Famous Female Jazz Pianists

150.6k views 56 items

List of famous female jazz pianists, listed by their level of prominence with photos when available. This greatest female jazz pianists list contains the most prominent and top females known for being jazz pianists. You might also be interested in famous male jazz pianists and famous female jazz singers. There are thousand of females working as jazz pianists in the world, but this list highlights only the most notable ones. Historic jazz pianists have worked hard to become the best that they can be, so if you're a female aspiring to be a jazz pianist then the people below should give you inspiration.

List people include Mary Lou Williams, Marian McPartland, Norah Jones, and many more. Featuring famous women jazz musicians from 1930s, 50s, and more, this list has it all. 

While this isn't a list of all female jazz pianists, it does answer the questions "Who are the most famous female jazz pianists?" and "Who are the best female jazz pianists?"

Nina Simone is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Famous Female Jazz Pianists
Photo: Metaweb (FB)/GNU Free Documentation License

Nina Simone was an American singer, songwriter, pianist, arranger, and civil rights activist. She worked in a broad range of musical styles including classical, jazz, blues, folk, R&B, gospel, and pop. The sixth child of a preacher's family in North Carolina, Simone aspired to be a concert pianist. Her musical path changed direction after she was denied a scholarship to the prestigious Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, despite a well-received audition. Simone said she later found out from an insider at Curtis that she was denied entry because she was black. So as to fund her continuing musical education and become a classical pianist, she began playing in a small club in ...more on Wikipedia

Age: Dec. at 70 (1933-2003)

Birthplace: Tryon, North Carolina, United States of America

More Nina Simone

#22 of 1009 on The Best Female Vocalists Ever #59 of 163 on The Best Female Rock Singers #80 of 257 on The Best Blues Artists of All Time featuring The Best Nina Simone Albums of All Time

see more on Nina Simone
Alice Coltrane is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Famous Female Jazz Pianists
Photo: Metaweb (FB)/CC-BY-SA-2.0

Alice Coltrane, née McLeod was an American jazz pianist, organist, harpist, and composer, and the second wife of jazz saxophonist and composer John Coltrane. One of the few harpists in the history of jazz, she recorded many albums as a bandleader, beginning in the late 1960s and early 1970s for Impulse! Records and Universal Distribution. ...more on Wikipedia

Age: Dec. at 70 (1937-2007)

Birthplace: Detroit, Michigan, United States of America

More Alice Coltrane

#72 of 228 on Make Your Voice Heard: Who Are the Best Female Jazz Singers? #50 of 106 on The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History #14 of 105 on The Best Avant-garde Jazz Bands/Artists

see more on Alice Coltrane
Skylar Grey is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Famous Female Jazz Pianists
Photo: via Wikimedia Commons

Holly Brook Hafermann, who goes by the stage name Skylar Grey, is an American singer and songwriter from Mazomanie, Wisconsin. In 2004, under the moniker Holly Brook, at the age of 17, she signed a publishing deal with Universal Music Publishing Group and a recording contract with Linkin Park’s Warner Bros. Records’ label imprint, Machine Shop Recordings. She would later release her debut album, Like Blood Like Honey, under the labels in 2006. In 2010, she co-wrote Eminem and Rihanna's hit single "Love the Way You Lie" alongside British record producer Alex da Kid, who subsequently signed her to his label imprint, KIDinaKORNER. Grey is perhaps best known as a guest vocalist on several hit ...more on Wikipedia

Age: 32

Birthplace: Mazomanie, Wisconsin

More Skylar Grey

#74 of 76 on Female Celebrities You'd Want to Be Your BFF #16 of 29 on The Best Female Vocalists In EDM, Ranked #21 of 101 on The Best Musical Artists From Wisconsin #460 of 469 on Celebrities You Didn't Know Use Stage Names

see more on Skylar Grey
Norah Jones is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Famous Female Jazz Pianists
Photo:  Carlo Allegri/Getty Images

Geetali Norah Jones Shankar, widely known as Norah Jones, is an American singer-songwriter, musician and actress. She is a daughter of an American, Sue Jones, and Indian sitar virtuoso Ravi Shankar. She is Anoushka Shankar's half-sister. In 2002, Norah Jones launched her solo music career with the release of Come Away with Me, a commercially successful and critically acclaimed album that was a fusion of country music and pop, with elements of jazz. It was certified diamond, selling over 26 million copies. The record earned Jones five Grammy Awards, including the Album of the Year, Record of the Year, and Best New Artist. Her subsequent studio albums Feels Like Home, released in 2004; Not Too ...more on Wikipedia

Age: 39

Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States of America

More Norah Jones

#48 of 287 on The Most Trustworthy Celebrities in the World #96 of 1120 on The Best Singers of All Time featuring The Best Norah Jones Songs The Best Norah Jones Albums of All Time

see more on Norah Jones