The Best Afro Jazz Musicians

Over 90 Ranker voters have come together to rank this list of The Best Afro Jazz Musicians

Afro-jazz artists list, with photos, ranked best to worst by votes. List of good afro-jazz musicians includes a filter so you can sort by the groups’s label and what albums they've put out. This list of the top afro-jazz bands in the world includes all musicians who have released recordings that have gotten distribution, and is an up-to-date list. Afro-jazz groups and artists are shown below along with any additional genres in which their music belongs. If available, you can also see information about where all afro-jazz bands on this list got started. These are truly the greatest afro-jazz bands of all time, since the most famous afro-jazz artists ever are listed, and the order is decided by actual fans of the best afro-jazz music.

You can click on the afro-jazz band names to see more information about that particular notable afro-jazz group. If they're near the top of the best afro-jazz artist list, though, then they should have at least some information available. All the top afro-jazz bands named on the list also have discographies on their pages if you click on the afro-jazz band names themselves.

List artists include Lelio La Tanza, Ngonidzashe Kambarami and many more. The list order changes if enough people vote for the right artists, so cast your vote now. If you don't like Voodoogang or Guy Warren, then give them a thumbs down.

All important, significant and iconic names in afro-jazz music history deserve your votes, so make sure to choose wisely. You can only vote once on this list.

The list includes all new afro-jazz bands, and if there are any missing on the list, you can always add them yourself. Just make sure they aren't already on the list and check your spelling, because this is already an accurate compilation of the best examples of afro-jazz, as well as a good place to start if you're asking yourself, or friends, exactly how to get into afro-jazz music. Especially since the bands at the top of the list will at the very least be the best choices if you're looking for a list of good afro-jazz bands with which to start out. No point in listening to them if they aren't actually good or even half-way decent afro-jazz bands.

This list answers the questions "who are the best afro-jazz bands of all time?" and "who is the greatest afro-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 afro-jazz bands that you might've heard of, but not really listened to closely enough to cast an informed vote.

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  • Victor Kunonga (born October 25, 1974) is a Zimbabwean award-winning afro-jazz singer and songwriter. Though having come to light only in 2004, Victor quickly rose to fame with his first two albums and was a household name by 2007.
    • Genres (Music): Afro-jazz
    • Nationality: Zimbabwe
  • 2
    12 votes
    Louis Mhlanga (born 10 November 1956) is a Zimbabwean artist based in South Africa, an award-winning guitarist and producer. Mhlanga taught himself playing the guitar at a young age and is considered one of the best Southern African guitarists. Mhlanga's career began in the 1970s. Fronting many bands in Zimbabwe, he mixed American and Zimbabwean influences into his music. Mhlanga became renowned for his guitar skills, and worked with Zimbabwean acts such as Shaka, Talking Drum, Ilanga, Mudzimu, and Oliver Mtukudzi. Louis eventually headed to South Africa to pursue different musical opportunities, leading to collaborations with renowned South African artists such as Miriam Makeba, Hugh Masekela, Ray Phiri, Sipho Mabuse, Mlunhgisi Gegane, and Busi Mhlongo.
    • Genres (Music): Afro-jazz
    • Albums: Live at the Bassline
    • Nationality: Zimbabwe
  • Cheick Tidiane Seck (born December 11, 1953) is a Malian musician, arranger and composer. He has written for and played with world-famous African (Fela Kuti, Mory Kanté, Salif Keita, Youssou N'Dour) and jazz (Hank Jones, Dee Dee Bridgewater) bands as well as musician Damon Albarn (Gorillaz and Rocket Juice & the Moon) and Mamadou Diabate (Masaba Kan).
    • Genres (Music): Music of Africa, Afro-jazz, Jazz
    • Albums: Sarala
    • Nationality: Mali
  • The Orkestra Rumpilezz is an orchestra of percussion and brass created in 2006 by Letieres Leite. The group's first album won the Bravo! Award for Best Popular Album of the Year 2010 and the Brazilian Music Award in the categories Best New Artist and Best Instrumental Group. It's about a group of instrumental folk music in which music is attributed to the ancestral music from Bahia in a harmonic modern garb, percussion with African roots and under the influence of modern jazz. Both compositions and arrangements are conceived from drawings and rhythm of the claves from the percussive universe of Bahia - inspired in large associations such as the percussive Ile Aiye, Olodum, Sambas Recôncavo, among others - with the influence of Candomblé. The Orchestra consists of five musicians in the percussion and 14 brass musicians. Important names of world music already attended concerts of the Orkestra Rumpilezz: Carlinhos Brown, Ed Motta, Stanley Jordan, Toninho Horta, David Moraes and others.
    • Genres (Music): Pop music, Afro-jazz, Samba, Jazz, Instrumental
  • Guy Warren
    Photo: user uploaded image
    7 votes
    Guy Warren of Ghana, also known as Kofi Ghanaba (4 May 1923 – 22 December 2008), was a Ghanaian musician, best known as the inventor of Afro-jazz — "the reuniting of African-American jazz with its African roots" — and as a member of The Tempos, alongside E. T. Mensah. He also inspired musicians such as Fela Kuti. Warren's virtuosity on the African drums earned him the appellation "The Divine Drummer". At different stages of his life, he also worked as a journalist, DJ and broadcaster.
    • Genres (Music): Music of Africa, Afro-jazz, Smooth jazz, Jazz
  • Ngonidzashe Kambarami (born 19 October 1983), popularly known as Ngonie, is a Zimbabwean musician who has produced three albums to date: Ndinoimba, Angu Mashoko, and idenderedzwa. His debut song "Ndiwe Chete" launched his music career in 2002, leading to the release of his first album.
    • Genres (Music): Ragga, Afro-jazz, Rhythm and blues, Jazz, Soul music
    • Albums: Angu Mashoko, Ndinoimba
    • Nationality: Zimbabwe