The GLEANER: KINGSTON, Jamaica, By Yasmine Peru – Veteran drummer, Desi Jones, has died. He was 65.

His wife confirmed to The Gleaner that Jones passed away this evening after being found unresponsive at home. He was rushed to hospital where he was pronounced dead.

An emotional Mrs Jones was unable to give any further details.

Jones, who played at the Herbie Miller-curated weekly jazz at F&B Downtown last night, was reported to be in good spirits at the Friday event and showed no signs of illness.

“Last night we were together until about 11 p.m. talking and laughing and telling a lot of stories about the good old days. This morning at about 8:30 Desi sent out lovely text to Oshane [Love] whose gig it was last night. He was congratulating Oshane on doing so well at the event… only for this evening to get a call from Desi wife from the hospital to say that he was pronounced dead. Bwoy … this is a huge loss,” a sorrowful Miller said, adding that Jones was an excellent mentor for young musicians, who learnt a lot at his feet.

For years, Jones has been a fixture on the live music scene, where he was very much in demand, and he also could be found at recording sessions locally and internationally.

He kickstarted his career during his teenage years as the drummer of the band led by the late Sonny Bradshaw – the Sonny Bradshaw Seven. His bio on canopusdrums .com states that as founding member of the band Chalice, Jones recorded seven albums of original material with the group. He would later leave and form his own band, Skool, in 1988, touring extensively and recording with Jimmy Cliff, Barrington Levy, Mutabaruka and Marcia Griffiths.

Desi Jones has also recorded and toured with Jamaican jazz pianist and guitarist Monty Alexander and Ernie Ranglin.

In 2019, Jones received the Order of Distinction in the Rank of Officer for his contribution to the development of Jamaican music in the genres of jazz, show music, and reggae.