17 Modern Jazz Musicians Shaping The Future Of Jazz (2023)

Photos: Lauren Desberg (Joel Ross), Fabrice Bourgelle (The Comet Is Coming), Concord Records (Esperanza Spalding), Jacob Blickenstaff (Jazzmeia Horn)

From its inception in New Orleans bordellos at the dawn of the 20th century, jazz has never stood still. Jazz has always been fueled by modern, contemporary artists, young jazz musicians seeking new modes of expression. Indeed, the future of jazz has always reflected the changing times that have shaped its creators’ sensibilities.

In the second decade of the 21st Century, the music whose essence is improvisation is prospering again: a younger generation of listeners have turned to pathfinding figures like Robert Glasper and Kamasi Washington, who have helped jazz reclaim its relevance. With broader exposure, young jazz musicians are passing on the music’s DNA and keeping it alive – and ever-changing – by marrying it with other types of music.

The young jazz musicians listed below show us that the music is in very good hands. Shaping the future of jazz for the generations to come, they’ll ensure that it never becomes stagnant.

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While you’re reading, listen to our New Jazz playlist here.

Shabaka Hutchings

Born in London and raised in Barbados, Hutchings is an award-winning multi-reed player who can alternate between saxophone and clarinet. Though he started out gigging with calypso bands he’s now regarded as the doyen of the UK’s contemporary jazz scene and currently leads three different bands, each of which can lay claim to shaping the future of jazz: an octet called Shabaka & The Ancestors; a quartet, Sons Of Kemet; and The Comet Is Coming, the latter a futuristic trio that blends electronics with modern jazz and a punk-like attitude.

Key cut: Summon The Fire (The Comet Is Coming)

The Comet Is Coming - Summon The Fire

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Kamasi Washington

One of the reasons that contemporary jazz is reconnecting with young people is down to the appeal of this LA-born saxophonist’s transformative 2015 debut album, a sprawling triple-set called The Epic, on which he morphed from a journeyman-like saxophonist-for-hire into an inspirational apostle of spiritual jazz. Like many of today’s young jazz musicians, Washington’s music is influenced as much by hip-hop as jazz; he even appeared on Kendrick Lamar’s visionary album To Pimp A Butterfly.

Key cut: Truth

Kamasi Washington - "Truth" (Live at WFUV)

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Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah

From jazz’s birthplace, New Orleans, this contemporary jazz artist is a trumpeter with a clear, burnished tone who acknowledges the tradition of the music but sees the future of jazz in a fusion of alt.rock, African music, movie soundtracks, and hip-hop. He describes his allusive, polyglot style as “stretch music,” a term that refers to its elastic characteristics. Adjuah’s music is also socio-politically conscious.

Key cut: West Of The West

Esperanza Spalding

Sounding like a young Joni Mitchell fronting Return To Forever on steroids, this Portland-born singer, composer, and bass virtuoso is extending the frontiers of jazz with boundary-breaking music that embraces rock, funk, Latin, jazz fusion, and the avant-garde. Spalding has also been an advocate of using social media as a tool for creativity, exemplified by her 2017 album, Exposure, which was recorded from scratch, live in 77 hours while being streamed on the internet. She’s undoubtedly one of the most original thinkers and cutting-edge conceptualists in modern jazz.

Key cut: 12 Little Spells

Esperanza Spalding - 12 Little Spells

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Nubya Garcia

One of the UK’s fastest-rising young jazz musicians, Garcia is a tenor saxophonist/composer from London who also plays with the spiritual jazz group Maisha. She’s a product of the Tomorrow’s Warriors talent agency – famed for bringing young British jazz musicians to the wider public – and released her critically-lauded debut album, Nubyas 5ive, in 2017. She’s also recorded with Sons Of Kemet, Ezra Collective, and Makaya McCraven.

Key cut: Lost Kingdoms

Nubya Garcia - Lost Kingdoms [Audio] (1 of 6)

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Makaya McCraven

Born in Paris and raised in the US, drummer/composer McCraven is a self-proclaimed “beat scientist” who keeps his eye firmly on the future of jazz, playing groove-oriented avant-garde jazz with a hip-hop attitude. Priding himself on spontaneity, albums like In The Moment, Highly Rare and 2019’s acclaimed Universal Beings, all feature live recordings. McCraven’s goal, he once told an interviewer, was to make music that is “socially challenging, not technically challenging.”

