Famous Female Jazz Pianists People

Famous Female Jazz Pianists

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List of famous female jazz pianists, listed by their level of prominence with photos when available. This greatest female jazz pianists list contains the most prominent and top females known for being jazz pianists. There are thousand of females working as jazz pianists in the world, but this list highlights only the most notable ones. Historic jazz pianists have worked hard to become the best that they can be, so if you're a female aspiring to be a jazz pianist then the people below should give you inspiration.

List people include Aki Takase, Sweet Emma Barrett and many more.

While this isn't a list of all female jazz pianists, it does answer the questions "Who are the most famous female jazz pianists?" and "Who are the best female jazz pianists?"

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  1. 1

    Geetali Norah Jones Shankar, widely known as Norah Jones, is an American singer-songwriter, musician and actress. She is a daughter of an American, Sue Jones, and Indian sitar virtuoso Ravi Shankar. She is Anoushka Shankar's half-sister. In 2002, Norah Jones launched her solo music career with the ...more

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    • Age: age 36
    • Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States of America
    • Profession: Jazz Pianist, Musician, Singer-songwriter, Actor, Singer, + more
    • Credits: Two Weeks Notice, They Came Together, My Blueberry Nights, Life. Support. Music., We Are the Future, + more
  2. 2
    Skylar Grey
    Photo: Freebase/Fair use

    Holly Brook Hafermann, who goes by the stage name Skylar Grey, is an American singer and songwriter from Mazomanie, Wisconsin. In 2004, under the moniker Holly Brook, at the age of 17, she signed a publishing deal with Universal Music Publishing Group and a recording contract with Linkin Park’s Warner ...more

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    • Age: age 29
    • Birthplace: Mazomanie, Wisconsin, United States of America
    • Profession: Record producer, Jazz Pianist, Songwriter, Musician, Singer-songwriter, + more
  3. 3

    Nina Simone was an American singer, songwriter, pianist, arranger, and civil rights activist. She worked in a broad range of musical styles including classical, jazz, blues, folk, R&B, gospel, and pop. The sixth child of a preacher's family in North Carolina, Simone aspired to be a concert pianist. Her ...more

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    • Age: Died at 70 (1933-2003)
    • Birthplace: Tryon, North Carolina, United States of America
    • Profession: Jazz Pianist, Songwriter, Pianist, Singer
    • Credits: Sharkwater, Rwanda pour mémoire, Nina Simone: Live at Montreux 1976, A Nightingale Sang: Tribute to Nat King Cole, Nina Simone: Live, + more
  4. 4

    Diana Jean Krall, OC, OBC is a Canadian jazz pianist and singer, known for her contralto vocals. She has sold more than 6 million albums in the US and over 15 million worldwide. On December 11, 2009, Billboard magazine named her the second Jazz artist of the 2000–09 decade, establishing her as one of ...more

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    • Age: age 51
    • Birthplace: Nanaimo, Canada
    • Profession: Record producer, Jazz Pianist, Songwriter, Actor, Composer, + more
    • Credits: Public Enemies, De-Lovely, Tony Bennett: An American Classic, Piano Grand: A Smithsonian Celebration, 42nd Grammy Awards, + more
  5. 5

    Alice Coltrane, née McLeod was an American jazz pianist, organist, harpist, and composer, and the second wife of jazz saxophonist and composer John Coltrane. One of the few harpists in the history of jazz, she recorded many albums as a bandleader, beginning in the late 1960s and early 1970s for Impulse!more

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    • Age: Died at 70 (1937-2007)
    • Birthplace: Detroit, Michigan, United States of America
    • Profession: Jazz Pianist, Sideman, Bandleader, Harpist, Composer, + more
    • Credits: The Dancing Soul of the Walking People
  6. 6

    Helen Sung is an American jazz pianist.more

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    • Birthplace: Houston, Texas, United States of America
    • Profession: Jazz Pianist, Pianist
  7. 7
    Nancy Walker
    Photo: Freebase/Public domain

    Nancy Walker was an American actress and comedienne of stage, screen, and television. She was also a film and television director. During her five-decade long career, she may be best remembered for her long-running roles as Mildred on McMillan & Wife and Ida Morgenstern, who first appeared on several ...more

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    • Age: Died at 70 (1922-1992)
    • Birthplace: USA, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
    • Profession: Jazz Pianist, Actor, Film Director
    • Credits: The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Murder by Death, Rhoda, Family Affair, Can't Stop the Music, + more
  8. 8

    Patrice Louise Rushen is an American composer, record producer, multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, music director and vocalist. Her 1982 single, "Forget Me Nots", received a Grammy Award nomination for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance. Rushen had great success on the R&B and dance charts, but "Forget ...more

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    • Age: age 61
    • Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States of America
    • Profession: Record producer, Jazz Pianist, Songwriter, Pianist, Musician, + more
    • Credits: Cora Unashamed, Our America, Monterey Jazz Festival: 40 Legendary Years
  9. 9

    Geri Allen is an American composer, educator, and jazz pianist, raised in Detroit, Michigan, and educated in the Detroit Public Schools. Allen has worked with many of the greats of modern music, including Ornette Coleman, Ron Carter, Ravi Coltrane, Tony Williams, Dave Holland, Jack DeJohnette, Betty ...more

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    • Age: age 58
    • Birthplace: Pontiac, Michigan, United States of America
    • Profession: Record producer, Jazz Pianist, Pianist, Professor, Musician, + more
  10. 10
    Diane Schuur
    Photo: Freebase/Public domain

