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Paul Bell


- Guitar

Paul was the teenage son of a Peace Corps director growing up in Chile and Colombia in the late ’60’s. He began his musical career taking classical guitar lessons while simultaneously playing in garage bands and learning folk, blues, and ukulele from the Peace Corps volunteers. Paul later studied music theory at NOVA and then attended Berkley College of Music from 1978-79. His professional career has included touring with Nils Lofgren throughout the U.S. and Europe from 1986-2003, with sit-ins from Bruce Springsteen and Joe Walsh, where he was part of the full electric band as well as acoustic duo and trio formats, appearing on 2 live albums and a DVD. Paul then toured nationally and internationally with the Nighthawks from 2004-2018, recording 7 albums, and playing live shows backing up blues legends such as Pinetop Perkins, James Cotton and Bob Margolin from the Muddy Waters’ band, Hubert Sumlin from Howling Wolf’s band, Muddy Water’s son, Kid Ramos, and others. Paul has 27 years of studio experience including the recording of many albums by top D.C. area artists, several TV/film scores from Animal Planet to America’s Most Wanted, and many documentaries. Paul’s decades of experience includes performing in local bands which have included the Tommy Lepson Band, the Soul Crackers (including three appearances at the White House), The Newkeys, Jr. Cline and the Recliners, Mike Cotter, Mary Ann Redmond Band, Catfish Hodge, Billy Hancock, and many others.  in addition to freelance work including rock, R&B, folk, and big band gigs. With 52 years of performing Paul has decided to take a break from the road and offer his years of experience here at Drum & Strum so that students don’t have to learn the hard way. Paul’s ability to transcend multiple styles, his years of experience and his easy-going personality make him a wealth of knowledge for those eager to learn and a perfect fit to the Drum & Strum team.
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