Deborah Coleman - Honoring Black History

Deborah Coleman (1956 – 2018) was an American blues musician. Coleman won the Orville Gibson Award for "Best Blues Guitarist, Female" in 2001, and was nominated for a W.C. Handy Blues Music Award nine times.

Coleman was born in Portsmouth, Virginia and raised in a music-loving military family that lived in San Diego, San Francisco, Bremerton, Washington, and the Chicago area. With her father playing piano, two brothers on guitar, and a sister who played guitar and keyboards, Deborah picked up guitar at age eight. She played at top music venues: North Atlantic Blues Festival (2007), Waterfront Blues Festival (2002), the Monterey Jazz Festival (2001), Ann Arbor Blues and Jazz Festival (2000), Sarasota Blues Festival (1999), the San Francisco Blues Festival (1999), and the Fountain Blues Festival (1998).

Coleman's Blind Pig debut, I Can't Lose (1997), was an album of ballads, blues stories, guitar playing and singing. Her version of Billie Holiday's "Fine and Mellow" was heard on college and public radio stations around the U.S. The album Soul Be It (2002) included the opener "Brick", "My Heart Bleeds Blue", "Don't Lie to Me," and a jump blues track, "I Believe". These was followed by What About Love? (2004) and Stop the Game (2007). Time Bomb (2007) featured three women blues musicians: Coleman, Sue Foley and Roxanne Potvin.