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List of Famous Jazz Musicians

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Updated October 13, 2018 25.4k views 101 items

List of famous jazz musicians, with photos, bios, and other information when available. Who are the top jazz musicians in the world? This includes the most prominent jazz musicians, living and dead, both in America and abroad. This list of notable jazz musicians is ordered by their level of prominence, and can be sorted for various bits of information, such as where these historic jazz musicians were born and what their nationality is. The people on this list are from different countries, but what they all have in common is that they're all renowned jazz musicians.

List features John Coltrane, Herbie Hancock and more.

From reputable, prominent, and well known jazz musicians to the lesser known jazz musicians of today, these are some of the best professionals in the jazz musician field. If you want to answer the questions, "Who are the most famous jazz musicians ever?" and "What are the names of famous jazz musicians?" then you're in the right place. (101 items)
Herbie Hancock is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list List of Famous Jazz Musicians
Herbert Jeffrey Hancock (born April 12, 1940) is an American pianist, keyboardist, bandleader, composer and actor. Hancock started his career with Donald Byrd. He shortly thereafter joined the ...more

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John Coltrane is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list List of Famous Jazz Musicians
John William Coltrane (September 23, 1926 – July 17, 1967) was an American jazz saxophonist and composer. Working in the bebop and hard bop idioms early in his career, Coltrane helped pioneer ...more

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Dizzy Gillespie is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list List of Famous Jazz Musicians
John Birks "Dizzy" Gillespie (; October 21, 1917 – January 6, 1993) was an American jazz trumpeter, bandleader, composer, and singer.Gillespie was a trumpet virtuoso and improviser, ...more

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Thelonious Monk is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list List of Famous Jazz Musicians
Thelonious Sphere Monk (, October 10, 1917 – February 17, 1982) was an American jazz pianist and composer. He had a unique improvisational style and made numerous contributions to the standard ...more

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Tom Noonan is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list List of Famous Jazz Musicians
Tom Noonan (born April 12, 1951) is an American actor, director, and screenwriter, perhaps best known for his role as Francis Dollarhyde in Manhunter (1986), Frankenstein's Monster in The ...more

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Charles Lloyd is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list List of Famous Jazz Musicians
Charles Lloyd (born March 15, 1938) is an American jazz musician. Though he primarily plays tenor saxophone and flute, he has occasionally recorded on other reed instruments, including alto ...more
Sheryl Bailey is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list List of Famous Jazz Musicians
Sheryl Bailey (born May 20, 1966) is an American jazz guitarist and educator. She teaches guitar at the Berklee College of Music in Boston.
Avery Brooks is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list List of Famous Jazz Musicians
Avery Brooks
Avery Franklin Brooks (born October 2, 1948) is an American actor, director, singer, and educator. He is best known for his television roles as Benjamin Sisko on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, as ...more

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Charles "Buddy"... is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list List of Famous Jazz Musicians
Charles Edward "Buddy" Rogers (August 13, 1904 – April 21, 1999) was an American film actor and musician. During the peak of his popularity in the late 1920s and early 1930s he was ...more
Stéphane Grappell... is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list List of Famous Jazz Musicians
Stéphane Grappelli (French pronunciation: ​[stefan ɡʁapɛli]; 26 January 1908 – 1 December 1997) was a French jazz violinist who founded the Quintette du Hot Club de France with guitarist ...more
Joshua Redman is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list List of Famous Jazz Musicians
Joshua Redman (born February 1, 1969) is an American jazz saxophonist and composer. In 1991, he won the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Saxophone Competition.

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T. S. Monk is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list List of Famous Jazz Musicians
Thelonious Sphere "T. S." Monk III (born December 27, 1949) is an American jazz drummer, composer and bandleader. He is the son of jazz pianist Thelonious Monk.
Michael Snow is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list List of Famous Jazz Musicians
Michael Snow, (born December 10, 1928) is a Canadian artist working in a range of media including film, installation, sculpture, photography, and music. His best-known films are Wavelength ...more
Darius Brubeck is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list List of Famous Jazz Musicians
Darius Brubeck
Darius Brubeck is an American jazz keyboardist and educator. He is the son of jazz legend Dave Brubeck. He spent many years in Durban, South Africa, as a professor and head of the Centre for ...more
Cindy Breakspeare is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list List of Famous Jazz Musicians
Cindy Breakspeare
Cynthia Jean Cameron Breakspeare (born October 24, 1954) — known as Cindy Breakspeare — is a Canadian-Jamaican jazz singer, musician and former model. Breakspeare was crowned Miss World 1976. ...more
Don Francks is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list List of Famous Jazz Musicians
Donald Harvey Francks (28 February 1932 – 3 April 2016), also known as Iron Buffalo, was a Canadian actor, singer and musician.
John D'earth is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list List of Famous Jazz Musicians
John D'earth (born March 30, 1950) is an American post bop/hard bop jazz trumpeter born in Framingham, Massachusetts who has appeared on recordings by Dave Matthews and Bruce Hornsby as well as ...more
Joe Lovano is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list List of Famous Jazz Musicians
Joseph Salvatore Lovano (born December 29, 1952) is an American jazz saxophonist, alto clarinetist, flautist, and drummer. He has earned a Grammy Award and several mentions on Down Beat ...more
Gil Mellé is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list List of Famous Jazz Musicians
Gilbert John "Gil" Mellé (31 December 1931 – 28 October 2004) was an American artist, jazz musician and film composer.
Jan Garbarek is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list List of Famous Jazz Musicians
Jan Garbarek (born 4 March 1947) is a Norwegian jazz saxophonist who is also active in classical music and world music. Garbarek was born in Mysen, Norway, the only child of a former Polish ...more
Phil Harris is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list List of Famous Jazz Musicians
Wonga Philip Harris (June 24, 1904 – August 11, 1995) was an American comedian, actor, singer, and jazz musician. He was an orchestra leader and a pioneer in radio situation comedy, first with ...more
Kustas Kikerpuu is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list List of Famous Jazz Musicians
Kustas Kikerpuu was a Composer, Jazz Musician, Orchestra Conductor, Music Teacher and Actor.
Derek Wadsworth is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list List of Famous Jazz Musicians
Derek Wadsworth (5 February 1939 – 3 December 2008) was an English jazz musician, composer and arranger.
Aaron Trubic is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list List of Famous Jazz Musicians
As an experienced studio and touring musician, recording engineer, producer, vocalist, cellist and writer, Aaron Trubic has proudly garnered numerous commercial recording credits for both major ...more
Burt Wilson is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list List of Famous Jazz Musicians
Burt Wilson is a philosopher, writer, broadcaster, jazz musician, political activist, playwright, and former advertising executive.