Rooted in the blues, spiked with R&B urgency, and resonant with deep-soul passion, the music of Omar Coleman both moves the heart and galvanizes the feet. Born & Raised burns with the enthusiasm, fire, and dedication of a young man making his mark on the world.

Omar, who was born in 1973, is a knowledgeable and committed carrier of the Chicago blues tradition; he just insists on carrying that tradition in his own way. One of his seminal exposures to blues harmonica was through the iconoclastic, genre-jumping experimentalism of Sugar Blue, but he has also immersed himself in the postwar Chicago heritage. “Junior Wells is my main influence," he affirms. “I love Little Walter, both Sonny Boy Williamsons, Snooky Pryor, Slim Harpo, all that stuff."

In that spirit, Omar combines ideas drawn from roots men like Wells with a propulsive, rhythmically diverse modernism patterned after the legendary “folk-funk" maestro, Bobby Rush, whom he first encountered via records his grandmother used to play around the house. As a vocalist, he casts an equally wide net. He admires deep-soul romanticists like Al Green along with grittier soul-blues singers such as Syl Johnson, Willie Clayton and the late Marvin Sease – but again, he refuses to be pigeonholed: “I love Junior Wells’ singing," he reiterates, “I love Bobby Rush’s singing. And I listen to a lot of church music – the Mighty Clouds of Joy, the Pilgrim Jubilees."

It didn’t take long for word to get out that an exciting new artist was on the scene – a versatile musician with a distinctive new school/old school vocal style, which he complemented with a harmonica sound rooted in tradition but updated with a contemporary rhythmic impetus and improvisational range. In 2005, he appeared on the Chicago Blues Festival as part of the “Chicago Blues Harmonica Project," a gig that coincided with a CD release of the same name. In 2011, he recorded his first CD under his own name, West Side Wiggle.In 2015

Omar made his debut on Delmark Records with his album Born & Raised. Born & Raised is currently nominated for Best Album of the Year 2015 by Living Blues Magazine. Delmark must know a good musician when they hear one because they quickly followed Born & Raised with a live album simply titled; Omar Coleman Live. This album was recorded at the famous Rosa's Lounge in Chicago.

Born & Raised contains a healthy sampling of Omar’s take on Bobby Rush’s “folk-funk" style (“Sit Down Baby," “Man Like Me," “Lucky Man") as well as a tantalizing glimpse of a side of his musical persona that some of his admirers may have never heard: as a smoldering, urban contemporary "quiet storm" balladeer (“I Was A Fool"). It all adds up to a varied, crisply executed, and emotionally rewarding musical experience from an artist who insists on the freedom to define his music in his own way, even as he maintains his core identity as a bluesman. “If we all feel good about it," he enthuses, “let’s do it. People say, ‘Man, you got the blues all up in there, but it’s different.’ That’s what I like to hear."

He is nominated for Most Outstanding Musician - Harmonica 2015 by Living Blues Magazine. His soulful vocals and fiery harmonica skills have entertained audiences from Chicago to San Francisco to France to Brazil and beyond.



Performs Regularly at:

Buddy Guy's Legends
House of Blues
Rosa's Lounge
Harlem Avenue Lounge
Shaw's Crab House
Nicks Garden
Beer Geeks

Performed on 1st Annual European Blues Cruise 2014

Has performed at the following festivals:

San Francisco Blues Festival
Chicago Blues Festival
Muddy Waters Festival of Westmont
Hotlicks Blues Festival
St. Louis Blues Festival
Bean Blossom Blues Festival
King Biscuit Blues Festival

In 2016 Performing at:

Chicago Blues Fest - Chicago IL
Big Red Barn Jam - LaPorte Indiana
Broad Street Blues & BBQ Festival - Griffith Indiana
Rhythm on the River - Columbus Ohio
King Biscuit Blues Festival - Helena Arkansas

Has Toured:

Brazil
France
Germany
Spain
Italy
Switzerland
Belgium
Netherlands
Chile
Norway
Croatia
And many more countries