2014 Black Employee Network Music Pioneer recipient, 2006 Jacksonville Cultural Council Arts Awards “Educator of the Year” and 2007 African American Literary and Media Lifetime Achievement “Phoenix” Award winner Deborah McDuffie has an impressive forty year career combining talents in production, performance, composing, arranging, marketing, advertising, special promotions, lecturing and teaching.
McDuffie is widely considered the first female jingle composer/producer in the music industry, She is a multi award-winning pioneer, a “behind the scenes” legend, so to speak. Most recently she was nominated for Grammy’s “Educator of the Year” Award in 2014.
She has composed, produced and worked with Patti Austin, Wynton Marsalis, Janet Jackson, Gladys Knight, Al Green, Grover Washington, Jr., Jose Feliciano, Patti Labelle, Luther Vandross, Michael Bolton, Roberta Flack, Teddy Riley, Ashford & Simpson, Bobby Caldwell, Ruben Blades, Peter Allen, Branford Marsalis, Deniece Williams, James Ingram, Jennifer Holliday, Tito Puente, Gerald Albright, Howard Hewett, Teddy Pendergrass, Temptations, Ray Barretto, Four Tops, Spinners…And the list goes on and on.
McDuffie has appeared on Saturday Night LIve and has performed live at Madison Square Garden, Carnegie Hall, Apollo Theatre, Village Gate, Copacabana and numerous other notable venues.
In BET’s “Journeys In Black” biographical documentary, the late Luther Vandross credits her with inspiring his trademark “woo”.
McDuffie produced the award-winning Kentucky Fried Chicken commercials featuring Gladys Knight, Grover Washington Jr., Jose Feliciano and legendary blues great B.B. King.
In 2004 Ms. McDuffie founded Arts4Jax, Inc. a not-for-profit 501(c3) arts organization specializing in community arts programs. The foundation has received grants from the NFL Foundation, Jaguars Foundation, Ben Carter Properties and Foundations, Inc. She currently teaches chorus, dance techniques and musical theatre at Atlantic Coast High School and has a number of performers training in artist development and stage performance.