Richard W. "Rick" Bell is an American saxophonist residing in Atlanta, Georgia. A native of Birmingham, Rick began playing saxophone professionally while in high school. He attended Auburn University as an art major, joined the Auburn Knights Orchestra and soon became a featured soloist. While playing with the Knights, Rick shared the stage with name artists such as The Four Freshmen and well-known vocalist June Christy.
After graduation from college, Rick married Auburn Knights vocalist Dannie Sue Mackin and together they toured with the Al Belletto Sextet - Dannie as featured soloist, Rick in the saxophone chair vacated by legendary saxophonist Don Menza. After their stint on the road, the couple settled in Atlanta to begin a family, and together raised three daughters.
During his early years in Atlanta, Rick pursued a dual career of film animator and musician. In this period, he was active as a composer, arranger, and singer for numerous radio and television jingles. Since 1980, music has been his primary occupation, with the focus on jazz saxophone and composition. He has written for the Atlanta Singers, the Hotlanta Jazz Singers, and instrumental ensembles ranging from big bands to quartets.
Rick has been a member of many Atlanta area jazz groups, including the Atlanta Jazz Band, the Neighborhood Arts Ensemble, Ted Howe's Blue Gass Orchestra, the Yancey Korosi Quartet, the Ojeda Penn Experience, Future Reference (as co-leader), and his own quintet. As a saxophonist at E.J.'s, a former Atlanta jazz club, he had the good fortune to sit in with visiting jazz greats including the legendary vibraphonist Milt Jackson, trombonist Urbie Green, trumpeter Clark Terry, and saxophonist Zoot Sims. In 1988, Rick was featured with trumpeter Red Rodney at the Atlanta premier of the movie Bird by director Clint Eastwood.