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My Teacher, Daryl Thompson

Daryl Thompson Taught Me More Than Just How To Wire Wrap Gemstones Into Jewelry. 

Painting of Daryl by a fan. (I don't know their name)
Before I go into detail about his legendary music, let me introduce Daryl to you from my eyes. 

In 2007, I was in Atlanta walking through Little 5 Points trying to sell my art. I was broke, a student in Job Corps, trying to make extra cash to help my mother get off the streets.

I found myself in Elegance Boutique and met Denise and Daryl for the first time. The Daryl I met was kind, caring, and very informative about jewelry and gemstones. I felt at home from that first moment and knew that these two people were special.

Time passed and I became close to them both. Daryl needed a website and online presence for his music. I didn't know he was a musician. I thought, "Okay cool. He can rock out," I had no idea of the gem I found until I was typing up his music resume for the website and learned he was a Grammy winner. Yes, Daryl won a Grammy! And he knew how to do more than just rock out. He owned that guitar. 

Photo taken by Johnna Crider Sabri in 2011 at El Myr
This humble soul, this wonderful person who was paying me in jewelry--GOLD and silver jewelry, to do his website and Facebook, was a Grammy winner who rocked out on stage with some of the greatest names in music history--The Rolling Stones, Dizzy Gillespie, Sinead O'Connor (sorry don't have the accent button on this keyboard)--just to name a few. Daryl even worked with Matthew McConaughey to produce Mishka's album. And this guy is so humble about it. Was. It's hard to talk about him in past tense.

Daryl and Matthew McConaughey at Daryl's home studio, photo provided by Daryl

Daryl and Sinead O'Connor photo provided by Daryl. 

My life got hectic and I managed to get the website up and teach Daryl how to check his Facebook. I became homeless, took my mother off the streets (that's another long story) and through it all, Denise and Daryl mentored me, helped me and gave me advice. When I had absolutely nothing, they made sure I had money for food. Daryl said, "sell this piece for Art4TheHomeless," quite often.

Then one day, they both told me I am a daughter to them. And that meant a lot. Daryl was the father I never had. Denise was my second mother. My bio mom was happy and Denise promised her on her deathbed that she and Daryl would always look out for me. And they have.

Atlanta will never be the same without Daryl--for me anyways. To me, Little 5 Points was the place I learned about jewelry  making, met my family and made a life there. I grew up there--in the short 5 years I lived in Atlanta.

So who is Daryl Thompson and why should you be impressed?

Daryl with Peter Tosh. Photo provided by Daryl J.Cruz Thompson

Daryl Adonis Thompson, born on December 22, 1955 in Queens New York was the son of the famous  master jazz saxophonist Eli "Lucky" Thompson and Thelma May Lowe. 

When he was three, Daryl began studying music under his father's supervision and even accompanied him to sessions with Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie and Cab Calloway.  

During his college ears, Daryl was also a student of the great guitarist, Chuck Wayne and Pat Martino.  Daryl has worked with several of the most outstanding artists in jazz, blues, R&B,  and Reggae to the point that he has been acclaimed as a guitar virtuoso and Master. He was one of the recipients of a Grammy Award for his work with the Black Uhuru on their album Anthem.  He recently (2009) worked with actor Matthew McConaughey and Mishka for Mishka's album, Above the Bones, which topped the Billboard Charts at number one in 2009. 

Daryl had devoted his life to composing, producing and teaching music and soon, he and his wife relocated to Atlanta, GA where they opened up Elegance Boutique in Atlanta's Little Five Points arts district. He also began to study with Bobby Brown on the art of wire wrapping--to create unique jewelry. Daryl became known throughout the area as a master of his craft. 

Daryl, Me, and Mishka back in 2011. Photo taken by Denise

Daryl plays guitar, bass, keyboards, drums, and produces and composes. He owned Sound Sanctuary Digital Recording. Daryl also has two albums out that you can buy now. Click here. Below is his full resume.

Daryl has worked on the following major Television commercials: 


DiGiorno Pizza 
Windex (black crows spots) 
Kraft Macaroni and Cheese 
South African Airlines radio and TV spots 
And also many productions in New York, LA, Chicago, England, Jamaica, Germany, France, Switzerland, Denmark and Japan. 

Musical associations

Eddie harris 

Sam Rivers (Lazuli-Timeless Records) 
George Adams 
Ronnie Laws 
Robin Kenyatta 
David Murray (The Tip) 
Lee Konitz 
The Brecker Brothers (Heavy Metal Be-Bop) 
Rodney Franklin 
Gato Barbieri 
Dizzy Gillespie 
William Russo 
Charles Earland ("Coming to you live') 
Robert Irving, III (Miles Davis) 
Grace Jones 
Yellow Man 
Buddy Miles 
Black Uhuru (Grammy award for "Anthem") 
Peter Tosh ("Wanted Dread or Alive", "Mama Africa") 
Isaac Hayes (U-turn") 
Koko Tahlor 
Sugar Blue 
John Lee & Gerry Brown ("Medusa" "Chaser" and "Brothers") 
Narada Michael Walden 
Darryl Jones 
Ce Ce Penniston ("Finally") Platinum 

My own father once told me over the phone, "No, I'm not your father," and refuse DNA testing that I offered to pay for. His family hates me to this day. And my mother, too. They mentioned that I wanted my inheritance. I actually said, "F--- the money. I don't want it-just wanted to know you,"  Daryl said to me, "You have a father: Me," and hugged me. 

I'm not the only one. I've met many people who Daryl adopted. I'm just one of many who was and still is inspired by Daryl.  I am running Daryl's Facebook page (the fan page not his personal page) trying to get the word out so people can know, come to the memorial and honor Daryl. 

My friend, Joanna Ballard, came up with the hashtag: #MaestroDarylAdonisThompson to help get this legend trending. Daryl was the master, and he, just like all the other greats, deserves that honor, title, and respect. People need to know about him. 

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About Johnna Sabri

The Gems and Mineral Diva is also known as Johnna Sabri. Johnna learned how to wire wrap gemstones into fashionable jewelry by Grammy Award winning guitarist, Daryl Thompson, son of Eli Lucky Thompson. This site is dedicated to Daryl as he did more than teach Johnna his gift of jewelry design, he became a father to her.