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Artist biography Tony Coleman
Official biography published on social media (December 12, 2016).
Tony Coleman has toured around the planet performing with some of the best R&B and blues musicians ever. Tony can attest to playing drums with B.B. King, Otis Clay, Bobby Blue Bland, Johnnie Taylor, Albert King, Albert Collins, Etta James, James Cotton, Katie Webster, Z.Z. Hill, O.V. Wright, Buddy Guy, and the list goes on and on.
Tony was born August 12, 1955 in Kissimmee, Florida. He always knew that he wanted to play drums. When he was a baby, his grandmother would put a transistor radio in his crib to calm him and he would tap out the beat of the music. He was playing drums with various local bands in Florida until he graduated from high school. On December 28,1973 he joined the US Army to get away from his hometown and to explore the world. After 3 years of Army life, Tony realized it was time to pursue his dream of becoming a world-class drummer. He moved to Chicago in the spring of '77 along with a group of ex-Army partners. Tony played mostly in the garage with the group while their dream of becoming the next Earth, Wind & Fire seemed far away.
Tony's aspirations were much higher, and he began to play drums with several well-known local bands. The word got out about this new drummer in town, and before long he met soul singer Otis Clay. He quickly joined Clay's band and toured with him for a couple years, recording a live album in Tokyo, Japan. From touring and recording with Otis Clay came opportunities to work with other major R&B and blues artists.
After a jam session in a Chicago club called The High Chaparral, B.B. King jammed with Otis Clay's rhythm section, including Tony. B.B. liked the rhythm section so much that he asked them to join him as his touring band. So Tony Coleman, Russell Jackson and Leonard Gill became B.B. King's rhythm section. As fate would have it, Tony was only with B.B. for a few months until B.B.'s ex-drummer returned.
Tony Coleman returned to Chicago and rejoined Otis Clay's band for another tour in Japan. From Otis Clay, Tony moved to Dallas, Texas in 1980 to play drums for Johnnie Taylor. Tony toured with Johnnie for a couple of years and was then asked to join Bobby Blue Bland, with whom he worked for a few years. In the middle of a joint B.B. King/Bobby Blue Bland tour, B.B. needed a drummer and Tony ended up playing drums for both artists for the remainder of that tour - two shows a night. From that point, Tony rejoined B.B. King and toured with his organization for over 10 years performing blues music around the globe.
In 1999, Tony realized the time was right for him to do his own thing. Tony now tours, records, plays golf and writes songs for various blues artists. In addition, he has written jingles for Northwest Airlines and Calloway Golf Company; he's also featured in a television commercial for Calloway Golf introducing the Odyssey White Hot Putter. But Tony is most at home when he is behind a drum set playing the blues.
His first CD _Out in the Open_ received great reviews, with guest artists Lucky Peterson, Kenny Neal and Frankie Lee contributing their talents. His second album, _Travelin' Man_, was released in the U.S. in February 2002 and featured such guests as the Earth, Wind & Fire horn section, Lucky Peterson and other great names of blues.
More biographical information.
Tony Coleman is an energetic, rock solid, grooving, versatile drummer. He was voted best R&B and blues drummer of the year by Drum Magazine in 1998, and he has been nominated many times by Modern Drummer Magazine. Tony Coleman has toured around the planet performing with some of the best R&B and blues musicians ever. Tony can attest to playing drums with B.B. King, Otis Clay, Bobby Blue Bland, Johnnie Taylor, Albert King, Albert Collins, Etta James, James Cotton, Katie Webster, Z.Z. Hill, O.V. Wright, Buddy Guy, and the list goes on and on.
Tony Coleman also enjoys playing Rock, Jazz, Reggae, and other styles of music. As early as four years old Tony Coleman knew he loved drums. A natural at drumming, Tony's first gig was at the age of sixteen, in a 14-piece band. The band also had a percussionist, and another drummer.
Tony Coleman was born August 12, 1955 in Kissimmee, Florida. He always knew that he wanted to play drums. When he was a baby, his grandmother would put a transistor radio in his crib to calm him and he would tap out the beat of the music. He was playing drums with various local bands in Florida until he graduated from high school. On December 28, 1973 he joined the US Army to get away from his hometown and to explore the world. After 3 years of Army life, Tony realized it was time to pursue his dream of becoming a world-class drummer.
Tony Coleman moved to Chicago and immediately met and played with the city's major blues and R & B artists. Tony's first break was with Otis Clay, whom he toured, and recorded his first major record.
After a 1978 Blues tour of the U.S., playing drums for Otis Clay, and O.V. Wright, came tours playing for some of the world's greatest blues, and R & B artists, including Johnnie Taylor, Albert King, Bobby Blue Band, and The King of the Blues, B.B. King.
As a drummer, Tony Coleman knows the importance of playing with good feel and solid time. Tony has a colorful exciting side to his drumming, but he prefers the no nonsense approach of "staying in the pocket". As Tony says, "Flash is fine, but I prefer groovin the band."
Tony Coleman has CDs on the market with several blues artists showcasing his drumming, his song writing, his vocals and his producing skills. In 1996 he recorded and produced his first solo CD on Kingsnake Records with Bob Greenlee. His song writing has also been used for jingles about Northwest Airlines, Callaway Golf Clubs and some local radio spots in central Florida. Tony toured and recorded with B.B. King for more than a decade, on the road for 250 days plus per year and performing in 88 countries around the world. Tony has just released his first CD entitled Travelin' Man and will be out on tour soon. Since Tony is handling the vocal duties as well, you'll find his drumkit in front and center of the stage.
When Tony Coleman is not touring, recording or doing drum clinics, you can find him on the golf course, swinging his Big Bertha golf stick.