Darren Jessee

Darren Michael Jessee[1] is an American drummer and singer-songwriter 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 two solo albums and 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]

Darren Jessee
Background information
Birth nameDarren Michael Jessee
Born (1971-04-08) April 8, 1971 (age 51)
Houston, Texas
GenresFolk, alternative rock, acoustic
Occupation(s)Musician, singer-songwriter, drummer
Instrument(s)Vocals, guitar, drums, piano
Years active1994–present
LabelsSony, Bar/None
Websitedarrenjessee.com, www.hotellights.net

Jessee formed indie band Hotel Lights in 2004, with whom he has recorded 4 studio albums and an extended play. 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. ^ "The Jane Room 217 - Darren Jessee | Songs, Reviews, Credits | AllMusic".
  3. ^ "Darren Jessee: The Jane Room 217 | Surviving the Golden Age".
  4. ^ "A really tough year". iTunes Originals - Ben Folds (Interview). August 30, 2005.
  5. ^ "Joey's Guide to Ben Folds Five B-Sides and Rarities". October 27, 2009. Archived from the original on October 27, 2009. Retrieved October 19, 2011.
  6. ^ "Darren Jessee". AllMusic. April 8, 1971. Retrieved October 19, 2011.

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