Gregory R. Coleman - Guitarist, Vocalist, Writer, Producer, Arranger, Performer, Entrepreneur, Social Activist
As a child before he had the slightest idea about the theory of music, he could hear how it all worked together even though he couldn’t explain it. As time went on he learned more and more theory that helped him to understand how all the elements of a composition come together to make a complete arrangement.
One of the most inspiring and interesting things about music for Greg is that he feels that no matter how long you have been playing it; there will always be something new to learn.
And to this day, he is still learning and loving every minute of it.
Besides earning a living doing what he loves to do; his altruistic purpose for creating art and communicating it to the world is to use his GOD given talents in music and business to right wrongs and to help people who are stuck in positions that do not allow them access to the resources they need to pull themselves up by their proverbial bootstraps.
Greg wants to use his music to do his part to make the world a better place for all of us to live in, and to leave a legacy behind that he can be proud of long after he is gone, to prove to the world that he indeed did exist.
Due to time and space restraints, Greg's list of influences are very limited to his earliest influences here, and in no way represents a complete list of all the individual artist and groups that influenced him musically throughout his life.
Greg's very first music mentor was not rich or famous, but he feels confident in saying that if it were not for him watching his Cousin Leonard, (who he was raised with as an older brother), in amazement as he played saxophone while sight reading from a book, playing sax, guitar and piano in his grandmother’s church and playing saxophone with the Chick Webb Band in Baltimore, MD, he might not have developed such a strong interest and worked as hard as he has in an attempt to try and master music.
He gives his Big Brother, Leonard Dickerson all the credit for whatever creativity and skills he's developed in music throughout the years.
As far as famous artist go, here’s Greg's list narrowed down to the lowest level possible.
Idol 1: Stevie Wonder, (Motown in General)
Greg has always loved the music of Stevie Wonder from the first time he heard “Fingertips Part II” by “Little Stevie Wonder” back in 1963. His Vocal Ability and his Harmonica Virtuosity was undeniable and outstanding, and inspired Greg to want to be involved in music even more.
He was also the first Multiple Instrument Musician that he was aware of. And as he grew, his Composition, Arranging and Multiple Musicianship Skills made Greg a lifelong fan.
Idol 2: James Brown, (“The Hardest Working Man in Show Biz”)
Greg loved to watch and hear James Brown perform because of his powerful vocals and his performance chops.
He also respected his funk writing, arranging and production skills.
In addition to having all of these skills, he was impressed by this powerful, dynamic and exciting performer who never failed to get the audience into the show and keep them there even after he had left the stage.
He knew that his energy level was amazing, and to this day, he is still amazed by the fact that his Cape Routine is still copied by performers all around the world.
Greg loved and danced to all of James Brown’s songs; but his all-time favorite is “I’m Black And I’m Proud”, because of the timeliness and necessity of the message and the fact that it was written to bring about peace during some very violent times in America.
Idol 3: Carlos Santana
Carlos Santana was Greg's introduction to Modern Day Latin, Cuban and Afro Cuban Rock, and of course being an aspiring Guitar Master; he loved his proficiency in playing guitar.
Carlos Santana was one of the first Guitar Hero’s that increased Greg's confidence in playing because he was able to copy his playing on some of his earlier recordings.
Idol 4: Michael Jackson, (The Jackson 5)
Michael Jackson was one of those once in a lifetime artist who shocked and amazed people because of his energy levels and Choreographic, Compositional and Video Production Genius.
Greg was no exception.
His vocal style was very unique and he incorporated so many of Greg's favorite artists into his Musical and Stylistic Repertoire.; people like Jackie Wilson, James Brown, Elvis Presley, The Beatles, Frank Sinatra and so many others that are too numerous to mention.
He influenced so many artists during his life and continues to do so long after his death. Michael Jackson, (The King of POP).
Idol 5: Jimi Hendrix
Jimi was another once in a lifetime phenomenon like nothing that Greg had ever seen or heard before.
When he first saw Hendrix in 1970 on TV singing “Purple Haze”, he kind of felt it; but he couldn’t really relate to a lot of his Non Top 40 work.
However, he definitely caught up shortly after Woodstock in 1970 and became a “Hendrix Freak”.
Jimi was a Blues Guitarist who took Blues, Rock and Psychedelic Music to a whole new level.
His mastery of his instrument was truly amazing and his live performances were other worldly.
Greg was also impressed by the fact that he played to a very Diverse International Audience.
He was well respected and accepted by his Rock & Roll Peers in England and America.
He was also the first dude that Greg ever seen having sex with his guitar and amp before setting it on fire and smashing it to pieces all across the stage.
Idol 6: Prince, (“His Royal Badness”/”The Purple One”/”The Artist Formerly Known As”)
Greg loves Prince because he was all of the people mentioned above all rolled into one. And of course, he was also Prince who was a true original.
Needless to say, Greg was awed and amazed by his Virtuosity on Multiple Instruments, which inspired and encouraged him to do the same thing- although not as good.
It is the inspiration of all these artists as well as the thousands that are not listed here; who push Greg to never stop reaching for the sky with Music in spite of some very difficult and tragic circumstances in his life.
Greg still loves to listen to love songs because that’s what he was exposed to first.
But he also likes artist like Marvin Gaye, Curtis Mayfield, The Beatles and others, who create music that addresses social ills and the social causes that help to correct them.
Greg thinks that raising the consciousness level of society is important, because he thinks that it is a necessary endeavor, (not just for our survival), but for our progress as a species.
I hope that we will not fail in our efforts to restore light to this country and share it with the world since our survival as a species depends on it.
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