Concert Organist Pianist Demonstrator
Born in Welling, Kent, in 1966, the youngest of three sons of Michael and Sheila Pooley. Rod started playing electronic organ at the age of seven years studying under the very capable guidance of John Norris (Principal of the Southern Music Training Centre Bromley). Rod furthered his playing skills by starting piano from the age of ten. Rod at this time was very fortunate to be taught the piano by a top London jazz pianist James Fagg which is no doubt why Rod is an extremely fluent jazz player. In concert Rod performs a vast mix of genres to cater for all tastes in music. Rod passed the eleven plus and went to Chislehurst and Sidcup Grammar School which at that time had one of the largest school music departments in the UK. The school had three full orchestras and Rod's claim to fame was to perform solo in concert at the school in front of former Prime Minister Sir Edward Heath who was the Bexley MP at that time. While at Grammar School Rod also formed the first jazz band the school had ever had. During and after leaving full time education, Rod won many major titles in the organ world. These include:
1981 at 14 years of age Young Theatre Organist of the Year
1985 and 1986 at 18 and 19 years of age National Organist of the Year
1988 at 21 years of age Yamaha Electone Festival Winner
Rod has Grade VIII on Piano and Organ and achieved a performance diploma in electronic organ playing at just 17 years of age. For two years Rod was a Church organist at St Michaels and All Angels Eastbourne where the family had moved to in 1982. Rod's professional career was already well established by the time he left school, performing at many organ societies. He has performed in many forms of entertainment both as a soloist, in bands and big bands. Rod has worked with the Joe Loss Orchestra, the Ken Mackintosh Big Band, Mike Reid and Jimmy Tarbuck. Rod has organised and run a very successful organ and keyboard school, and now combines his busy performing and demonstrating career with a directorship of The Drawtones his Hammond Jazz and Funk Band.
Music Industry Experience
2012 - Present Demonstrator and Software Writer for Yamaha TRX Keyboard and Organ Systems.
2004 - 2012 Rod was Product Specialist and Events organiser for Korg UK. As well as conducting workshops and demonstrations to Organ & Keyboard clubs and societies around the country, Rod launched new Korg products including the Pa3x Professional Arranger Keyboard.
2002 - 2004... Hammond Demonstrator specialising in the XT, XE and the New B3 which Rod helped to launch in the UK.
2000 - 2002... Roland Atelier Demonstrator
1995 - 2000... Technics Music Academy Teacher and Demonstrator of Organs and KN Keyboards.
Rod's Band "The Drawtones"
Rod has a busy professional career gigging with his Hammond Jazz and Funk Band The Drawtones who to date have appeared with Curtis Stigers and Avery Sunshine. They’ve had special guests such as Derek Nash, Phil Veacock and Jonathan Scott (All from the Jools Holland Rhythm & Blues Orchestra). Other top special guests include Dennis Rollins (Courtney Pine and Jamiroquai), Martin Shaw (BBC Concert Orchestra) and The Award Winning Vintage Vocal Trio The London Belles. The Drawtones have appeared for the past 4 years in the Rye International Jazz and Blues Festival. With appearances at Pizza Express Soho and Maidstone, The Hideaway Streatham, Fleece Jazz, Verdict Jazz Brighton and not to mention in December 2018 the world famous Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club where they performed on the main stage to a full house.
The Drawtones website: www.thedrawtones.co.uk