Olu Dara

Olu Dara

born on 12/1/1941 in Natchez, MS, United States

Olu Dara

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Olu Dara Jones (born Charles Jones III, January 12, 1941) is an American cornetist, guitarist, and singer. He is the father of rapper Nas.


Olu Dara was born Charles Jones III January 12, 1941, in Natchez, Mississippi.[1][2]

In 1963, he moved to New York City and changed his name to Olu Dara,[3][4] which means "God is good" in the Yoruba language.[4] In the 1970s and '80s he played alongside David Murray, Henry Threadgill, Hamiet Bluiett, Don Pullen, Charles Brackeen, James Blood Ulmer, and Cassandra Wilson. He formed two bands, the Okra Orchestra and the Natchezsippi Dance Band.[1][3]

His first album, In the World: From Natchez to New York (1998), revealed another aspect of his musical personality: the leader and singer of a band immersed in African-American tradition, playing an eclectic mix of blues, jazz, and storytelling, with tinges of funk, African popular music, and reggae. His second album Neighborhoods, with guest appearances by Dr. John and Cassandra Wilson, followed in a similar vein.

Dara played on the album Illmatic (1994) by his son, rapper Nas, and on the song "Dance" (2002), also by Nas, and he sang on Nas's song "Bridging the Gap" (2004).[4]


As leader

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

With Material

  • Memory Serves (1981)
  • The Third Power (1991)

As sideman

With Charles Brackeen

  • 1987 Attainment (Silkheart)
  • 1987 Worshippers Come Nigh (Silkheart)

With Rhys Chatham

  • 1984 Factor X
  • 1987 Die Donnergötter (The Thundergods)

With Carlos Garnett

  • 1975 Let This Melody Ring On (Muse)
  • 1977 Fire

With Corey Harris

  • 2002 Downhome Sophisticate
  • 2005 Daily Bread

With Craig Harris

  • 1985 Tributes (OTC)
  • 1999 Cold Sweat Plays J. B. (JMT)

With David Murray

  • Flowers for Albert: The Complete Concert (India Navigation, 1976)
  • Ming (Black Saint, 1980)
  • Home (Black Saint, 1981)
  • Live at Sweet Basil Volume 1 (Black Saint, 1984)
  • Live at Sweet Basil Volume 2 (Black Saint, 1984)
  • The Tip (DIW, 1995)
  • Jug-A-Lug (DIW, 1995)

With Nas

  • 1994 Illmatic
  • 2002 God's Son
  • 2004 Bridging the Gap
  • 2004 Street's Disciple

With Jamaaladeen Tacuma

  • 1983 Show Stopper
  • 1984 Renaissance Man

With Henry Threadgill

  • 1982 When Was That?
  • 1983 Just the Facts and Pass the Bucket

With James Blood Ulmer

  • Are You Glad to Be in America? (1980)
  • Free Lancing (1981)
  • No Escape from the Blues: The Electric Lady Sessions (2003)

With Cassandra Wilson

  • 1987 Days Aweigh (JMT)
  • 1993 Blue Light 'Til Dawn
  • 1999 Traveling Miles
  • 2002 Belly of the Sun

With others


  1. ^ a b Dara, Olu (Winter 1998). "Olu Dara". Bomb (Interview) (62). Interviewed by Tracie Morris – via bombsite.com.
  2. ^ "Nas' Interactive Family Tree". Finding Your Roots. PBS. October 29, 2014. Retrieved March 9, 2017.
This page was last modified 20.09.2020 19:24:21

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