In 2015 and 2016, Tony Coleman has been elected Best Blues Drummer by
In 2004, Tony Coleman was elected better International drummer at the
France Blues Trophies.
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. As 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 and 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. After meeting Otis he joined Otis 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, Russell Jackson and B.B. liked them 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 whom he worked with for a few years. In the middle of a 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.
Thereafter, 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; and is 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 revues with guest artists Lucky Peterson,
Kenney Neal and Frankie Lee contributing their talents to the album.
He released his fourth album "Take Me Like I Am" January 2017 . It has been recorded in Memphis and Tony worked on it for two years trying to make it better and better. He considers this album really represents him, groovy and funky as you may wish, it is accompanied from time to time by some sensitive touches et some Latin rhythms but it remains blues and good one !!!!
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