Jared Sykes is a Detroit based multi-ethnic percussionist, who performs live with house, electronic, and hip-hop DJs as well as an array of jazz-fusion and world music groups. Jared’s magnetic stage personality and infectious energy is matched only by his skill and talent.
Jared has carved an irreplaceable niche in the Detroit music scene, showcasing his talents through a wide-ranging spectrum of percussion styles. He has both a mainstream and cult following, with fans spanning throughout the US, as well as Europe and Asia. He is able to create high energy amongst any crowd, and is a valued asset to his fellow musicians, producers, and DJs.
Jared brings the power of percussion to live DJ sets enriching the club goer’s experience by simultaneously complimenting each track while showcasing his talent through solos, moving any crowd to the beat of his drums. His standard setup includes congas and timbales, accompanied by an ever changing array of other percussion instruments.
Jared has a cross cultural appeal, melding together Arabic, Latin, Brazilian, and Afro percussion styles to create a modern music experience based in folk drumming tradition. Jared is trained in the classic fundamentals of world percussion melody and rhythm, and is continuously experimenting and creating ways to fuse organic ethnic percussion into mainstream music.
In addition to performing live, Jared is a consistent contributor to both the production and performance of professional studio recordings.
Jared was born in Metro-Detroit into a musical family. He spent much of his childhood with the music of his family’s church. In 1992, Jared’s life changed direction forever after listening to a performance of Afro-Latin drummers at the Ann Arbor Art Fair in Michigan. The teenager soon began immersing himself in the study of African Drumming, participating in drum circles and playing anywhere he could. With his natural talent revealed and matched with serious dedication, Jared began expanding his repertoire to include a wide variety of unique folk percussion instruments.
At age 17, Jared moved to Virginia to work with his sister, an already established singer-songwriter. Jared began performing with his sister’s band, and with local Virginian college bands. During these small scale performances, Jared developed a passion for being on stage and connecting with the crowd, further solidifying that percussion was the only choice for his life’s work.
In 1996, Jared returned to Detroit, and seeing the greater potential in fusing multiple styles of ethnic drumming together, he began playing Latin/Brazilian percussion instruments, while studying the various styles of Latin percussion, including samba. He was soon accepted as a student by world renowned multi-percussionist, Larry Frantangelo, who still serves as his mentor today.
During this time, Detroit was the world-wide hub of electronic and techno music, and at 21, Jared began carving out his place in the thriving genre, by performing live with house and techno DJ’s at historic locations throughout Detroit and the Midwest. Jared had created a new phenomenon, becoming a highly coveted performer to many landmark DJs.
At 22, Jared performed at the Detroit Electronic Music Festival (DEMF), the worlds’ largest free electronic music festival, with Norma Jean Bell. He also performed with artists such as John Arnold, Jeremy Ellis, Kevin Saunderson, and John Beltran. On the heels of the DEMF, Jared began a world-wide tour with Norma Jean Bell and the Three Chairs, covering Europe, Asia, and the Caribbean.
Jared has contributed to a variety of recordings, notably Kevin Saunderson, John Beltran, Norma Jean Bell, Jeremy Ellis, and Theo Parish.
Jared is continuously sought after for major professional productions, working with Neiman Marcus, Playboy, Mercedes-Benz, Ford, Lincoln, The Urban Land Institute, Nigel Barker, Art Van Furniture, Ambassador Magazine, MGM Grand, the Detroit Opera House, 944 Magazine, Hour Magazine and Conde Nast to name a few.