Jazz music is one of the most popular styles of music across decades and generations. Jazz is a mixture of blues, African rhythms, classical music and powerful improvisation that stems from different style combinations. Jazz has also been used extensively in motion pictures to create an immersive soundtrack for movies. There are many well-known jazz musicians around the world, and some of them even have different genres outside their own. They have created a lot of legendary songs that have made them famous and they have inspired many musicians and audiences alike.In this article, we are going to take a look at the top 10 famous jazz musicians around the world. Let’s begin!
1. Duke Ellington.
Born in Washington, D.C., on 29th April 1899, Duke Ellington’s name is well known around the world. He was one of the founding fathers of big band. His career started at a very early age when he started touring with his family as a dancer and violinist. He wrote a lot of famous songs and composed music for movies. The best famous jazz musician ever lived might have been Duke Ellington who has written many famous tunes till this day in the jazz world. The most famous songs of Duke Ellington include:
2. Miles Davis.
Miles Davis was the vocalist and the leader of the jazz band led by trumpeter, saxophonist, composer and bandleader Miles Davis. He was born in Algiers, New Orleans, in 1926. He began playing piano at a young age. Miles Davis used a musical technique known as “cool jazz” and he was also nicknamed “The Cool”. Many of his well-known songs include: Blue in green,so what among many others. He also worked with many artists such as Bill Evans, Cannonball Adderley and John Coltrane.
3. Louis Armstrong.
Louis Armstrong was a famous jazz trumpeter who was born in New Orleans on 4th August 1901. He was nicknamed Satchmo and Pops. Louis Armstrong started his career at a very young age when he was singing on the streets of his hometown New Orleans; later he became famous in Chicago and New York City singing during the 1920s era of jazz music. His songs include: What a wonderful world, La Vie en Rose and Petite Fleur.
4. Billie Holiday.
Billie Holiday was an American jazz singer who was born in 1915 in Philadelphia. Known as Lady Day by her fans and friends, Billie Holiday had a distinctive singing style that is still very popular today. Her songs include God Bless the Child, Strange Fruit and Good Morning Heartache. He passed away in 1959 due to drug addiction complications.
5. John Coltrane.
John Coltrane was an African-American jazz saxophonist, composer and band leader who was born in Hamlet, North Carolina, on 23rd September 1926. He worked with Miles Davis, Cannonball Adderley and other great musicians. His songs include Moment’s Notice, My Favorite Things and Crescent. He left behind a lot of great work that can still be enjoyed by many people around the world.
6. Count Basie
Count Basie was an American jazz pianist and bandleader who was born in Red Bank, New Jersey on 21st August 1904. He is also a civil rights activist who has worked with several famous musicians. His songs include One O’clock Jump and One More Time. The title of his band is The Count Basie Orchestra. In his music career, he has worked with several famous musicians such as Lester Young, Charlie Parker and Frank Sinatra.
7. Charlie Parker.
Charlie Parker was an American jazz saxophonist who was born in Kansas City on 27th November 1920. He was highly influential to the sounds of jazz, which he helped create with his playing style. His songs include: Bird’s Nest and Lazy Bird.
7. Thelonious Monk.
Thelonious Monk was an African American jazz pianist who was born on 10th October 1917 in Rocky Mount, North Carolina. He was nicknamed “The High Priest of Be-Bop” and he has been a huge influence to many generations of musicians from all over the world. His songs include: Monk’s dream, Round Midnight and Off Minor.
8. Mary Lou Williams
Mary Lou Wiliams is an African American jazz pianist and composer who was born in Atlanta Georgia, on 5th May 1910. Mary Lou Williams worked with many musicians, including Dizzy Gillespie, Duke Ellington and Quincy Jones. Her most popular songs include: Graduation Day and Crazy He Calls Me.
9. Charlie Christian.
Charlie Christian is an American jazz guitarist who died in a plane crash on May 19th,1941, aged 21. His song “Moanin’ Low” was 1956 and it was the first recording of some of the important chord changes to be added to the standard twelve-bar blues progression. Charlie Christian was the best-known guitarist of his time.
10. Ray Charles.
Ray Charles is an African American singer who was born in Albany, Georgia, on 23rd September 1930. He has sold over 40 million albums worldwide and he is also a recipient of Olympic Order, the highest award given to a civilian by the United States Congress. He has written many songs that have become popular across generations of jazz music lovers. His well-known songs include What I’d Say, What’d I Say and You Don’t Know Me among others.
There are many other jazz musicians that deserve to be on this list, but the 10 above have been voted as the most influential and most popular musicians. They have all left a huge impact on the world of music and they continue to influence musicians today. Jazz music is one of the most versatile music genres out there and it is one of the main genres in which people love to experiment with words, sounds, instruments and vocals. Jazz is a genre that can be enjoyed by all, as long as you enjoy good music! If you know more about any other legendary musicians do let others know in the comment box below. There are still many jazz musicians that continue to live and to create some of the best music in the world.