Jazz The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists  

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37.3k votes 2.4k voters 49.4k 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.

list ordered by

1
721 123
Art Tatum is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Stride, Jazz

2
620 196
Buddy Rich is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
looksharp added Swing music, Big band, Jazz

3
449 344
Charlie Parker is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Jazz, Bebop

4
508 449
John Coltrane is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Avant-garde jazz, Hard bop, Post-bop

5
530 401
Louis Armstrong is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Swing music, Traditional pop music, Jazz

6
653 155
Joe Pass is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Hard bop, Jazz, Bebop

7
565 484
Miles Davis is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Jazz rap, Avant-garde jazz, Jazz-funk

8
480 240
Dizzy Gillespie is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Afro-Cuban jazz, Jazz, Bebop

9
456 453
Duke Ellington is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Orchestral jazz, Swing music, Big band

10
505 190
Django Reinhardt is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Swing music, Romani music, Gypsy jazz

11
391 118
Lionel Hampton is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
looksharp added Swing music, Big band

12
458 204
Coleman Hawkins is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Swing music, Bebop

13
406 252
Wes Montgomery is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Crossover jazz, Hard bop, Smooth jazz

14
387 326
Ella Fitzgerald is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Ballad, Swing music, Traditional pop music

15
372 311
Billie Holiday is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Torch song, Ballad, Swing music

16
333 372
Thelonious Monk is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Stride, Cool jazz, Hard bop

17
295 262
Count Basie is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Swing music, Big band, Piano blues

18
342 135
Ray Brown is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
looksharp added Jazz

19
465 283
Oscar Peterson is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
looksharp added Third stream, Hard bop, Jazz

20
346 244
Bill Evans is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Cool jazz, Third stream, Hard bop

21
255 142
Bud Powell is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Zaliste added Jazz, Bebop

22
397 124
Art Blakey is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Hard bop, Jazz, Bebop

23
387 209
Freddie Hubbard is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Ferry73 added Hard bop, Post-bop, Jazz

24
276 136
Gene Krupa is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
looksharp added Swing music, Big band, Jazz

25
255 149
Artie Shaw is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Swing music, Big band

26
337 153
Sonny Rollins is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Hard bop, Jazz

27
332 152
Clifford Brown is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Zaliste added Hard bop, Jazz, Bebop

28
266 266
Nat King Cole is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Jump blues, Swing music, Traditional pop music

29
395 267
Charles Mingus is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Orchestral jazz, Avant-garde jazz, Third stream

30
238 238
Benny Goodman is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Swing music, Big band, Jazz

31
316 177
Max Roach is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Hard bop, Jazz, Bebop

32
293 131
Ron Carter is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
slaft added Orchestral jazz, Avant-garde jazz, Third stream

33
344 165
Lester Young is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists

34
310 143
Jaco Pastorius is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
looksharp added Kozmigroov, Jazz-funk, Folk jazz

35
365 180
Cannonball Adderley is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Ferry73 added Hard bop, Jazz fusion, Jazz

36
283 153
George Benson is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
slaft added Pop music, Rhythm and blues, Jazz

37
306 245
Herbie Hancock is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Kozmigroov, Jazz-funk, Electro

38
300 208
Dave Brubeck is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Cool jazz, Third stream, Jazz

39
294 170
Wynton Marsalis is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Classical music, Post-bop, Jazz

40
315 160
Dexter Gordon is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Swing music, Hard bop, Jazz

41
218 120
McCoy Tyner is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
slaft added Third stream, Hard bop, Post-bop

42
254 246
Chet Baker is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Ferry73 added West Coast jazz

43
305 222
Stan Getz is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Cool jazz, Jazz, West Coast jazz

44
205 120
Chick Corea is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Kozmigroov, Fusion, Avant-garde jazz

45
147 148
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
259 140
Lee Morgan is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
ulicain added Hard bop, Jazz, Bebop

47
278 168
Wayne Shorter is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
slaft added Crossover jazz, Third stream, Hard bop

48
253 211
Ornette Coleman is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Avant-garde jazz, Jazz fusion, Free funk

49
211 168
Glenn Miller is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
looksharp added Swing music, Big band, Jazz

50
157 82
Paul Chambers is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Very Best Jazz Musicians & Artists
Hard bop, Jazz, Bebop