Tom Tom Magazine
Drummer of the Week: Cora Coleman-Dunham drummer for Prince
This week we spotlight a Cinderella story with Cora Coleman-Dunham. Originally from Houston, TX, Cora started drumming in High School where she was also active in many sports. Under the tutelage of band director William Portus, Cora excelled in music as well as her studies and graduated valedictorian. From there, she went on to college and played for the Howard University Marching Band as well as opportunities with The Washington Ballet, The Washington Symphony Orchestra, The American University Orchestra, and the Concert Band & Percussion and Jazz Ensemble.
Here is a video of one of her early jam sessions.
After college, Cora re-located to Los Angeles and there she won the 2002 Guitar Center Drum Off Competition. She continued to play along names like Marvin Stamm, Yusef Lateef, Greg Osby, Donald Byrd, Grady Tate, and Larry Ridley. After some touring, she caught the eye of Prince who attended one of her performances. Soon after, Prince compiled a band along with her now husband, Joshua Dunham on bass. She played the 2007 Super Bowl Halftime Show with Prince and recorded tracks on his 3121 album. She regularly plays in his Las Vegas night club as well.
Having a soulful jazzy rhythm as an undertone, Cora also has explosive dynamic energy that go hand-in-hand with Prince’s masterful guitar riff’s. She has an air of confidence yet has remained humble of her successes. Cora Coleman-Dunham is almost a textbook example, that if you dedicate yourself and stick to your passions then your road can be paved ahead. I venture to say we will see many more great things from Cora.