Jazz The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists  

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31.8k votes 2.1k voters 43.2k views 230 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
623 104
Art Tatum is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Art Tatum Stride, Jazz

2
408 272
Charlie Parker is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Charlie Parker Jazz, Bebop

3
466 366
John Coltrane is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
John Coltrane Avant-garde jazz, Hard bop, Post-bop

4
532 169
Buddy Rich is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
looksharp added Buddy Rich Swing music, Big band, Jazz

5
511 405
Miles Davis is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Miles Davis Jazz rap, Avant-garde jazz, Jazz-funk

6
569 138
Joe Pass is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Joe Pass Hard bop, Jazz, Bebop

7
465 340
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
430 189
Dizzy Gillespie is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Dizzy Gillespie Afro-Cuban jazz, Jazz, Bebop

9
419 381
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
426 174
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
400 176
Coleman Hawkins is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Coleman Hawkins Swing music, Bebop

12
336 283
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
322 273
Billie Holiday is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Billie Holiday Torch song, Ballad, Swing music

14
305 301
Thelonious Monk is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Thelonious Monk Stride, Cool jazz, Hard bop

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15
313 111
Lionel Hampton is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
looksharp added Lionel Hampton Swing music, Big band

16
340 227
Wes Montgomery is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Wes Montgomery Crossover jazz, Hard bop, Smooth jazz

17
374 202
Charles Mingus is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Charles Mingus Orchestral jazz, Avant-garde jazz, Third stream

18
241 180
Chet Baker is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Ferry73 added Chet Baker West Coast jazz

19
409 250
Oscar Peterson is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
looksharp added Oscar Peterson Third stream, Hard bop, Jazz

20
294 205
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
236 227
Count Basie is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Count Basie Swing music, Big band, Piano blues

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22
282 112
Ray Brown is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
looksharp added Ray Brown Jazz

23
342 176
Freddie Hubbard is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Ferry73 added Freddie Hubbard Hard bop, Post-bop, Jazz

24
339 100
Art Blakey is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Art Blakey Hard bop, Jazz, Bebop

25
291 122
Sonny Rollins is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Sonny Rollins Hard bop, Jazz

26
323 140
Cannonball Adderley is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Ferry73 added Cannonball Adderley Hard bop, Jazz fusion, Jazz

27
229 106
Gene Krupa is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
looksharp added Gene Krupa Swing music, Big band, Jazz

28
302 131
Lester Young is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists

To Become A Jazz Great, He Had To Hide His True Heritage – The Son Of A Hitler-Supporting ...

29
208 117
Artie Shaw is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Artie Shaw Swing music, Big band

30
285 123
Clifford Brown is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Zaliste added Clifford Brown Hard bop, Jazz, Bebop

31
229 231
Nat King Cole is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Nat King Cole Jump blues, Swing music, Traditional pop music

32
279 175
Stan Getz is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Stan Getz Cool jazz, Jazz, West Coast jazz

33
265 199
Herbie Hancock is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Herbie Hancock Kozmigroov, Jazz-funk, Electro

34
201 206
Benny Goodman is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Benny Goodman Swing music, Big band, Jazz

35
270 147
Max Roach is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Max Roach Hard bop, Jazz, Bebop

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36
281 126
Dexter Gordon is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Dexter Gordon Swing music, Hard bop, Jazz

37
260 117
Jaco Pastorius is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
looksharp added Jaco Pastorius Kozmigroov, Jazz-funk, Folk jazz

38
253 140
Wynton Marsalis is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Wynton Marsalis Classical music, Post-bop, Jazz

39
197 124
Bud Powell is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Zaliste added Bud Powell Jazz, Bebop

40
246 180
Dave Brubeck is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Dave Brubeck Cool jazz, Third stream, Jazz

41
160 89
Chick Corea is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Chick Corea Kozmigroov, Fusion, Avant-garde jazz

42
223 169
Ornette Coleman is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Ornette Coleman Avant-garde jazz, Jazz fusion, Free funk

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43
220 134
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
230 118
Ron Carter is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
slaft added Ron Carter Orchestral jazz, Avant-garde jazz, Third stream

45
167 97
McCoy Tyner is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
slaft added McCoy Tyner Third stream, Hard bop, Post-bop

46
237 136
Wayne Shorter is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
slaft added Wayne Shorter Crossover jazz, Third stream, Hard bop

47
110 130
Dinah Washington is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Dinah Washington Traditional pop music, Vocal jazz, Rhythm and blues

48
164 143
Glenn Miller is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
looksharp added Glenn Miller Swing music, Big band, Jazz

49
201 127
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
98 62
Nina Simone is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Nina Simone Folk music, Rhythm and blues, Jazz