alto saxophonist, composer, bandleader, producer
“The most visceral and distinctive alto saxophonist of this era.” –The New York Times
"A head full of ideas and a heart full of talent. He never wastes a note or a breath." –Jazz Times
"[Darius displays] a remarkably well-developed concept and individual sound. It is defiant, vulnerable, proud, and weary; there is laughter and sobbing in it. He imbues simple melodies and phrases with huge emotional weight. –Point of Departure
"with expressive glissandi as opulently sensual as that of Johnny Hodges, and a knack for flipping innocent melodic utterances into lines fraught with chancy harmonic and rhythmic ambiguities, Jones' concept is proudly his own." –The Wire
"brimming with intricacy and raw, soulful invention." –Signal To Noise
Discography as Leader
Discography as co-leader
Discography as side-man/collaborator
Darius Jones is an alto saxophonist, composer and producer. He joined the New York music community in 2005 after living and studying in Richmond, VA where he graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University with a Bachelors in Jazz Studies in 2003. Darius earned a Master's Degree in Jazz Performance / Composition from New York University in 2008 and also taught New Music Improvisation there for a year as an adjunct professor.
Darius comes from a diverse musical background, which lead to his unique and soulful approach to music. His repertoire includes compositions and performances in electro-acoustic music, chamber ensembles, contemporary and avant-garde jazz groups, modern dance performances, and multi-media events. While in Richmond, he formed the Klimt Experience, a multi-media and performance art group combining modern dance, visual art, poetry, animation, and music into live performance. After relocating to New York, Darius used the Van Lier Fellowship awarded him by Roulette in 2008 to launch his chamber ensemble, Elizabeth-Caroline Unit, a project dedicated to new works for voice.
Darius was signed to AUM Fidelity in February of 2009 and released his highly acclaimed debut album as a leader, Man'ish Boy (A Raw and Beautiful Thing), in October of that year. The record features his trio with Bob Moses and Cooper-Moore, and reflects his time growing up in the South. The album was a clear favorite in the media, garnering overwhelming praise from the New York Times, Jazz Times, All About Jazz, Time Out New York, the Boston Globe, Pop Dose, Signal to Noise, The Wire, Paris Transatlantic, the Village Voice, and others. Darius has also been featured on the BBC's Jazz on 3, The Jazz Session with Jason Crane, and was the cover feature of Burning Ambulance #2 in 2010.
Darius co-leads Little Women, a band with Travis LaPlante, Andrew Smiley, and Jason Nazary, that explores the extremes of sound by using extended techniques and acoustic manipulation. They released their full-length debut, Throat, on AUM Fidelity in April 2010. Darius collaborates with artists including Trevor Dunn’s Proof Readers, Angelica Sanchez, William Parker, the Oliver Lake Big Band, Mike Pride’s From Bacteria to Boys, Taylor Ho Bynum, William Hooker, Ben Gerstein, the Mara Rosenbloom Quartet, Kirk Knuffke, Matthew Shipp, Alex Harding, et al. In 2008, Darius produced a record for Korean jazz vocalist Sunny Kim titled Android Ascension, which was released on Korean label YDS Music. He also produced a record, Sugar, for country-folk artist Mary Bragg in 2008. Darius' music takes him around the US, Europe and Canada with performances in the Vision Festival, Just Music Festival, Rumor Festival, Sons D'hiver Festival, Saalfelden Jazz Festival, JVC Festival, Winter Jazz Festival, Seattle Earshot Festival and others.
Darius was nominated for a Jazz Journalists Association Award for 2009 Up and Coming Artist and was one of Jazz Times' Debut Artists of the Year for 2009.
April 2011 saw the release of Cosmic Lieder, the first manifestation of his profound collaboration with pianist/composer Matthew Shipp. Their CD release performances at Jazz Standard (NYC) that month continued the creation of their unique universe of sound. In February 2011, he recorded the next set of compositions in his Man'ish Boy series with his long-standing trio featuring bassist Adam Lane and drummer Jason Nazary; the resulting album, Big Gurl (Smell My Dream), was released in October 2011. Darius returned to the studio in September 2011 to record his first quartet record as a leader with Matt Mitchell, Trevor Dunn, and Ches Smith. The resulting album & the third part of his first trilogy, Book of Mæ'bul (Another Kind of Sunrise), was released in April 2012.
[ update here is coming ; in meantime, please reference Discography links. ]