The sound of Poogie Bell's drums is what you hear on many of the world's finest jazz, neo-soul, R&B and hip-hop records. Performer, record producer, composer, and arranger, you've heard his work with artists including Chaka Khan, Marcus Miller, John Scofield, Roberta Flack, Erykah Badu, David Bowie, Eve, David Sanborn, Al Jarreau, Alex Bugnon, Vanessa Williams, Kindred, and Randy Crawford.
Native of New York and a second generation musician he has been immersed in music since he was born. Taking cues from his father, a jazz musician and professor of music, Poogie has always had an inherent connection to music. As hard as it may be to believe, he started playing at the age of ten months old and made his concert debut when he was two and half at Pittsburgh's Carnegie Hall with his father. By the ripe old age of five he'd already appeared on The Mike Douglas Show with Pearl Bailey.
As a kid it wasn't unusual for Poogie to see the likes of drummer Max Roach, saxophonist Ornett Coleman, pianist Marylou Williams, bassists, Paul Chambers, Ron Carter and Richard Davis in his living room jammin' with his father. Growing up he hung out with fellow musicians Omar Hakim, Marcus Miller, Lenny White and Bernard Wright, Weldon Irvine all of whom supported and influenced each other musically.
Poogie's first "real" gig was with Tom Brown, Weldon Irvine and Hugh Masakela. Then came a tour with one of the creators of what we know as hip-hop, Afrika Bambaata and the Soulsonic Force and then with the Force MD's, a Temptations-style vocal group who were the first to incorporate R&B and hip-hop. "Touch and Go", a song written by Poogie for the Force MD's, won him the ASCAP Writer's Award for Top 10 Singles in 1998.
From his hard work, Poogie was able to break into the traditional R&B world touring and recording with artists Freddie Jackson, Phyllis Hyman and Chaka Khan. He came into the New Jack Swing era working with Kieth Sweat, Teddy Riley, SWV and New Edition. He continues to tour and record with Marcus Miller, Alex Bugnon, Victor Bailey and Erykah Badu, among others. now Poogie is doing his own project with Poogie Band. Members of the Poogie Bell Band include, Kevin Barefoot (bass), Howie Alexander (keys), Juan Vasquez (guitar, vocals), Ian Gordan (trumpet).