Jimmy Coleman, is a percussionist who has worked with John Legend, Eric Hutchinson, Estelle, Macy Gray, Diahann Carroll, Bill T. Jones, Stephanie Blythe, Anthony Roth Costanzo, Eddie Bruce, M'Balia Singley, The Bearded Ladies Cabaret,, and Opera Philadelphia.
A native of Alabama and nutured in its southern roots, Coleman was raised on the gospel music of his grandmother, the soul music of his mother, and the blues music of his father. His family moved to Fort Wayne, Indiana, where he began drumming at the age of 12. He immersed himself in music by listening, practicing, networking and jamming with other young local musicians. After entering South Side High School, he began to explore jazz music under the tutelage of saxophonist and music teacher, David Streeter. Coleman began to study other great drummers like Max Roach, Elvin Jones, Billy Hart, Marvin 'Smitty' Smith, and Will Kennedy.
Following High School, Coleman attended Indiana University where he studied Jazz Studies and Percussion with William L. Roberts, David Baker, and William C. Banfield. This led him into more big band, bebop, and ensemble style of drumming.
After college, he toured nationally with funk bands Fambooey and a Bootsy Collins' produced group, SHAG. These groups had a heavy influence on his development of groove and pocket. In 1997, Coleman was offered a job to travel throughout the Caribbean on the SS Oceanic cruise ship while playing drums in its house band. This experience solidified his interest of musical and cultural diversity. In 1999, Coleman moved to Philadelphia where he immediately hit the scene and began working with The Budesa Brothers. This organ trio led him into bands and freelance work with some of Philadelphia's finest musicians including Donald 'Pops' Washington, Mike Boone, John Swana, Dave Posmontier, Tom Craskey, Barry Sames, Conley 'Tone' Whitfield, McGowan Southworth, Amos Lee, Mutlu, Josh Komorowski, Ross Bellenoit, and countless other wonderfully talented musicians.
Coleman is a drummer who is experienced in jazz, soul, latin, R&B, folk, and theater. These experiences have provided him opportunities to perform on various stages and media over the years. Some of these include: The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Jimmy Kimmel LIVE, The Tonight Show with Conan O'Bien, Late Night with Conan O'Brien, The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, television show White Collar, The Apollo, Lincoln Center, The Guggenheim Museum, The Barnes Foundation, The Kimmel Center, The Wilma, and Rob Laver Area.
When not on stage or in the studio, Coleman enjoys teaching drums and percussion to aspiring musicians at his private studio. He has been previously subcontracted and commissioned to teach at schools like Wissahickon Charter School, Friends Select School, Penn London Elementary, Appel Farm Arts & Music, Salisbury Elementary School, and Princeton Day School.
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