Darren Jessee

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Darren Jessee
Background information
Birth nameDarren Michael Jessee
Born (1971-04-08) April 8, 1971 (age 47)
Houston, Texas
GenresFolk, alternative rock, acoustic
Occupation(s)Musician, singer-songwriter, drummer
InstrumentsVocals, drums, timpani, piano, guitar
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] (born April 8, 1971) is an American drummer, songwriter and singer best known as a member of the alternative rock trio Ben Folds Five. In 2014 and 2015, Jessee joined Sharon Van Etten's touring band. On March 4, 2016, Jessee released Hotel Lights' album Get Your Hand in My Hand, and later that year he joined Hiss Golden Messenger from July 2016 through March 2018. Jessee released his first solo album, The Jane Room 217, on August 24th, 2018. [2]

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.[3]

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)

Ben Folds Five

Hotel Lights


Hotel Lights is the project name for songwriter Darren Jessee. Notable Jessee songwriting contributions for Ben Folds Five include:[4][5]


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

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