Bell has been known to say, “If it isn’t creative, I’m not interested”. Born in Storm Lake, Iowa, music has always been a part of Bell’s life. The son of a professional musician and band leader, Michael first played trumpet before turning to the guitar in his early teens and playing with numerous local bands.
Leaving Iowa at the age of 18, he moved to Ohio to become part of a faith community and, eventually, became the prime mover in a community of Christian musicians who played across the American Midwest and Canada. During this time, Bell shared the stage with musicians as diverse as Larry Norman, John Michael Talbot, Paul Clark and the Jessy Dixon Singers.
Returning to Iowa in his late twenties, Bell earned his undergraduate and seminary degrees while concurrently serving as a United Methodist youth minister in numerous churches in both the Iowa and Rocky Mountain conferences. For several years he was on staff in campus ministry at the University of Iowa. Involved with the visual arts as well as composition and performance, Bell has most recently settled in Indiana to work on musical projects with his long time friend, Duane Arnold.
A guitarist from the “school of Michael Hedges”, Bell has become known through the years as more than simply a singer/songwriter. A deep contemplative note is always present in Bell’s concert appearances, combined with a keen cultural awareness that draws from his love of theology and history.