The Greatest Jazz Artists Of All Time

Jazz is a very interesting genre of music and there are lots of different sub-genres that make people love sounds. Jazz is certainly unlike no other genre and it holds a special place in a lot of people’s hearts. There are lots of different places you can see current jazz musicians perform, but unfortunately, the majority of the true greats and pioneers have passed away.

While you may never get to see some of the true greats live, there are always websites like YouTube and music streaming services like Spotify, where you can listen and potentially even watch some of the greats perform in their hay day. There are so many different artists that potentially belong on this list, but only a handful of spots to give out.

There are a few special artists out there that managed to have life long careers in the industry and remained relevant and loved, some even to this day. Have a read on below at some of the greatest jazz artists of all time:


Mile Davis

A true pioneer in the jazz industry and helped pave the way for many other artists to come. He is known to be the master of jazz and many fans would believe that he deserves to be known as one of the greatest of all time. He helped make jazz more popular and relevant through his wild music that captured the hearts of many.


Nat King Cole

Nat King Cole had a voice that could light up a room and fans were devastated to hear of his passing in 1965. He was so incredibly talented that many young artists draw on him as inspiration for the type of artist they want to be themselves. Nat King Cole was also an amazing performer and people loved to listen to him live, he had influence like none other.


Mary Lou Williams

Her influence on jazz spanned pretty much her entire lifetime, she was 71 when she passed away in 1981. From decade to decade, Mary Lou Williams was able to adapt and keep relevant. Not only was she a well-known jazz artist, but she was also known to dabble in the classical music genre as well. Her talent was spread across both genres of music and she was loved by many.


Thelonious Monk

He was well regarded in the industry for his unique songs that were easy to get lost in. Thelonious Monk had the kind of music that you wanted to listen to on repeat and he remained in the spotlight for some time. While he passed away in 1982, he will be remembered for his great tunes that were easy to fall in love with.


Herbie Hancock

A master pianist that is looked up to by many and Herbie Hancock was known to mix a lot of different genres of music to create something really special. Over the decades, he has been able to remain relevant though his use of funk, soul, and even synthesizers to bring in the fans. Herbie Hancock has been able to improvise like the best of them and he has a lot of awesome hits over the years.


Charles Mingus

A bass player that captivated the world, his music had the energy that you would expect from jazz and many people were big fans. Charles Mingus seemed to make jazz a lot cooler and made people want to get involved. Passing away in 1979, he was truly inventive with his songs and that is one of the reasons why he was so loved.






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