Darryl Jones was born on the south side of Chicago into a musical family. His father taught him drums and xylophone at 7 years old. But when Jones saw his neighbor, Angus Thomas, playing bass in the school talent show, the nine year old foresaw his destiny. He immediately began studying with Angus, and within a year played his first gig, along with his brother on guitar, at the next school talent show. After completing the intensive music program at Chicago Vocational High School he attended Southern Illinois University at Carbondale.
With the support of caring parents who instilled a strong work ethic, Jones gained entry to the Chicago music scene playing alongside other Chicago locals including Vincent Wilburn, Jr., Matthew Rose, and Perry Wilson. His reputation for passionately serving the function of the music got people talking. They played gigs around Chicago for the likes of Ghallib Ghallab, Otis Clay, Ken Chaney, and Phil Upchurch. At 21, with the help of his longtime friend Vincent Wilburn Jr. (the nephew of Miles Davis), Jones landed a life-changing gig with the legendary jazz icon, with whom he would record and tour over the next five years. He can be heard on Decoy, You’re Under Arrest, and several live concert albums.
The following decade brought distinctive opportunities: When Police front-man and bass player Sting picked up a rhythm guitar to embark on a solo career, he chose Jones to play the bass. He played on the Dream of the Blue Turtles album and appeared in the documentary film Bring on the Night, and subsequent album and world tour. During the eighties the young bassist also performed with Peter Gabriel on the Human Rights Now! tour, Herbie Hancock & the Headhunters, Madonna, Eric Clapton, and more. During this time Jones also made his mark on the New York electric jazz scene where he played alongside John Scofield, Hiram Bullock, the Gil Evans Big Band, and Steps Ahead.
Another amazing opportunity came in 1993, when Jones was chosen to replace longtime band member Bill Wyman as bassist for the Rolling Stones. Since then, he has toured the world, performed on studio and live albums, and appeared in documentary and concert films with the Stones.
His projects as a co-leader include Stone Raiders with Jean-Paul Bourelly and Will Calhoun, 3 Brave Souls with John Beasley and the late Ndugu Chancler, and Chi Town Social Club with Nicholas Tremulis, Vincent Wilburn Jr., and Shawn Christopher. He also performs with the Miles Electric Band, to revisit and renew the musical innovation of the legendary Miles Davis.
He founded Jones Musical Instruments to produce high-quality basses and guitars, combining artisan craftsmanship and modern technologies, for seasoned professionals and dedicated enthusiasts. He envisions a world where music education is available to all, and therefore the company supports programs that bring music into public schools.
Jones continues his education and has attended voiceover classes, Writer’s Boot Camp, Tony Greco’s Master Acting class, and the Berklee College of Music’s Writing Better Lyrics class. In 2017, he was selected to participate in the Sundance Institute’s Music & Sound Design Lab at Skywalker Ranch.
Always open to new musical experiences, whenever he’s not playing with the Stones, Jones continues to explore, playing with an eclectic mix of artists including LeAnn Rimes, Ziggy Marley, Rod Stewart, and the late Joe Cocker, among others. He has been seen playing in the Emmy Awards show band. He composed the score for the 1997 Sundance Audience Award winning feature film Love Jones. And since 2018, has been booking sessions as a voice actor.
Over the years, between his rigorous touring and recording schedule, Jones has been quietly exploring his own expression as composer, lyricist, singer, and band leader. With a broad sphere of influence, The Darryl Jones Project debuted in 2017, revealing a lifelong love of music – eschewing convention and defying genre labels with its soulful roots rock vibe. His live shows feature his original material along with some interesting covers. His songs tell reflective stories and has influences from James Brown to Curtis Mayfield to the Beatles, as well as the legendary musicians with whom he has shared the stage. Profound musical insight and inspiration can be heard in the unique sound of The Darryl Jones Project.