Key cut: Young Genius

Young Genius

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Binker And Moses

Debuting in 2016 with the award-winning album Dem Ones, saxophonist Binker Golding and drummer Moses Boyd established themselves as the John Coltrane and Rasheed Ali of contemporary British jazz with their impassioned duos. Their second album, an epic double-set called Journey To The Mountain Of Forever, saw them expanding their palette by featuring veteran British avant-garde saxophonist Evan Parker on some tracks. Since then, the duo has released a live album (Alive In The East?) which captures the raw visceral power of their in-concert improvisations.

Key cut: Fete By The River

Kendrick Scott Oracle

From Houston, Texas, Scott is a drummer/composer whose distinctive and supremely elegant brand of post-bop jazz is infused with R&B and hip-hop flavors. The latest incarnation of his band – whose second album, a 12-track song cycle called A Wall Becomes A Bridge, was released on Blue Note – has expanded to a sextet via the addition of a turntablist who sits alongside more traditional jazz instruments in the shape of a piano, saxophone, and guitar.

Key cut: Mocean

Jazzmeia Horn

Given her ear-catching first name, this 27-year-old Texas chanteuse was born to sing jazz. From the school of athletic jazz singers like Carmen McRae and Ella Fitzgerald, Horn triumphed at the 2015 Thelonious Monk Institute International Jazz Competition, which earned her a contract with Concord Records. Her 2017 debut album, A Social Call, released by Concord via the revived Prestige imprint, won rave reviews and established Horn as the new voice of contemporary jazz.

Key cut: Tight

Jazzmeia Horn - Tight

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Miles Mosley

A stalwart of Kamasi Washington’s touring band, Hollywood-born Mosley is a double bass player who was taught by the legendary Ray Brown, but whose use of effects pedals make him a fiercely contemporary artist in his outlook. A former sideman for musicians as varied as Chris Cornell, Kenny Loggins and Lauryn Hill, Mosley released his solo debut, Uprising, on Verve in 2017. An unclassifiable amalgam of genres like modern jazz, funk, soul, and rock, it allowed Mosley to expose his talents as a vocalist and songwriter besides his phenomenal bass playing.

Key cut: Abraham

Miles Mosley - Abraham

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Joel Ross

Once home to the great Milt Jackson, Bobby Hutcherson, and, more recently, Stephon Harris, Blue Note has a long history of great vibraphone players on its books. Now there’s a new vibes man in town: Joel Ross. An exciting new addition to the Blue Note roster, Chicago-born Ross – whose debut album, KingMaker, was released in 2019 – is a post-bop vibraphonist who has played with legends like Herbie Hancock but is better known for his contributions to modern jazz albums by Makaya McCraven, James Francies, and Marquis Hill.

Key cut: Ill Relations

Joel Ross - Ill Relations (Audio)

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Elena Pinderhughes

A future star in the making, this Californian flautist and vocalist recorded her first album when she was nine and has since performed with jazz greats Herbie Hancock and Hubert Laws as well as featuring on albums by contemporary leaders such as Joshua Redman, Ambrose Akinmusire, and Christian Scott. Those who’ve been lucky enough to hear her live know that Pinderhughes promises much for the future of jazz.

Key cut: Completely (with Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah)

Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah - Completely (feat. Elena Pinderhughes)

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Ashley Henry

A South London-born pianist who studied at the Royal Academy Of Music as well as the BRIT school, 26-year-old Henry – who has toured as the keyboardist for French pop act Christine And The Queens – released his debut album, Beautiful Vinyl Hunter, in 2018. He’s one of just two modern UK jazz artists signed with a major label (the other is Shabaka Hutchings) and has developed a unique, ear-catching signature style that fuses jazz with hip-hop, grime, R&B and even punk flavors.

Key cut: Dark Honey

Dark Honey (4TheStorm)

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Jamael Dean

The leader of the US jazz collective the Afronauts, this keyboard-playing grandson of legendary soul jazz drummer Donald Dean, who played with Jimmy Smith and Les McCann, has also worked as a sideman, notably with Kamasi Washington and Thundercat. In terms of his solo records, Los Angeles-born Dean has conjured up avant-garde cosmic meditations (2019’s Black Space Tapes), introspective lone piano recitals (2020’s Ished Tree) and in 2021 delivered a sprawling large canvas epic called Primordial Waters, which explored the mythology of the African Yoruba tribe. Seamlessly knitting together Herbie Hancock-esque jazz-funk and explorative astral jazz a la Alice Coltrane with hip-hop elements, Primordial Waters is Dean’s most ambitious work; a multi-hued sonic tapestry that’s in a category of its own.

