From the onset of the Roaring '20s to the Great Depression, and even throughout the 1940s and '50s, classic jazz-heavy big bands redefined the music industry and overall entertainment worldwide. The best big bands had the ability to get people to relax, dance and have a good time, even when the world around them was crumbling. Big bands featured a number of horns, woodwinds and brass players, that often times contained anywhere from 12 to 25 members playing. The best big band artists are generally soloists, who had their time in the sun, and the bandleaders themselves, all musicians that were closely associated with big bands. In fact, the best big band artists are widely regarded and praised nearly a century after their initial run of success.
So, who are the best big bands? Well, for starters, any list of big band artists has to include the names Benny Goodman, Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong, Tommy Dorsey and Frank Sinatra. These musicians and bandleaders were the biggest rock stars of their time. With their suave fashion and music being played on the radio for the first time, these big band singers and instrumentalists were the first to achieve success and notoriety on a wider scale.
That said, it's up to you to determine what are the top big band artists and groups are. This list answers the questions "who are the best big band bands of all time?" and "who is the greatest big band musician ever?" If you know enough about the genre, please vote based on the quality of the bands' music (albums and songs) instead of just voting for the most popular or famous big band musicians that you might've heard of.