Darren Jessee

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Darren Jessee
Background information
Birth nameDarren Michael Jessee
Born (1971-04-08) April 8, 1971 (age 50)
Houston, Texas
GenresFolk, alternative rock, acoustic
Occupation(s)Musician, singer-songwriter, drummer
InstrumentsVocals, guitar, drums, piano
Years active1994–present
LabelsSony, Bar/None
Associated actsHotel Lights, Ben Folds Five, Sharon Van Etten, Hiss Golden Messenger
Websitedarrenjessee.com, www.hotellights.net

Darren Michael Jessee[1] is an American drummer, songwriter and singer best known as a member of the alternative rock trio Ben Folds Five. Jessee has also worked as an instrumentalist for Sharon Van Etten and Hiss Golden Messenger and released four albums as singer and songwriter for indie band Hotel Lights. His first solo album, The Jane, Room 217, was released on August 24th, 2018,[2] to near-universal acclaim from critics. [3]

Jessee formed indie band Hotel Lights in 2004 after many years writing songs, playing drums, and touring in the trio. Ben Folds, on an 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.[4]

Darren can also be heard drumming on the song "Strangest Thing" from The War on Drugs' 2017 album A Deeper Understanding, Hiss Golden Messenger's Hallelujah Anyhow (2017), and Josh Rouse's album Under Cold Blue Stars, released in 2002.


Darren Jessee

  • The Jane, Room 217 (2018)
  • Remover (2020)

Ben Folds Five

Hotel Lights


Hotel Lights is the project name for songwriter Darren Jessee. Notable Jessee songwriting contributions for Ben Folds Five include:[5][6]


  1. ^ BMI Repertoire. Retrieved February 10, 2013
  2. ^ https://www.allmusic.com/album/the-jane-room-217-mw0003193499
  3. ^ http://survivingthegoldenage.com/darren-jessee-the-jane-room-217/
  4. ^ "A really tough year". iTunes Originals - Ben Folds (Interview). August 30, 2005. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  5. ^ "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 October 19, 2011. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  6. ^ "Darren Jessee". AllMusic. April 8, 1971. Retrieved October 19, 2011. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)

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