Jazz The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists  

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34.8k votes 2.3k voters 46.4k views 231 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.

1
668 115
Art Tatum is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Art Tatum Stride, Jazz

2
436 302
Charlie Parker is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Charlie Parker Jazz, Bebop

3
574 185
Buddy Rich is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
looksharp added Buddy Rich Swing music, Big band, Jazz

4
491 406
John Coltrane is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
John Coltrane Avant-garde jazz, Hard bop, Post-bop

5
610 144
Joe Pass is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Joe Pass Hard bop, Jazz, Bebop

6
544 444
Miles Davis is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Miles Davis Jazz rap, Avant-garde jazz, Jazz-funk

7
510 359
Louis Armstrong is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Louis Armstrong Swing music, Traditional pop music, Jazz

8
465 205
Dizzy Gillespie is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Dizzy Gillespie Afro-Cuban jazz, Jazz, Bebop

9
439 416
Duke Ellington is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Duke Ellington Orchestral jazz, Swing music, Big band

10
470 180
Django Reinhardt is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Django Reinhardt Swing music, Romani music, Gypsy jazz

11
353 115
Lionel Hampton is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
looksharp added Lionel Hampton Swing music, Big band

12
361 308
Ella Fitzgerald is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Ella Fitzgerald Ballad, Swing music, Traditional pop music

13
348 296
Billie Holiday is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Billie Holiday Torch song, Ballad, Swing music

14
423 200
Coleman Hawkins is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Coleman Hawkins Swing music, Bebop

15
374 242
Wes Montgomery is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Wes Montgomery Crossover jazz, Hard bop, Smooth jazz

16
320 338
Thelonious Monk is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Thelonious Monk Stride, Cool jazz, Hard bop

17
318 117
Ray Brown is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
looksharp added Ray Brown Jazz

18
441 265
Oscar Peterson is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
looksharp added Oscar Peterson Third stream, Hard bop, Jazz

19
268 244
Count Basie is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Count Basie Swing music, Big band, Piano blues

20
325 223
Bill Evans is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Bill Evans Cool jazz, Third stream, Hard bop

21
385 238
Charles Mingus is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Charles Mingus Orchestral jazz, Avant-garde jazz, Third stream

22
234 126
Bud Powell is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Zaliste added Bud Powell Jazz, Bebop

23
319 138
Sonny Rollins is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Sonny Rollins Hard bop, Jazz

24
253 250
Nat King Cole is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Nat King Cole Jump blues, Swing music, Traditional pop music

25
365 196
Freddie Hubbard is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Ferry73 added Freddie Hubbard Hard bop, Post-bop, Jazz

26
232 135
Artie Shaw is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Artie Shaw Swing music, Big band

27
368 118
Art Blakey is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Art Blakey Hard bop, Jazz, Bebop

28
312 138
Clifford Brown is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Zaliste added Clifford Brown Hard bop, Jazz, Bebop

29
223 223
Benny Goodman is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Benny Goodman Swing music, Big band, Jazz

30
348 161
Cannonball Adderley is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Ferry73 added Cannonball Adderley Hard bop, Jazz fusion, Jazz

31
251 125
Gene Krupa is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
looksharp added Gene Krupa Swing music, Big band, Jazz

32
328 149
Lester Young is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists

33
290 127
Jaco Pastorius is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
looksharp added Jaco Pastorius Kozmigroov, Jazz-funk, Folk jazz

34
248 218
Chet Baker is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Ferry73 added Chet Baker West Coast jazz

35
270 120
Ron Carter is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
slaft added Ron Carter Orchestral jazz, Avant-garde jazz, Third stream

36
284 229
Herbie Hancock is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Herbie Hancock Kozmigroov, Jazz-funk, Electro

37
277 190
Dave Brubeck is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Dave Brubeck Cool jazz, Third stream, Jazz

38
202 104
McCoy Tyner is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
slaft added McCoy Tyner Third stream, Hard bop, Post-bop

39
289 170
Max Roach is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Max Roach Hard bop, Jazz, Bebop

40
289 204
Stan Getz is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Stan Getz Cool jazz, Jazz, West Coast jazz

41
295 149
Dexter Gordon is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Dexter Gordon Swing music, Hard bop, Jazz

42
187 103
Chick Corea is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Chick Corea Kozmigroov, Fusion, Avant-garde jazz

43
251 148
George Benson is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
slaft added George Benson Pop music, Rhythm and blues, Jazz

44
266 165
Wynton Marsalis is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Wynton Marsalis Classical music, Post-bop, Jazz

45
138 140
Dinah Washington is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Dinah Washington Traditional pop music, Vocal jazz, Rhythm and blues

46
125 63
Ray Charles is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Ferry73 added Ray Charles Soul blues, Pop music, Rock music

47
239 191
Ornette Coleman is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Ornette Coleman Avant-garde jazz, Jazz fusion, Free funk

48
263 151
Wayne Shorter is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
slaft added Wayne Shorter Crossover jazz, Third stream, Hard bop

49
227 140
Lee Morgan is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
ulicain added Lee Morgan Hard bop, Jazz, Bebop

50
136 72
Paul Chambers is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Paul Chambers Hard bop, Jazz, Bebop