Key cut: Galaxy In Leimert

Chelsea Carmichael

One of the first signings to Shabaka Hutchings’ indie label Native Rebel Recordings, Manchester-born Chelsea Carmichael is a soulful British tenor saxophonist (and occasional flautist) who has distilled the muscular timbre of Dexter Gordon with the deep spiritual yearning of John Coltrane to create her own distinctive sound and style. After serving her apprenticeship with the Mercury Prize-nominated London jazz aggregation SEED Ensemble, Carmichael released her Hutchings-produced debut album The River Doesn’t Like Strangers in late 2021, which impressed via its juxtaposition of lean, Caribbean-inflected grooves with lush atmospheric soundscapes.

Key cut: Blood And Soil

Theon Cross

A Londoner with Caribbean ancestry, Theon Cross is a virtuosic and in-demand tuba player who has not only reawakened interest in the big, unwieldy brass instrument that went out of fashion in jazz in the 1930s but also broadened its musical horizons. In addition to his role in the groundbreaking band Sons Of Kemets – where his tuba bass lines erupt like deep seismic detonations – Cross has also issued several recordings as a leader. His debut album, 2019’s Fiyah, was a startlingly original instrumental offering defined by incendiary grooves while his contrasting follow-up LP, 2021’s Intra-I, found the tubist expanding his palette with a kaleidoscopic mesh of modern jazz, hip-hop, reggae and grime that featured cameos from rappers and vocalists.

Key cut: Activate

Immanuel Wilkins

Hailing from Upper Darby, Pennsylvania, Immanuel Wilkins is a Juilliard-educated alto saxophonist and composer whose sideman credits range from Solange Knowles to the Sun Ra Arkestra and Wynton Marsalis. He was mentored by the US trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire and then achieved wider fame by collaborating with the celebrated modern jazz pianist Jason Moran on a series of Thelonious Monk tribute concerts. After contributing to vibraphonist Joel Ross’ Kingmaker album in 2019, Wilkins signed to Blue Note who issued his debut, Omega, the following year. Described by his label’s president Don Was as “an eloquent dissertation on the Black experience in America,” the album, with its blend of agitated avant-garde-tinged pieces and bittersweet lyrical ballads, reflects Wilkins’ unique artistic vision.

Key cut: The Dreamer

Immanuel Wilkins - The Dreamer

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FAQs

Who is the most influential modern day jazz musician? ›

It's safe to say that Louis Armstrong is hands down one of the most important musicians in jazz history. Nicknamed “Satchmo” or “Pops”, Louis is one of the most well known jazz musicians in the world and is responsible for bringing jazz to the spotlight, inspiring many of his contemporaries and musicians to follow.

How has modern music been influenced by jazz? ›

Rock, R&B, Hip-hop, Pop and other genres have been influenced by Jazz. Jazz rhythms and harmonies have been featured in styles of music that produce a sway rhythm, like R&B or Latin styled tunes. Jazz has contributed a great deal to the style of Hip-hop music.

What is modern jazz like today? ›

From a musical perspective, modern jazz today can be highly demanding to play, often utilising non-functional harmony, intricate melodies and odd time signatures. It might take influence from other genres, such as 20th Century classical music or sounds from non-western cultures.

Who is the best jazz artist today? ›

Contemporary Jazz Artists
  • Esbjörn Svensson Trio. 397,699 listeners. ...
  • Keith Jarrett. 497,310 listeners. ...
  • Avishai Cohen. 229,275 listeners. ...
  • Brad Mehldau. 371,170 listeners. ...
  • Jan Garbarek. 156,174 listeners. ...
  • The Bad Plus. 277,313 listeners. ...
  • Esperanza Spalding. 297,672 listeners. ...
  • Erik Truffaz. 174,557 listeners.

Who is the most influential musicians today? ›

filters
  • 1 Taylor Swift97%
  • 2 Lady Gaga97%
  • 3 Justin Bieber97%
  • 4 Beyoncé97%
  • 5 Adele96%
  • 6 Kanye West96%
  • 7 Miley Cyrus96%
  • 8 Katy Perry96%

Who is the most influential jazz player? ›

Louis Armstrong

He was arguably the first major jazz star, and – with his rhythmically sophisticated, operatic style – remains the greatest jazz musician of all time according to many.

What impact does modern music have on society? ›

Music, as a cultural right, may aid in the promotion and protection of other human rights. It can help in the healing process, dismantling walls and boundaries, reconciliation, and education. Around the world, music is being used as a vehicle for social change and bringing communities together.

