Olu Dara

Olu Dara ( born 1941 in Louisville, Mississippi, Charles Jones III ) is an American jazz and crossover musicians (trumpet, cornet, also harmonica, guitar, vocals) and actor.

Life and work

After military service in the Navy Dara in 1963 moved to New York City. From a Yoruba priest, he was named Olu Dara. At first, he played in R & B bands, around 1970, he was with the musical Hair on tour. Then he worked with Bill Barron, Carlos Garnett, and Art Blakey. Since the mid- 1970s the loft jazz scene became aware of him; so he worked then in 1976 at the Wildflowers sessions. He combined achievements of the avant-garde jazz, lyrical tone and traditional game poses on trumpet and cornet. In the early 1980s he worked in the groups of David Murray and Henry Threadgill. He also played with Oliver Lake, James Newton and Bill Laswell.

His first album In the World: From Natchez to New York was only published in 1998, it sounds like a colorful mix of blues, folk music, jazz, reggae, traditional African music and a touch of funk. Three years later, his second album called Neighborhoods, on the Dr. John and Cassandra Wilson appeared as guests. He is also involved in recordings of James Blood Ulmer, Charles Brackeen, Kip Hanrahan, Julius Hemphill, Cassandra Wilson, Don Pullen and the Dirty Dozen Brass Band.

Rapper Nas is Olu Dara's son. They worked together on Nas 's debut album Illmatic and on Street 's Disciple. Since the 1990s, Olu Dara is also active as an actor.


  • In the World: From Natchez to New York ( 1998)
  • Neighborhoods (2001)

Lexigraphischer entry