Jazz The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists  

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40.1k votes 2.5k voters 53.1k views 234 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
766 140
Art Tatum is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Stride, Jazz

2
546 482
John Coltrane is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Avant-garde jazz, Hard bop, Post-bop

3
645 225
Buddy Rich is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
looksharp added Swing music, Big band, Jazz

4
475 376
Charlie Parker is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Jazz, Bebop

5
688 168
Joe Pass is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Hard bop, Jazz, Bebop

6
610 511
Miles Davis is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Jazz rap, Avant-garde jazz, Jazz-funk

7
554 431
Louis Armstrong is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Swing music, Traditional pop music, Jazz

8
539 197
Django Reinhardt is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Swing music, Romani music, Gypsy jazz

9
481 480
Duke Ellington is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Orchestral jazz, Swing music, Big band

10
498 267
Dizzy Gillespie is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Afro-Cuban jazz, Jazz, Bebop

11
422 129
Lionel Hampton is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
looksharp added Swing music, Big band

12
483 217
Coleman Hawkins is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Swing music, Bebop

13
402 321
Billie Holiday is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Torch song, Ballad, Swing music

14
416 339
Ella Fitzgerald is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Ballad, Swing music, Traditional pop music

15
435 265
Wes Montgomery is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Crossover jazz, Hard bop, Smooth jazz

16
361 395
Thelonious Monk is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Stride, Cool jazz, Hard bop

17
315 280
Count Basie is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Swing music, Big band, Piano blues

18
488 300
Oscar Peterson is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
looksharp added Third stream, Hard bop, Jazz

19
361 150
Ray Brown is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
looksharp added Jazz

20
424 137
Art Blakey is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Hard bop, Jazz, Bebop

21
368 266
Bill Evans is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Cool jazz, Third stream, Hard bop

22
411 220
Freddie Hubbard is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Ferry73 added Hard bop, Post-bop, Jazz

23
358 159
Clifford Brown is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Zaliste added Hard bop, Jazz, Bebop

24
398 183
Cannonball Adderley is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Ferry73 added Hard bop, Jazz fusion, Jazz

25
287 280
Nat King Cole is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Jump blues, Swing music, Traditional pop music

26
360 167
Sonny Rollins is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Hard bop, Jazz

27
268 160
Bud Powell is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Zaliste added Jazz, Bebop

28
258 251
Benny Goodman is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Swing music, Big band, Jazz

29
365 173
Lester Young is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists

30
335 255
Herbie Hancock is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Kozmigroov, Jazz-funk, Electro

31
271 166
Artie Shaw is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Swing music, Big band

32
417 285
Charles Mingus is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Orchestral jazz, Avant-garde jazz, Third stream

33
333 190
Max Roach is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Hard bop, Jazz, Bebop

34
300 162
George Benson is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
slaft added Pop music, Rhythm and blues, Jazz

35
286 157
Gene Krupa is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
looksharp added Swing music, Big band, Jazz

36
306 145
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
327 159
Jaco Pastorius is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
looksharp added Kozmigroov, Jazz-funk, Folk jazz

38
321 224
Dave Brubeck is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Cool jazz, Third stream, Jazz

39
329 229
Stan Getz is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Cool jazz, Jazz, West Coast jazz

40
312 183
Wynton Marsalis is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Classical music, Post-bop, Jazz

41
332 172
Dexter Gordon is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Swing music, Hard bop, Jazz

42
233 130
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
268 262
Chet Baker is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Ferry73 added West Coast jazz

44
281 145
Lee Morgan is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
ulicain added Hard bop, Jazz, Bebop

45
222 135
Chick Corea is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Kozmigroov, Fusion, Avant-garde jazz

46
155 155
Dinah Washington is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Traditional pop music, Vocal jazz, Rhythm and blues

47
174 88
Paul Chambers is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Hard bop, Jazz, Bebop

48
226 181
Glenn Miller is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
looksharp added Swing music, Big band, Jazz

49
293 183
Wayne Shorter is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
slaft added Crossover jazz, Third stream, Hard bop

50
236 167
Paul Desmond is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Cool jazz, West Coast jazz