Richard Bailey, who was born in Guyana, began his career as a drummer at the age of nine in Trinidad, where he played percussion, drums, and even bass guitar with his older brother Robert’s band (Robert Bailey, keyboards, OSIBISA), one of Trinidad and Tobago’s top bands. He also performs Hammond organ duets with Robert during televised and live concerts.
Richard’s family moved to London when he was twelve, where he attended school and occasionally listened to performances in his spare time, but also excelled in athletics, becoming the south of England 100-meter champion for his school. His father, Emmanuel McDonald Bailey, holds the 100-yard world record and won a bronze medal for England at the Olympics.
Despite this, at age 15, Richard decided to leave school to play the drums and abandon athletics. At the age of sixteen, Richard recorded and toured with Johnny Nash and the legendary Bob Marley in the United Kingdom and the United States.
By the time he was 18, he had recorded Jeff Beck’s critically acclaimed best-selling album Blow By Blow (1975, Epic/Sony Japan) and appeared on the soundtrack to Tommy alongside Pete Townsend, Phil Chen, and Roger Daltrey. The decade that followed featured extensive recording and touring in genres ranging from rock to reggae, jazz to pop, and Latin, including two world tours with Billy Ocean and Basia Bulat.
Richard has been the drummer for the renowned British acid jazz/rock/soul fusion band INCOGNITO for the past fifteen years. Recently, he has been the focal point of two significant Steve Winwood comeback albums, 2003’s About Time (Wincraft) and last year’s Nine Lives (Columbia). Richard Bailey’s adaptability and unique style have made him the go-to outfitter for over four decades, and he continues to be in high demand.