Jazz The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists  

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38.7k votes 2.5k voters 50.9k views 232 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
749 127
Art Tatum is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Stride, Jazz

2
640 207
Buddy Rich is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
looksharp added Swing music, Big band, Jazz

3
678 158
Joe Pass is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Hard bop, Jazz, Bebop

4
456 368
Charlie Parker is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Jazz, Bebop

5
519 473
John Coltrane is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Avant-garde jazz, Hard bop, Post-bop

6
536 423
Louis Armstrong is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Swing music, Traditional pop music, Jazz

7
573 507
Miles Davis is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Jazz rap, Avant-garde jazz, Jazz-funk

8
528 192
Django Reinhardt is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Swing music, Romani music, Gypsy jazz

9
459 475
Duke Ellington is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Orchestral jazz, Swing music, Big band

10
483 263
Dizzy Gillespie is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Afro-Cuban jazz, Jazz, Bebop

11
414 120
Lionel Hampton is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
looksharp added Swing music, Big band

12
387 316
Billie Holiday is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Torch song, Ballad, Swing music

13
423 260
Wes Montgomery is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Crossover jazz, Hard bop, Smooth jazz

14
469 216
Coleman Hawkins is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Swing music, Bebop

15
401 336
Ella Fitzgerald is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Ballad, Swing music, Traditional pop music

16
340 391
Thelonious Monk is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Stride, Cool jazz, Hard bop

17
354 142
Ray Brown is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
looksharp added Jazz

18
303 276
Count Basie is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Swing music, Big band, Piano blues

19
473 295
Oscar Peterson is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
looksharp added Third stream, Hard bop, Jazz

20
404 211
Freddie Hubbard is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Ferry73 added Hard bop, Post-bop, Jazz

21
408 136
Art Blakey is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Hard bop, Jazz, Bebop

22
347 157
Clifford Brown is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Zaliste added Hard bop, Jazz, Bebop

23
385 180
Cannonball Adderley is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Ferry73 added Hard bop, Jazz fusion, Jazz

24
350 262
Bill Evans is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Cool jazz, Third stream, Hard bop

25
259 156
Bud Powell is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Zaliste added Jazz, Bebop

26
275 275
Nat King Cole is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Jump blues, Swing music, Traditional pop music

27
246 245
Benny Goodman is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Swing music, Big band, Jazz

28
345 165
Sonny Rollins is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Hard bop, Jazz

29
264 163
Artie Shaw is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Swing music, Big band

30
327 184
Max Roach is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Hard bop, Jazz, Bebop

31
354 171
Lester Young is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists

32
405 281
Charles Mingus is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Orchestral jazz, Avant-garde jazz, Third stream

33
282 150
Gene Krupa is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
looksharp added Swing music, Big band, Jazz

34
320 250
Herbie Hancock is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Kozmigroov, Jazz-funk, Electro

35
295 158
George Benson is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
slaft added Pop music, Rhythm and blues, Jazz

36
300 140
Ron Carter is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
slaft added Orchestral jazz, Avant-garde jazz, Third stream

37
318 153
Jaco Pastorius is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
looksharp added Kozmigroov, Jazz-funk, Folk jazz

38
319 225
Stan Getz is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Cool jazz, Jazz, West Coast jazz

39
303 179
Wynton Marsalis is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Classical music, Post-bop, Jazz

40
324 168
Dexter Gordon is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Swing music, Hard bop, Jazz

41
306 222
Dave Brubeck is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Cool jazz, Third stream, Jazz

42
223 130
McCoy Tyner is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
slaft added Third stream, Hard bop, Post-bop

43
274 142
Lee Morgan is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
ulicain added Hard bop, Jazz, Bebop

44
259 259
Chet Baker is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Ferry73 added West Coast jazz

45
151 151
Dinah Washington is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Traditional pop music, Vocal jazz, Rhythm and blues

46
211 132
Chick Corea is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Kozmigroov, Fusion, Avant-garde jazz

47
222 175
Glenn Miller is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
looksharp added Swing music, Big band, Jazz

48
284 178
Wayne Shorter is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
slaft added Crossover jazz, Third stream, Hard bop

49
168 86
Paul Chambers is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Hard bop, Jazz, Bebop

50
227 163
Paul Desmond is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Cool jazz, West Coast jazz