Why is jazz music important today? ›

Jazz is a music that can shape our character by giving us courage, prepare us to improvise, innovate, give others an equal voice, and listen. Jazz education is important for young and old minds alike.

How has jazz evolved today? ›

Jazz has also evolved over the years to accommodate more styles and techniques. Over the decades, many artists have made their playing less structured and more experimental with improvisation. In the latter half of the twentieth century, rock and pop artists have used jazz instrumentals in their songs.

When did modern jazz become popular? ›

From the 1920s through the 40s, jazz was arguably the most popular music in the United States and was commonly played in nightclubs, living rooms, dance halls, and on the radio.

Who started modern jazz? ›

Choreographer and modern dancer Jack Cole was the first to really define jazz technique. He is considered the “Father of Jazz Technique”. Two more choreographers, Eugene Louis Faccinto, known as “Luigi” and Gus Giordano were also very influential in the development of jazz technique.

Who is the king of cool jazz? ›

Miles Davis: The King of Cool.

Who is the most successful musician right now? ›

Justin Bieber takes the top spot, with millions of followers across socials and billions of plays on streaming services. The most popular female artist currently goes to Taylor Swift, while BTS are unsurprisingly the most popular band. Any surprises here amongst the most popular artists in 2022?

Who is the queen of jazz music? ›

Ella Jane Fitzgerald (April 25, 1917 – June 15, 1996) was an American jazz singer, sometimes referred to as the "First Lady of Song", "Queen of Jazz", and "Lady Ella".

Who is the #1 artist in the world today? ›

As of November 2022, The Weeknd has the most monthly listeners on Spotify for a male artist, and Taylor Swift has the most monthly listeners on Spotify for a female artist. Ed Sheeran is the most-followed male artist, and Ariana Grande is the most-followed female artist.

Who has made the biggest impact on music? ›

Most Influential Musicians: 30 Artists Who Changed Music Forever
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  • 6: Prince. ...
  • 5: Pink Floyd. ...
  • 4: Led Zeppelin. ...
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  • 2: The Beatles. The Beatles have always been, and remain, a phenomenon. ...
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12 May 2021

Who is the biggest artist in the world 2022? ›

With more than 52 million subscribers on YouTube, Ed Sheeran stands the number one in the list of most popular singers worldwide.

Who is the father of jazz? ›

Louis Armstrong was born in a poor section of New Orleans known as “the Battlefield” on August 4, 1901. By the time of his death in 1971, the man known around the world as Satchmo was widely recognized as a founding father of jazz—a uniquely American art form.

Who is considered the greatest of all jazz musicians? ›

Miles Davis, the trumpeter whose lyrical playing and ever-changing style made him a touchstone of 20th Century music, has been voted the greatest jazz artist of all time.

Who is the legendary father of jazz? ›

Bolden was considered one of the first jazz musicians. Because of the way he played his cornet. Sphere-headed the “Big Four” style in which there was emphasis on every other fourth beat. Buddy Bolden is often referred to as the “Founding Father” of jazz and as “King Bolden.”

How did jazz influence changes in society? ›

Jazz reinforces the role youth play for social change; Jazz encourages artistic innovation, improvisation, new forms of expression, and inclusion of traditional music forms into new ones; Jazz stimulates intercultural dialogue and empowers young people from marginalized societies.

What impact did jazz music have on society? ›

Cultural Importance

Everything from fashion and poetry to the Civil Rights movement was touched by its influence. The style of clothing changed to make it easier to dance along to jazz tunes. Even poetry evolved as a result of jazz, with jazz poetry becoming an emerging genre in the era.

How did jazz impact people's lives? ›

Not only was there greater recognition of the multicultural elements of America, jazz also allowed women an outlet to express themselves. The mediums of song, dance, and fashion that came with jazz changed the lives of Americans all around the country. It's a change that continues to exist even today.

Why is modern era music important? ›

Modern technological advances (especially mass media) have caused rapid changes in musical style, and expanded our knowledge of music from other cultures, further accelerating changes in musical taste while providing a wider range of music to listeners, composers and performers.

Why is music still important today? ›

Music can raise someone's mood, get them excited, or make them calm and relaxed. Music also - and this is important - allows us to feel nearly or possibly all emotions that we experience in our lives. The possibilities are endless.

How much has music influenced the way we think today? ›

Music is considered to be an essential part of our life. It has made a great impact on human nature and has immensely changed our thinking. In this art, one can see all the bitter and sweet events of nations and generations throughout history.

