Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Desi Jones: Most sought after drummer on Jamaica jazz scene

Jamaican drummer Desi Jones, leader of the Skool band and celebrated drummer of the international reggae band Chalice, was in 1976 introduced to the legendary trumpeter and big band leader Sonny Bradshaw, and purely by chance.

“I was playing congas for the Eddie Thomas Dance Group at CARIFESTA and the drummer for the Sonny Bradshaw Seven met in an accident. I was then introduced to Mr. Bradshaw by [saxophonist] Dean Frazer as a stand in. He took the chance and allowed me to play for the band that day. Later in the year I was offered the job and I took it," Jones reminisced.

Today Jones is an expert drummer and with Chalice being inactive, is probably the most sought after drummer on the Jamaica jazz scene. Still, musically, his style runs the range of reggae, jazz, Latin and Jamaican traditional beats, a diversity that led him to Skool since 1988.

"I get inspiration from the knowledge that with just a simple beat I can make people dance. The drums can also make a person's mood change from joy to sadness," he said.

Although he has never released a solo album, Desi Jones, produced, arranged and played on a number of CDs for Mutabaruka, Carlene Davis, Peter Ashbourne, Dr. Kathy Brown, Skool Band and (the album) The Art Of Reggae Drumming".

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