Person List of Famous Jazz Musicians

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List of famous jazz musicians, with photos, bios, and other information when available. Who are the top jazz musicians in the world? This includes the most prominent jazz musicians, living and dead, both in America and abroad. This list of notable jazz musicians is ordered by their level of prominence, and can be sorted for various bits of information, such as where these historic jazz musicians were born and what their nationality is. The people on this list are from different countries, but what they all have in common is that they're all renowned jazz musicians.

List features John Coltrane, Herbie Hancock and more.

From reputable, prominent, and well known jazz musicians to the lesser known jazz musicians of today, these are some of the best professionals in the jazz musician field. If you want to answer the questions, "Who are the most famous jazz musicians ever?" and "What are the names of famous jazz musicians?" then you're in the right place. (101 items)
Collection Photo:  via wikimedia
List Photo: Freebase
Herbie Hancock is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list List of Famous Jazz Musicians
Photo: Freebase/CC-BY-SA-2.0

Herbert Jeffrey "Herbie" Hancock is an American pianist, keyboardist, bandleader and composer. Starting his career with jazz legend Donald Byrd, he shortly thereafter joined the Miles Davis Quintet where Hancock helped to redefine the role of a jazz rhythm section and was one of the primary ...more

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Age: 75

Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States of America

Profession: Film Score Composer, Jazz Pianist, Songwriter, Pianist Musician, + more

Credits: Donnie Brasco, Zoolander, Office Space, Death Wish

Also Ranked

#587 on The Best Rock Bands of All Time

#411 on The Greatest Musical Artists of the '80s

#5 on The Best Organists in Rock and Jazz Today

#64 on The Best Hard Bop Bands

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John Coltrane is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list List of Famous Jazz Musicians
Photo: Freebase

John William Coltrane, also known as "Trane", was an American jazz saxophonist and composer. Working in the bebop and hard bop idioms early in his career, Coltrane helped pioneer the use of modes in jazz and was later at the forefront of free jazz. He organized at least fifty recording sessions as a ...more

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Age: Died at 41 (1926-1967)

Birthplace: Hamlet, North Carolina, United States of America

Profession: Songwriter, Saxophonist, Musician, Bandleader Composer

Credits: Malcolm X, Zodiac, Kids, Vanilla Sky

Also Ranked

#104 on The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time

#278 on Musicians Who Belong in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

#1 on The Greatest Saxophonists of All Time

#500 on The Best Rock Bands of All Time

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Dizzy Gillespie is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list List of Famous Jazz Musicians
Photo: Freebase/GNU Free Documentation License

John Birks "Dizzy" Gillespie was an American jazz trumpeter, bandleader, composer and occasional singer. AllMusic's Scott Yanow wrote, "Dizzy Gillespie's contributions to jazz were huge. One of the greatest jazz trumpeters of all time, Gillespie was such a complex player that his contemporaries ...more

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Age: Died at 76 (1917-1993)

Birthplace: Cheraw, South Carolina, United States of America

Profession: Film Score Composer, Musician, Bandleader, Actor Composer, + more

Credits: Stormy Weather, The Cool World, The Cosmic Eye, Jivin' in Be-Bop My Universe Inside Out, + more

Also Ranked

#3 on The Greatest Trumpeters of All Time

#11 on The Best Jazz Musicians/Artists

#59 on Famous Jazz Trumpeters

#1 on The Best Afro-Cuban Jazz Bands/Artists

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Thelonious Monk is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list List of Famous Jazz Musicians
Photo: Freebase

Thelonious Sphere Monk was an American jazz pianist and composer. Monk had a unique improvisational style and made numerous contributions to the standard jazz repertoire, including "'Round Midnight," "Blue Monk," "Ruby, My Dear," "In Walked Bud," and "Well, You Needn't". Monk is the second-most ...more

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Age: Died at 65 (1917-1982)

Birthplace: Rocky Mount, North Carolina, United States of America

Profession: Pianist, Musician, Composer

Credits: Se7en, American Hustle, Die Hard: With a Vengeance, The Score

Also Ranked

#324 on The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time

#989 on The Best Rock Bands of All Time

#13 on The Best Hard Bop Bands

#4 on The Greatest Jazz Pianists of All Time

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Tom Noonan is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list List of Famous Jazz Musicians
Photo: Freebase/CC-BY

Tom Noonan is a film score composer, voice actor, film editor and producer. ...more

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Age: 64

Birthplace: Greenwich, Connecticut, United States of America

Profession: Film Score Composer, Film Producer, Screenwriter, Film Editor Actor, + more

Credits: Heat, RoboCop 2, Manhunter, The Monster Squad Hell on Wheels, + more

Also Ranked

#91 on Famous People Named Tom & Thomas

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Charles Lloyd is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list List of Famous Jazz Musicians
Photo: Freebase/CC-BY-2.5

Charles Lloyd is an American jazz musician. Though he primarily plays tenor saxophone and flute, he has occasionally recorded on other reed instruments, including alto saxophone and the Hungarian tárogató. Lloyd's working band since 2007 features pianist Jason Moran, bassist Reuben Rogers, and ...more

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Age: 77

Birthplace: Memphis, Tennessee, United States of America

Profession: Musician, Flautist, Jazz Musician

Also Ranked

#141 on The Greatest Saxophonists of All Time

#54 on Famous Saxophonists

#76 on Famous Jazz Saxophonists

#80 on Celebrities Who Practice Transcendental Meditation

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Sheryl Bailey is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list List of Famous Jazz Musicians
Photo: Freebase

Sheryl Bailey is an American jazz guitarist and educator based in New York City. She has released six albums. ...more

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Age: 49

Profession: Guitarist, Teacher, Jazz Musician

Also Ranked

#241 on The Most Famous Jazz Guitar Players

#99 on The Best Bebop Artists of All Time

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Avery Brooks is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list List of Famous Jazz Musicians
Photo: Freebase/Public domain

Avery Franklin Brooks is an American actor, director and occasional singer. Brooks is best known for his television roles as Benjamin Sisko on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, as Hawk on Spenser for Hire and its spinoff A Man Called Hawk, and as Dr. Bob Sweeney in the Academy Award-nominated film ...more

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Age: 67

Birthplace: Evansville, Center Township, Indiana, United States of America

Profession: Opera Singer, Television director, Professor, Actor Artistic Director, + more

Credits: American History X, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, 15 Minutes, The Big Hit Spenser: For Hire, + more

Also Ranked

#93 on The Greatest Black Actors in Film History

#7 on Famous People Whose Last Name Is Brooks

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