Why is jazz so important to modern American culture? ›

One of the greatest contributions of American culture to the world is Jazz music. It captures a variety of emotions and takes on the various European and African influences to create a form of music that is both an art form and an expression of the soul.

Why did jazz music become so popular? ›

Economic, political, and technological developments heightened the popularity of jazz music in the 1920s, a decade of unprecedented economic growth and prosperity in the United States. African Americans were highly influential in the music and literature of the 1920s.

What makes jazz music so special? ›

Jazz has all the elements that other music has: It has melody; that's the tune of the song, the part you're most likely to remember. It has harmony, the notes that make the melody sound fuller. It has rhythm, which is the heartbeat of the song. But what sets jazz apart is this cool thing called improvisation.

How is modern jazz different from old jazz? ›

The first and most obvious difference between modern jazz and the older more traditional stuff is the sound. Where older jazz forms sound more soft, soothing and generally melodious, modern jazz can be faster, and to some, harsher than its traditional counterpart.

What are the 3 main influences that resulted into jazz? ›

Its roots include many Afro-American folk music traditions, such as spirituals, work songs, and blues. It also borrowed from 19th century band music and the ragtime style of piano playing.

Where did modern jazz develop? ›

Jazz is a music genre that originated in the African-American communities of New Orleans, Louisiana in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, with its roots in blues and ragtime.

What was the first modern jazz style? ›

bebop, also called bop, the first kind of modern jazz, which split jazz into two opposing camps in the last half of the 1940s. The word is an onomatopoeic rendering of a staccato two-tone phrase distinctive in this type of music.

How popular is jazz music today? ›

Jazz accounts for just 1.1% of total sales, with a quarter of its sales coming from physical album sales. Compare that with R&B/hip-hop, which generates almost 28% of total sales and derives only 4% of its sales from physical albums (vs.

What helped jazz spread and gain popularity? ›

By the middle of the 19th century, jazz grew in popularity and its sound became influenced by musicians with formal training and classical backgrounds. In the late 1890s a musical style evolved from St Louis called Ragtime. Its popularity quickly spread to other parts of the United States.

Who is the father of modern jazz dance? ›

Both the Father of Jazz Dance Technique and the Father of Jazz Dance, Jack Cole worked to combine modern dance techniques with jazz style. Jack Cole was the first to create a set technique that was shown on stages and on the big screen during the 1940s and 1950s.

Who is the father of modern jazz improvisation? ›

One thing that distinguishes jazz music is its focus on improvisation. Louis Armstrong, a trumpet player from New Orleans and then Chicago, is considered the father of modern jazz improvisation. His trumpet solos were melodic and playful and filled with energy that could only result from being composed on the spot.

Who was the first real jazz musician? ›

Jelly Roll Morton became recognized as the first great jazz composer.

Who is known as the angry man of jazz? ›

Charles Mingus (1922–1979), American jazz double bassist, composer and bandleader, known for his often fearsome temperament.

Who is the grandfather of jazz? ›

In this #MomentofDiscovery, Nathaniel Newlin shares about the life of Scott Joplin, the king of ragtime. You can hear Joplin's popular tunes played on Mill Ridge at Discovery Park.

Who is the black king of jazz? ›

Amazon.com: Louis Armstrong: King of Jazz (African-American Biographies): 9780894909979: Old, Wendie C.: Books.

Who is the richest musician still alive? ›

Top 10 Richest Musicians in the World (2022)
PositionMusicianNet Worth
1Rihanna$1.4 Billion
2Jay-Z$1.3 Billion
3Paul McCartney$1.2 Billion
4Andrew Lloyd Webber$1.2 Billion
6 more rows
25 Oct 2022

Who is No 1 singer in World 2022? ›

In 2022, The Weeknd won the foremost 10 Billboard Music Awards, and 5 iHeartRadio Music Awards, including Top Artist of the Year, making him the most popular singer in the world. The 31-year-old is known for his works in the R&B and pop genres.

Who is considered the best musician ever? ›

In both versions of the list, the top three positions are held by the Beatles, Bob Dylan, and Elvis Presley; rounding out the top ten (in descending order) are the Rolling Stones, Chuck Berry, Jimi Hendrix, James Brown, Little Richard, Aretha Franklin, and Ray Charles.

Who is the mother of jazz? ›

The Mother of Jazz. Mary Lou Williams was the first woman to "make it" as a jazz musician and the first woman to start a record label . Born in 1910, she was a piano prodigy. By 7, she was playing professionally to help support her 10 siblings.

