With his music career spanning more than 40 years, Chicago born and bred bassist Darryl Jones is constantly discovering new ways to nurture his long-time love of music.
With a laundry list of impressive and diverse collaborations to his name, Jones is perhaps best known for his current status as bass guitarist for The Rolling Stones, where he is seemingly living his own American dream.
With a mom who loved soul music and a father who taught him the drums and xylophone at age seven, early musical influence naturally came from his parents. The most decisive influence, however, came from his neighbor, Angus Thomas, whose bass performance in the school talent show is what sparked nine-year-old Jones’ interest in the instrument. From this point on, his life would never be the same.
Starting out with local gigs, Jones quickly made a name for himself in the Chicago music scene, later expanding into New York as well. 1984 would prove to be a life-altering year, as he secured a gig with the none other than Miles Davis, an opportunity that soon opened the flood gates for more top tier opportunities.
Less than a decade later in 1993, Jones auditioned for the biggest opportunity of his life- to be a member of The Rolling Stones. He earned the job, and started touring with the greatest rock and roll band in 1994. This was arguably the mountain top of glory for any aspiring rock-oriented bassist, which naturally propelled his career even further. He has been touring with the band ever since, consistently adding to his mile-long list of credits.
But laying down bass lines with legendary artists is not all Jones is about.
Last month, Jones released a single of his own in “American Dream”, which paints a vivid picture of the current reality for many in our country, and he does it through smooth gliding vocals and soulful groove to match.
Centered around the ongoing racial inequalities in America, his lyrics make the message clear that “this is a protest song.” Dissatisfied with the state of many poor and underrepresented communities, Jones mourns the remnants of what was once the American dream of prosperity and equality for all. The feel and tone of the song is that of a vintage 70s golden age of soul and flow not unlike a Marvin Gay.
Aside from his life-long commitment to making music, Jones also founded Jones Musical Instruments, which specializes in basses and guitars. The company combines his passion for quality instruments and his advocacy for musical education by supporting efforts to bring music into public schools.
A testament to his versatility as an artist, Jones has also tried his hand at voice acting and composing, as well as collaborating with artists of different genres, and creating The Darryl Jones Project.
When he’s not playing gigs with The Rolling Stones or other bands, Jones stays busy by teaching instructional classes and clinics across the world.