    Diane Schuur is an American jazz singer and pianist. Nicknamed "Deedles", she has won two Grammy Awards, headlined many of the world's most prestigious music venues, including Carnegie Hall and The White House and has toured the world performing with such greats as Quincy Jones, Stan Getz, B. B. King, ...more

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    • Age: age 62
    • Birthplace: USA, Tacoma, Washington
    • Profession: Jazz Pianist, Musician, Singer
    • Credits: GRP All-Stars: Live from the Record Planet, Diane Schuur & the Count Basie Orchestra, Voices of Concord Jazz: Live at Montreux, Diane Schuur: Live from Seattle
  11. 11

    Mary Lou Williams was an American jazz pianist, composer, and arranger. She wrote hundreds of compositions and arrangements, and recorded more than one hundred records. Williams wrote and arranged for such bandleaders as Duke Ellington and Benny Goodman, and she was friend, mentor, and teacher to ...more

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    • Age: Died at 71 (1910-1981)
    • Birthplace: Atlanta, Georgia, United States of America
    • Profession: Jazz Pianist, Pianist, Bandleader, Composer
    • Credits: Norman Granz' Jazz in Montreux: Mary Lou Williams '78
  12. 12

    Sarah Jane Cion

    Sarah Jane Cion, also known by her pen name Sally Shields, is an American jazz musician, author and pianist.more

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    • Profession: Jazz Pianist
  13. 13

    Margaret Marian McPartland, OBE, was an English-American jazz pianist, composer and writer. She was the host of Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz on National Public Radio from 1978 to 2011. After her marriage to trumpeter Jimmy McPartland in February 1945, she resided in the United States when not ...more

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    • Age: Died at 95 (1918-2013)
    • Birthplace: Slough, United Kingdom
    • Profession: Jazz Pianist, Radio personality, Composer, Writer
    • Credits: A Great Day in Harlem, Art Tatum: The Art of Jazz Piano, Jazzscapes: Music with a View: Into the Evening
  14. 14
    Shirley Horn
    Photo: Freebase/Public domain

    Shirley Valerie Horn was an American jazz singer and pianist. Horn collaborated with many jazz greats including Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, Toots Thielemans, Ron Carter, Carmen McRae, Wynton Marsalis and others. She was most noted for her ability to accompany herself with nearly incomparable ...more

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    • Age: Died at 71 (1934-2005)
    • Birthplace: Washington, D.C., United States of America
    • Profession: Jazz Pianist, Musician, Singer
    • Credits: Antonio Carlos Jobim: An All-Star Tribute, Shirley Horn: Live at the Village Vanguard, Ella Fitzgerald: The Legendary First Lady of Song, Tim Festival 2003
  15. 15

    Patricia Barber is an American jazz and blues singer, pianist, songwriter, and bandleader. She was awarded Guggenheim Fellowship in 2003 in Creative Arts - Music Composition field.more

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    • Age: age 60
    • Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States of America
    • Profession: Jazz Pianist, Songwriter, Musician, Bandleader, Singer
  16. 16
    Lil Hardin Armstrong
    Photo: Freebase/Public domain

    Lil Hardin Armstrong was a jazz pianist, composer, arranger, singer, and bandleader, and the second wife of Louis Armstrong with whom she collaborated on many recordings in the 1920s. Hardin's compositions include "Struttin' With Some Barbecue", "Don't Jive Me", "Two Deuces", "Knee Drops", "Doin' the ...more

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    • Age: Died at 73 (1898-1971)
    • Birthplace: Memphis, Tennessee, United States of America
    • Profession: Arranger, Jazz Pianist, Musician, Bandleader, Composer, + more
  17. 17
    Eliane Elias
    Photo: Jason Hickey

    Eliane Elias is a Brazilian jazz pianist, singer, arranger and songwriter.more

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    • Age: age 55
    • Birthplace: São Paulo, Brazil
    • Profession: Arranger, Jazz Pianist, Songwriter, Pianist, Composer, + more
    • Credits: Piano Grand: A Smithsonian Celebration, Steps Ahead: Copenhagen Live
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    Toshiko Akiyoshi is a Japanese jazz composer/arranger and bandleader. She has received 14 Grammy nominations, and she was the first woman to win the Best Arranger and Composer awards in Down Beat magazine's Readers Poll. In 1984, she was the subject of a documentary film titled Jazz Is My Native ...more

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    • Age: age 86
    • Birthplace: Liaoyang, China
    • Profession: Jazz Pianist, Pianist, Bandleader, Composer
  19. 19
    Renee Rosnes
    Photo: Freebase/CC-BY

    Irene Louise Rosnes, professionally known as Renee Rosnes, is a Canadian pianist, composer and arranger in the hard bop and post-bop mediums.more

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    • Age: age 53
    • Birthplace: Regina, Canada
    • Profession: Arranger, Jazz Pianist, Pianist, Musician, Composer
  20. 20
    Keiko Matsui
    Photo: Freebase/Public domain

    Keiko Matsui, born in Tokyo, Japan as Keiko Doi, is a Japanese keyboardist and composer, specializing in smooth jazz, jazz fusion and new-age music. Her career spans four decades, during which time she has released twenty CDs and has received international acclaim. She resides in Los Angeles, ...more

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    • Age: age 54
    • Birthplace: Tokyo, Japan
    • Profession: Jazz Pianist, Composer, Keyboard player
    • Credits: Keiko Matsui: The Jazz Channel Presents: BET on Jazz
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