Los Angeles... For the past seven years, Grammy Nominated Guitarist Doc Powell has been the featured guitarist for the BET Awards and the record-breaking Celebration of Gospel show. It is no surprise that Powell's signature guitar sound has now become a staple on another ground breaking BET project; The Mo'Nique Show. "This weekly late night show hosted by Oscar Winning actress Mo'Nique, is rapidly building a global audience that tunes in to see the guest and hear the cast of all-star musicians.
Doc Powell has built a legacy as a musical chameleon. His signature guitar sound has contributed to over 140 recordings of some of the premier recording stars in Pop, R & B, Jazz and Gospel music, a critically acclaimed gospel project and 10 top-charting contemporary jazz solo projects with guest appearance by such greats as Luther Vandross, Earth Wind & Fire lead vocalist Philip Bailey,Howard Hewett, Dave Koz, Sheila E, George Duke, Boney James, Patrice Rushen, Kirk Whalum, Bob James, Billy Preston, Gerald Albright, Jeffrey Osborne and Marcus Miller.
Doc's musical journey started in Spring Valley, New York over twenty years ago. At age six, he began playing guitar and continued in high school where he formed a band and played at school dances and bar mitzvahs. He later studied at the University of Charleston, West Virginia. After a couple years in, he decided to try his hand at session work in New York City.
As a young, struggling musician in New York City, Powell was handpicked by Italian producer Fred Petrus, to go to Italy and record an album for an unknown group called "Change". The group's lead vocalist was a talented jingle singer named Luther Vandross. The meeting between Powell and the late Vandross catapulted into a relationship that would span over 15 years of performing on stages all over the world and live recordings of some of Vandross biggest hits such as: Give Me The Reason, Busy Body, Forever, For Always, For Love and Stop To Love (with Powell's infamous rock guitar solo) which became a mega hit. Powell also performed with Vandross on his 10-day sold-out, record breaking performances at Wembley Stadium (1989), making history for the most sold-out concerts by an artist, which was previously held by Sir Elton John. When Vandross penned She Loves You Back and sang the line, "This man is the Doctor", it became Powell's formal introduction to the music world.
Powell soon became the most sought after guitarist in New York, recording and performing with some of the biggest names in music including Aretha Franklin's comeback record Jump To It, the late Grover Washington Jr., Quincy Jones, Gerald Albright, George Duke, Bob James, Stanley Clarke, Patrice Rushen, Randy Brecker, George Benson, Dave Koz, Chaka Khan, Patti Labelle, Shirley Caesar, The Mighty Clouds of Joy, the late Teddy Pendergrass, Jeffrey Osborne and Vanessa Williams. He also started getting calls for television commercials, and movie soundtracks such as; Down and Out In Beverly Hills, Turner & Hooch, The Goonies, Hero and The Five Heart Beats.
Doc's big solo break began when he scored a gig at Mikell's, one of Manhattan's hot jazz clubs, where veterans like Art Blakely and The Jazz Messengers, Mc Coy Turner, George Benson and Miles Davis frequented. The owners, Mike & Pat Mikell, decided to take a chance and book him for a weekend at the club. It didn't take long for Powell to build a loyal fan base that quickly grew into a huge following long before he became a recording artist.
In 1987, he landed a solo deal with Mercury/Polygram and his debut, "Love Is Where It's At," earned a Grammy nomination for his inspiring cover of Marvin Gaye's classic, "What's Going On." However, even with an emerging international fan base and a hit single under his belt, it would take another five years before his second record, "The Doctor," was released on Vital Records, a small indie jazz label.