Music

The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists 

Ranker Music
Originally by
Updated January 27, 2020 91.2k votes 3.9k voters 72.8k views 251 items

List Rules Only artists who are known primarily as jazz musicians

Jazz artists list, with photos, ranked best to worst by votes. List of good jazz bands includes a filter so you can sort by the groups’s label and what albums they've put out. This list of the top jazz bands in the world includes all musicians who have released recordings that have gotten distribution, and is an up-to-date list. If available, you can also see information about where all jazz bands on this list got started. These are truly the greatest jazz bands of all time, since the most famous jazz artists ever are listed, and the order is decided by actual fans of the best jazz music. You can click on the jazz band names to see more information about that particular notable jazz group. If they're near the top of the best jazz artist list, though, then they should have at least some information available. All the top jazz bands named on the list also have discographies on their pages if you click on the jazz band names themselves. Louis Armstrong and Miles Davis are a great starting point for your to rank your favorites on this list Make sure to upvote your favorite artists to see them get to the top of the list. Are you one of those people that doesn't like Thelonious Monk or Duke Ellington? Then vote those things down to have your voice heard.All important, significant and iconic names in 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 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 jazz, as well as a good place to start if you're asking yourself, or friends, exactly how to get into 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 jazz bands with which to start out. No point in listening to them if they aren't actually good or even half-way decent jazz bands.This list answers the questions "who are the best jazz bands of all time?" and "who is the greatest 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 jazz bands that you might've heard of, but not really listened to closely enough to cast an informed vote.Don't forget to share this list on your social networks so that more great artists can hit the top ranks.

list ordered by
1
Art Tatum is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Genre: Stride and Jazz; Nationality: United States of America
2
Oscar Peterson is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
looksharp added Genre: Third stream, Hard bop & Jazz; Nationality: Canada
3
Buddy Rich is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
looksharp added Genre: Swing music, Big band & Jazz; Nationality: United States of America
4
Django Reinhardt is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Genre: Swing music, Romani music & Gypsy jazz; Nationality: Belgium
5
Joe Pass is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Genre: Hard bop, Jazz & Bebop; Nationality: United States of America
6
Wes Montgomery is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Genre: Crossover jazz, Hard bop & Smooth jazz; Nationality: United States of America
7
Coleman Hawkins is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Genre: Swing music and Bebop; Nationality: United States of America
8
Lionel Hampton is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
looksharp added Genre: Swing music and Big band; Nationality: United States of America
9
Sonny Rollins is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Genre: Hard bop and Jazz; Nationality: United States of America
10
Art Blakey is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Genre: Hard bop, Jazz & Bebop; Nationality: United States of America
11
Dexter Gordon is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Genre: Swing music, Hard bop & Jazz; Nationality: United States of America
12
Dizzy Gillespie is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Genre: Afro-Cuban jazz, Jazz & Bebop; Nationality: United States of America
13
Ray Brown is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
looksharp added Genre: Jazz; Nationality: United States of America
14
Gene Krupa is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
looksharp added Genre: Swing music, Big band & Jazz; Nationality: United States of America
15
Freddie Hubbard is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Ferry73 added Genre: Hard bop, Post-bop & Jazz; Nationality: United States of America
16
Ella Fitzgerald is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Genre: Ballad, Swing music & Traditional pop music; Nationality: United States of America
17
Louis Armstrong is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Genre: Swing music, Traditional pop music & Jazz; Nationality: United States of America
18
Artie Shaw is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Genre: Swing music and Big band; Nationality: United States of America
19
Billie Holiday is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Genre: Torch song, Ballad & Swing music; Nationality: United States of America
20
Clifford Brown is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Zaliste added Genre: Hard bop, Jazz & Bebop; Nationality: United States of America
21
Charlie Parker is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Genre: Jazz and Bebop; Nationality: United States of America
22
Lester Young is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Genre: Jazz; Nationality: United States of America
23
Clark Terry is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Genre: Swing music, Hard bop & Jazz; Nationality: United States of America
24
Cannonball Adderley is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Ferry73 added Genre: Hard bop, Jazz fusion & Jazz; Nationality: United States of America
25
Dave Brubeck is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Genre: Cool jazz, Third stream & Jazz; Nationality: United States of America