|Birth name||Darren Michael Jessee|
|Born||April 8, 1971|
|Genres||Folk, alternative rock, lo fi acoustic|
|Occupations||Musician, singer-songwriter, drummer|
|Instruments||Vocals, guitar, piano, drums, timpani|
|Associated acts||Hotel Lights, Ben Folds Five, Sharon Van Etten|
Darren Michael Jessee (born April 8, 1971) is an American drummer, songwriter, singer and member of the rock bands Ben Folds Five and Hotel Lights. In 2014, Jessee joined Sharon Van Etten's touring band.
Born in Houston, Texas, and raised in North Carolina, Jessee currently resides in Brooklyn. Ben Folds Five are known for energetic live shows and vocal harmonies. Jessee's drumming style has a strong jazz influence, from his longtime love of the genre. Referred to by WXPN's Bruce Warren as "Ben Folds Five's secret weapon", Jessee formed Hotel Lights in 2003 after many years writing songs, playing drums, and touring in the trio. He co-wrote some of Ben Folds Five's biggest hits including "Brick" and "Song for the Dumped" as well as writing the ballad "Magic" from The Unauthorized Biography of Reinhold Messner. In his own band, Hotel Lights have had their songs featured in hit TV shows (Grey's Anatomy, One Tree Hill) and a major motion picture Baby Mama.
Ben Folds, on a recent iTunes Originals compilation, credited the Jessee-penned chorus for "Brick" as the missing element to a song that he had tried to compose for a long time, remarking "I've never understood a hit chorus. I wish I did."
Darren can also be heard drumming on Josh Rouse's album Under Cold Blue Stars, released in 2002.
Ben Folds Five
- Ben Folds Five (1995)
- Whatever and Ever Amen (1997)
- Naked Baby Photos (1998)
- The Unauthorized Biography of Reinhold Messner (1999)
- The Sound of the Life of the Mind (2012)
- "Magic" (Jessee) – The Unauthorized Biography of Reinhold Messner
- "Sky High" (Jessee) – The Sound of the Life of the Mind
- "Brick" (Folds / Jessee) – Whatever and Ever Amen
- "Song for the Dumped" (Folds / Jessee) – Whatever and Ever Amen
- "Amelia Bright" (Jessee) – unreleased track performed live by the band 1999–2000; later featured on the Hotel Lights album Firecracker People. A 2000 studio version of the track by Ben Folds Five was included on Folds' retrospective album The Best Imitation of Myself: A Retrospective (2011)
- "Leather Jacket" (Jessee) – No Boundaries: A Benefit for the Kosovar Refugees
- "Wandering" (Folds / Jessee) – Speed Graphic (Note: this is a Ben Folds solo EP)
- "Stumblin' Home Winter Blues" (Jessee) – originally released on Hotel Lights' self-titled debut album in 2006; later recorded by Ben Folds Five for The Best Imitation of Myself
||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (July 2008)|
- BMI Repertoire. Retrieved 2013-02-10
- "Bio: Hotel Lights". Retrieved July 5, 2013.
- A really tough year. (Interview). August 30, 2005. iTunes Originals - Ben Folds.
- "Joey's Guide to Ben Folds Five B-Sides and Rarities". Web.archive.org. October 27, 2009. Archived from the original on October 27, 2009. Retrieved 2011-10-19.
- "Darren Jessee". AllMusic. April 8, 1971. Retrieved 2011-10-19.