Remembering Sharon Jones: Performing With The Dap-Kings For NPR’s ‘Tiny Desk Concert’

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The music world lost a singular voice when Sharon Jones died on this date in 2016. Jones was taken at the age of 60 after suffering multiple strokes and fighting pancreatic cancer.

Sharon burst onto the scene late in her life when Dap Dippin’ With Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings was released to glowing reviews in 2002. While born in Augusta, Jones grew up in New York City and held down a job at a corrections officer at Rikers Island and as an armored car guard before her appearance as a backing singer for a 1996 session with Lee Fields captured the attention of Gabriel Roth and Philippe Lehman. Roth founded the Daptone Records label and went on to form the Dap-Kings which served as Sharon’s band from 2002 through her passing.

Jones was one of the signature artists of the Daptone Records imprint and followed Dap Dippin’ With Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings with celebrated albums Naturally in 2005, 100 Days, 100 Nights in 2007 and I Learned The Hard Way in 2010. A major milestone in Sharon’s career came after 2014’s Give The People What They Want was nominated for the “Best R&B Album” Grammy. In 2015, Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings released It’s A Holiday Soul Party and promoted the 11-track collection with an appearance on NPR Music’s Tiny Desk Concert series.

The soul superstar and her band began the session at Bob Boilen’s desk with a bluesy rendition of “Silent Night” before giving “Eight Days Of Hanukkah” a funky treatment. Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings closed out the set with It’s A Holiday Soul Party’s “Big Bulbs.” Celebrate the life and music of Sharon Jones by watching her lead the Dap-Kings on their Tiny Desk Concert below: