will go on, but you can be sure it will be a performance of passion.
Performing for senior citizens is a calling for Graham, he said. He almost entirely performs for seniors in independent and assisted living centers, nursing homes and he claims to especially be gifted at connecting with memory care residents.
"My passion is to play for seniors and to play the old hymns," Graham said. "My calling and my favorite audience is the senior adults. I play a minimum of 135 hours a month. That's a lot, that's crazy really."
"But that's what I'm supposed to do," he said. "Because of that, I don't ever get tired."
Graham's love affair with the piano began by early-childhood he was playing piano in front of audiences much like today.
"I started at 4 years old playing at nursing homes," Graham said. "I never had a piano lesson. I tell people I'm not selftaught, I'm Jesus taught and he's still teaching me. God gave me the gift to play for senior adults."
When he grew up, Graham pulled away from music. He worked jobs and sold real estate. It took finding and losing the love of his life to pick himself back up and tickle the ivories. On his website, www.gathangraham.com, he shares the story of meeting his fiancé, Hong from Vietnam. Raised Buddhist, she found herself holding the hand of Jesus, he said. When she died from lung cancer, a part of the musician died as well.
play 8 hours a day like I do now."
Through Hong, Graham said he truly discovered Christ in his life. Being raised in church, he said he'd slipped away from its true connection with him.
"I tell people at my large concerts about the love story," Graham said. "I knew everything about church, but I didn't know what it felt like to have a relationship with Jesus. I found that through her."
Compassion for those suffering from depression is something Graham extolls. He credits his battle with depression with causing his focus to return to his first love: making music. He found relief in the comfort found in playing his favorite hymns.
"People you see every day may have a smile on their face but something beating them up inside," Graham said. "Be the best, go out of your way to be nice to people."
Radiating kindness returns the favor for the performer. Among the many venues Graham has performed, he's been in the spotlight at the White House 11 times since 2000. He becomes a politician when discussing his performances.
"I'm a Democrat when I need to be," he said, "and I'm a Republican when I need to be."
For Graham, his life's purpose is found performing for his often elderly audience. Since releasing his first album in 1996, he gave his inaugural performance at First Baptist Church in Norman. He's only picking up steam some 23 years later.
Graham travels most days to one venue or another to share his talents with the audiences that move his heart. They motivate him to play and, he said, once he stops he doesn't want to stop. His music has purpose and, as he plays it, he said it causes him to grow into the best of himself.
"I'm getting better playing 135 hours a month," Graham said. "If I'm playing that much and not getting better, something's wrong with me. It's all a gift, it's all God working through my fingers."
"I was depressed for four years," Graham said. "But because of the depression, I would not have been inspired to