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bands/musicians The Greatest Swing Jazz Musicians of All Time  

Rachel Green
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Here are the top 27 Greatest Swing Jazz Musicians of All Time. Many of the musicians on this list were bandleaders as well as sidemen, creating some of the most innovative and improvisational music ever. Their passion for music drove the impact they had on dancers, performers, and shows like. Additionally, many of these musicians greatly impacted the progression of music genres and future great musicians who would debut their revue later on. 

Check them all out. Up vote the best musicians you like, and down vote the ones you dislike. And while swing music may not be your favorite, there's enough complexity, sophistication, and nuance in the music, that anyone who appreciates music can respect what these guys did. Feel free to add on anyone who may have been left out. 
1 26 VOTES

Benny Goodman


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Known as the "King of Swing", Goodman's career began when he purchased all of Fletcher Henderson's songs. Goodman had one of the first well-known integrated bands and performed one of the most successful and popular concerts in history, the famous 1938 Carnegie Hall concert, making swing music become "respectable."

This arrangement of "Sing, Sing, Sing" is probably one of the most recognizable and well known swing songs today.

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2 17 VOTES

Duke Ellington


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Although better known for his darker, moodier, and more nuanced compositions, Duke Ellington often played swing at the Cotton Club in New York City, performing alongside vaudeville dancers. He hated referring to his music as "jazz", as he considered it restrictive and low brow.

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#24 on The Greatest Jazz Pianists of All Time

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Louis Armstrong is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Swing Jazz Musicians of All Time
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3 12 VOTES

Louis Armstrong


Louis Armstrong, known for his big personality and raspy voice, was a pioneer of trumpet and cornet playing in the early 1920's, during the birth of jazz. His career began when he played with Fate Marable, which toured on a steamboat traveling on the Mississippi River. 

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#71 on The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time

#59 on The Best Singers of All Time

#1 on The Greatest Cornetists of All Time

#54 on The Greatest Male Pop Singers of All Time

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4 12 VOTES

Django Reinhardt


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Django Reinhardt is considered one of the greatest guitarists of all time, becoming a pioneer in making jazz music mainstream in Europe. Because his third and fourth fingers were permanently damaged, he only played with his thumb and forefinger, creating an entirely new technique of playing called "hot" jazz guitar. His arrangements and playing technique has created an entirely different sub genre of jazz, known as Gypsy Jazz or Gypsy Swing. 

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#3 on The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time

#9 on The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World

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