Poogie Bell

Poogie Bell, a world-renowned drummer, arranger and composer, is Poogie. He has recorded and performed with Chaka Khan and Roberta Flack as well as Herbie Hancock and Marcus Miller. Poogie co-wrote “Touch and Go”, the title track from Force MD’s debut album, which won the ASCAP Urban Music Writers Award for Top 10 Singles 1998. The Poogie Bell Band is his current project. Poogie was born 1961 in Pittsburgh and spent his childhood years in that city. Charles Bell, his father, was a jazz pianist who studied at the Carnegie Institute. He then started his own band called The Charles Bell Contemporary Jazz Quartet. Charles was asked by the Pittsburgh Symphony for a three-movement jazz symphony, “Concerto in Miniature of Jazz Quartet Orchestra and Quartet”. It was composed by William Steinberg in 1963. The Charles Bell Quartet released many recordings on the Atlantic and Columbia labels. They also toured the globe in the 1960s. Poogie, who was 10 months old, sat in a high-backed chair for hours watching his father’s band practice. His mother woke up at 5 AM the next morning to hear drums. She thought the drummer had arrived earlier than expected. Poogie was found in her living room, thumping on the cymbals. He made his concert debut at Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Hall with his father. He made his television debut on the Mike Douglas Show at five years old, appearing with Pearl Bailey. Poogie and his family moved to New York City, where his father became an educator in music. He continued performing with his quartet. Poogie met Max Roach in New York and Ornette Coleman in New York, where he jammed with his dad in the Bell’s living space. Paul Chambers, bassist, was a neighbor. Poogie started his professional career with Weldon Irvine, Tom Brown and Hugh Masakela. After that, he toured with Afrika Bambaata of Soulsonic Force, one of the pioneers of hip-hop. Traditional R

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