The Best Smooth Jazz Bands and Artists of All Time

8.9k votes 1.4k voters 246k views 187 items tags f p @
Combining elements of funk, R&B, funk, rock, pop, and yes, jazz - smooth jazz was wildly popular as a commercial subgenre of jazz. Smooth jazz artists also could be found adult contemporary radio and is called smooth because of its downtempo melody that carries the song. First emerging in the 1960s, smooth jazz works well as background music and wasn't necessarily as complex or innovative as traditional jazz music. Nevertheless, top jazz artists rose to prominence in the late 1980s before peaking in the 1990s and early 2000s. Though smooth, contemporary jazz isn't as big as it once was, it's impact can't be disputed and many famous jazz artists are considered to be some of the best musicians of modern time. 

So, who are the best smooth jazz artists of all time? Any list of smooth jazz musicians has to include names like Anita Baker, Dave Koz, Chris Botti, Al Jarreau and Norah Jones. These smooth jazz artists are among the most well known names in the genre and with good reason. Their smooth songs, accomplishments, and awards speak for themselves. It's likely when you think of contemporary jazz and smooth jazz, these are the top artists that come to mind.

That said, it's up to you to determine what are the best smooth jazz artists. If you're familiar with smooth jazz, please feel free to vote on this list of smooth jazz artists. If you notice new artists that are missing from this list, feel free to add them. This list answers the questions "who are the best smooth jazz bands of all time?" and "who is the greatest smooth jazz musician ever?" If you know enough about the genre, please vote based on the quality of the band's music instead of just voting for the most popular smooth jazz bands that you might've heard of. 
Collection Photo:  via wikimedia
  • 1 ReRank
    • Region
  • 2 See list ranked by
Z
G Options B Comments & Embed 2rerank list
  1. 1
    + 365
    - 88

    Synthpop, New Wave, Electro

    ;
  2. 2
    + 204
    - 35

    Smooth jazz, Funk

    ;
  3. 3
    + 225
    - 43

    Smooth jazz, Jazz

    ;
  4. 4
    + 181
    - 30

    Smooth jazz, Jazz fusion, Jazz

    ;
  5. 5
    + 202
    - 37

    Adult contemporary music, Smooth jazz, Jazz

    ;
  6. 6
    + 212
    - 41

    Crossover jazz, Smooth jazz, Jazz fusion

    ;
  7. 7
    + 166
    - 27

    Pop music, Rock music, Smooth jazz

    ;
  8. 8
    + 168
    - 28

    Crossover jazz, Sophisti-pop, Smooth jazz

    ;
  9. 9
    + 181
    - 32

    Smooth jazz, Jazz fusion

    ;
  10. 10
    + 157
    - 25

    Smooth jazz, Jazz fusion, Alternative rock

    ;
  11. 11
    + 75
    - 7

    added by slaft

    ;
  12. 12
    + 181
    - 36
    ;
  13. 13
    + 132
    - 21

    Jazz-funk, Pop music, Sophisti-pop

    ;
  14. 14
    + 148
    - 27

    Smooth jazz, Jazz fusion, Jazz

    ;
  15. 15
    + 119
    - 20

    Smooth jazz, Jazz fusion, Easy listening

    ;
  16. 16
    + 152
    - 33

    Disco, Rock music, Black metal

    ;
  17. 17
    + 145
    - 31

    Adult contemporary music, Quiet storm, Smooth jazz

    ;
  18. 18
    + 96
    - 14

    Pop music, Rock music, Smooth jazz

    ;
  19. 19
    + 133
    - 28

    Christian music, Pop music, Smooth jazz

    ;
  20. 20
    + 157
    - 39

    Smooth jazz, Jazz fusion, Latin jazz

    ;
  21. 21
    + 106
    - 18

    Crossover jazz, Sophisti-pop, Smooth jazz

    ;
  22. 22
    + 120
    - 25

    Smooth jazz, Jazz

    ;
  23. 23
    + 117
    - 24

    New Age music, Smooth jazz, Instrumental

    ;
  24. 24
    + 130
    - 34

    Jazz rap, Avant-garde jazz, Jazz-funk

    ;
  25. 25
    + 99
    - 19

    Smooth jazz

    ;
  26. 26
    + 98
    - 19

    Nu jazz, Jazz-funk, Pop music

    ;
  27. 27
    + 99
    - 23
    Hiroshima is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Smooth Jazz Bands and Artists of All Time

    Smooth jazz, Jazz fusion, Jazz

  28. 28
    + 82
    - 18

    Smooth jazz, Jazz fusion, Rhythm and blues

    ;
  29. 29
    + 82
    - 19

    Blue-eyed soul, Quiet storm, Smooth jazz

    ;
  30. 30
    + 91
    - 26

    New Age music, Smooth jazz, Jazz fusion

    ;
  31. 31
    + 80
    - 21
    Gregg Karukas is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Smooth Jazz Bands and Artists of All Time

    Smooth jazz

  32. 32
    + 132
    - 51

    Adult contemporary music, Smooth jazz

    ;
  33. 33
    + 74
    - 18

    Smooth jazz, Jazz fusion, Jazz

    ;
  34. 34
    + 65
    - 14

    Smooth jazz, Jazz

    ;
  35. 35
    + 69
    - 18

    Smooth jazz

    ;
  36. 36
    + 92
    - 32

    Vocal jazz, Jazz blues, Jazz fusion

    ;
  37. 37
    + 61
    - 14

    Jazz-funk, Smooth jazz, Rhythm and blues

    ;
  38. 38
    + 83
    - 28

    Hip hop music, Adult contemporary music, Contemporary R&B

    ;
  39. 39
    + 55
    - 11

    Smooth jazz

    ;
  40. 40
    + 48
    - 8

    Crossover jazz, Jazz-funk, Acid jazz

    ;
  41. 41
    + 65
    - 19

    Nu jazz, Smooth jazz, Funk

    ;
  42. 42
    + 61
    - 18

    Jazz-funk, Smooth jazz, Jazz fusion

    ;
  43. 43
    + 49
    - 11

    Adult contemporary music, Disco, Lounge music

    ;
  44. 44
    + 54
    - 15

    Kozmigroov, Fusion, Avant-garde jazz

    ;
  45. 45
    + 27
    - 3

    added by StefSmith
    Pop music, Rhythm and blues, Jazz

    ;
  46. 46
    + 27
    - 3

    added by John Mark

    ;
  47. 47
    + 55
    - 16

    Smooth jazz, Latin jazz, Jazz

    ;
  48. 48
    + 40
    - 10

    Crossover jazz, Hard bop, Smooth jazz

    ;
  49. 49
    + 49
    - 17

    Adult contemporary music, Smooth jazz, Jazz

    ;
  50. 50
    + 48
    - 17

    Pop music, Smooth jazz, Soul music

    ;
188 +

Something missing? Add it!

1 - 50 of 187

L List Options 2 Rerank List B Comments & Embed z Share Next List >