Poogie Bell is an American jazz drummer, composer, band leader and producer. Bell is best known as a drummer, working extensively with bassists Marcus Miller and as a sideman for other artists such as Erykah Badu, Victor Bailey, David Bowie, Stanley Clarke, Randy Crawford, Roberta Flack, Al Jarreau, Chaka Khan, Angelique Kidjo, Joe Sample, David Sanborn, John Scofield, Stanley Turrentine, Luther Vandross, Vanessa Williams and Victor Wooten.
Bell was born in 1961 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to Charles Bell, sr. and Alice Pittrell. His father was a jazz pianist, band leader for the Charles Bell Contemporary Jazz Quartet. As an infant, Bell regularly watched his father’s band rehearse. He made his concert debut with his father’s band at age two and a half, playing at Carnegie Hall, Pittsburgh and in 1966 he performed with Pearl Bailey on the Mike Douglas Show.
Bell moved to New York with his family, where his father took up a music professorship. In New York, Bell continued to be immersed in the world of music. His father regularly rehearsed at home with Ron Carter, Richard Davis, Ornette Coleman, Max Roach and Mary Lou Williams, and the bassist Paul Chambers was a neighbor. While growing up in New York, Bell was friends with Omar Hakim, Weldon Irvine, Marcus Miller, Lenny White and Bernard Wright, all of whom went on to professional music careers of their own.