Who is the best selling jazz artist of all time? ›

Best-selling Jazz Albums of All Time (RIAA); or "There's No Money in Jazz"
11.Miles Davis Kind of Blue (1959) 4x Platinum October 7, 2008
22.Herbie Hancock Head Hunters (1973) Platinum November 21, 1986
Platinum November 21, 1986
33.Weather Report Heavy Weather (1977) Platinum September 5, 1991
Platinum September 5, 1991
71 more rows

› Blog ›

1. Louis Armstrong. · 2. Duke Ellington. · 3. Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie. · 4. Miles Davis. · 5. John Coltrane. · 6. ...
Jazz musicians like Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Miles Davis, Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald and Nina Simone made jazz into a major global phenomenon.
From the traditional to the spiritual and the really out-there, acclaimed performer Jamie Cullum picks his favourite jazz inspirations.

Who was an influential jazz singer? ›

Louis Armstrong

Jazz singer Louis Armstrong was one of the most influential artists of jazz music. His five-decade career included playing the cornet, singing catchy jazz hits, and appearing in Hollywood films.

Who was influential in jazz? ›

1: Miles Davis (1926-1991)

The Illinois-born Davis rose to fame as a disciple of the bebop revolutionaries Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie during the late 40s before becoming one of modern jazz's greatest bandleaders and creative forces.

Who is the best modern jazz pianist? ›

If you search for lists of the best jazz piano players, you'll almost always find Herbie Hancock. His innovative playing cuts across styles from bebop and modal jazz with Miles Davis to fusion with the Headhunters.

Who is considered the greatest of all jazz musicians? ›

Miles Davis, the trumpeter whose lyrical playing and ever-changing style made him a touchstone of 20th Century music, has been voted the greatest jazz artist of all time.

Which jazz musician is regarded as the most innovative? ›

Miles Davis was the most consistently innovative artist in Jazz history. Davis received his first big break with the Charlie Parker quintet, as a replacement for trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie.

Who is the father of jazz? ›

Louis Armstrong was born in a poor section of New Orleans known as “the Battlefield” on August 4, 1901. By the time of his death in 1971, the man known around the world as Satchmo was widely recognized as a founding father of jazz—a uniquely American art form.

What are the 3 main influences that resulted into jazz? ›

Its roots include many Afro-American folk music traditions, such as spirituals, work songs, and blues. It also borrowed from 19th century band music and the ragtime style of piano playing.

What were the biggest influences on the development of jazz? ›

Some of its elements can be traced to other cultures—its rhythmic accentuations and call-and-response patterns to Africa, its instrumentation and harmonies to Europe—but the synthesis is entirely American, rooted specifically in the earlier African American blues and ragtime styles.

Who are three influential jazz artists from the 1920s? ›

Some of the popular jazz artists during this era were Louis Armstrong, Jelly Roll Morton, and Ethel Waters while introducing musical styles like scat singing and playing with an orchestra.

Who is the queen of jazz music? ›

Ella Jane Fitzgerald (April 25, 1917 – June 15, 1996) was an American jazz singer, sometimes referred to as the "First Lady of Song", "Queen of Jazz", and "Lady Ella".

Who is the king of jazz of all time? ›

Louis Armstrong was known as the King of jazz, a trumpeter and singer who was one of the most influential figures in jazz music. Famous for his innovative methods of playing the trumpet and cornet, he was also a highly talented singer blessed with a powerful voice.

Who is the best jazz drummer today? ›

  • Brian Blade (b. 1970)
  • Eric Harland (b. 1976)
  • Allison Miller (b. 1975)
  • Bill Stewart (b. 1966)
  • Justin Faulkner (b. 1991)
  • Terri Lyne Carrington (b. 1965)
  • Marcus Gilmore (b. 1986)
  • Nasheet Waits (b. 1971)
21 Oct 2022

Why are jazz musicians so good? ›

Jazz musicians have practiced for thousands of hours honing their craft, and when they are improvising they are feeling just as much as thinking. The “thinking” comes more into part while practicing. The mind guides high level concepts, but muscle memory and strong intuition guide the hands.

What race listens to jazz the most? ›

Although jazz retains a multiracial audience, it enjoys particular support in the black community. More than half (54 percent) of the adult African American population reports liking jazz, compared with only a third (32 percent) of whites.

Who was the first jazz musician? ›

Buddy Bolden, Sidney Bechet, Bunk Johnson, Jellyroll Morton, Kid Ory, King Oliver… Historians generally point to Buddy Bolden, a cornet player, as the first jazz musician.

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