Cora Coleman-Dunham

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Cora Coleman-Dunham

Cora is a drummer from Houston, Texas, married to Josh Dunham, bass guitarist in Prince's band. Her stage name C.C. Dunham is short for Cora Coleman-Dunham.

Artist details

  • Birth name: Cora Coleman, known by her stage name C.C. Dunham.
  • Date Of Birth: 4 September 1980, Houston, Texas, USA.
  • Occupation :
  • Endorsements:
    - Remo Heads
    - Vater Sticks
    - Sabian Cymbals
    - DW Drums
  • Activity with Prince: 2005-2010

Musical Career

Early Life

Cora began playing drums in the 9th grade. Like her later husband Josh Dunham she began her musical carreer, taught by William Portis at Kashmere High School in Houston, Texas, and actively became involved in the marching band and concert band. In 11th grade she began playing the traps and continued to forge ahead practicing and studying, graduating as valedictorian of her senior class. After graduation Cora went to Howard University in Washington, DC, changing her major from Computer Science to Music in the middle of her freshman year. While studying she performed with The Howard University Marching Band, The Washington Ballet, The Washington Symphony Orchestra and The American University Orchestra. She also perform with Marvin Stamm, Yusef Lateef, Greg Osby, Donald Byrd, Grady Tate, and Larry Ridley. Her efforts merited her Howard University’s first recipient of the Avedis Zildjian Scholarship for Outstanding Percussionist. She became the first female section leader of Howard’s Thunder Machine drum section and became a member of Sigma Alpha Iota Professional Music Fraternity for Women. She graduated in 2002 with a Bachelor's Degree.

Before working with Prince

Cora relocated to Los Angeles and met guitarist Phil Upchurch, whom she played with for the first year of her stay in Los Angeles. She won Guitar Center's 2003 Annual National Drum-Off competition and worked with the all-female group Angaza, where she played with later Prince protégée Támar, amongst others. She toured with Zac Harmon & the Midsouth Blues Revue. After that she joined Frank McComb's band.

In November 2004 (On invitation of Sheila E. bassplayer Raymond McKinley), Prince with Rachelle Ferrell sees a Los Angeles club show by keyboardist/singer Frank McComb, formerly of Buckshot LeFonque. Reportedly Prince is especially impressed by drummer Cora Coleman. So much so he sends her a custom 8-piece, birch, spider-pine finish, gold-trimmed DW drum kit for Christmas.

Work with Prince

In early 2005 when Cora returns from a tour of Japan with Frank McComb, Prince puts together a new band, mainly to play at his '3121' house parties with Cora as the drummer, Josh Dunham on bass, Frank McComb on keys, Ashley Támar Davis on vocals amd Jairus Mozee on guitar. This band developed into the band that would back up Támar on tour, with McComb replaced by Morris Hayes and Prince handling guitar.

Cora has worked on and off with Prince in the studio and on tour until summer 2010.

Input in Prince's Discography

Cora can be heard on the albums 3121, Planet Earth, Indigo Nights and Lotusflow3r

Input in Prince's Live performances

Cora was the drummer for most of Prince live appearances in 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010. Live Prince and the NPG have played one composition of hers named Mind In 7


With Other Artists (non-exhaustive list)

  • "Howard University Jazz Ensemble"
  • Dr Diane L. White’s "Dr. Dee: Live in DC"
  • Tom Schuman’s "Schuman Nature"
  • Richard Smallwood’s "Richard Smallwood: Live in DC"
  • Zac Harmon’s "The Blues According to Zacariah"

Live performances

With Other Artists (non-exhaustive list)
Najee, Billy Miles, Pink, Rick Fante, Lalah Hathaway, Phil Upchurch, Foley, Il Divo, Michael Bearden, India Arie, Everett Harp, Norman Brown, Peter Michael Escovedo, Frank McComb, Mandrill