Famous Modern Jazz Musicians

One of America’s most well-known art forms; jazz has played a crucial part in the shaping of the music industry. Careers of several leading musicians are attributed to jazz music, as well as new music genres. Jazz music began in the late 19th century to early 20th century, and over time this genre has garnered a fanatical following and has also resulted in the emergence of prominent musicians. However, similar to sports, business and other fields, some individuals made telling contribution to jazz made everybody take notice. Musicians such as Lois Armstrong altered the progression of jazz music entirely with their ingenuity and inspiration that was passed on from one generation to the next. Let ‘s get to the thick of things by exploring the most famous contemporary jazz musicians.

1. Louis Armstrong

A prominent figure in America, Armstrong made his name by playing the trumpet and being a vocalist. Hailing from New Orleans, Armstrong played a crucial role in popularizing jazz and the conception of modern day jazz.  The recognition of the trumpet as a solo instrument in is down to Armstrong, due to his virtuosic capabilities on the trumpet. Blessed with an infectious character, many singers drew inspiration from him, either for his mastery of the trumpet of his vocals. Dizzy Gillespie and Miles Davies drew insight from his trumpet skills whereas Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra were inspired by his singing capability. Louis influence in the music industry, saw him win numerous honors and awards.

2.  Duke Ellington

Having written over 3,000 songs, Duke Ellington stands among the noteworthy composers in American music history. Besides being a gifted composer; Ellington played the piano, and excelled in other music genres such as blues, classical, gospel and soundtrack. Ellington won many accolades and honors, including; the Presidential Medal of Freedom, Commemorative U.S. quarter, and 13 Grammy awards. An inspiration for many composers such as; Oscar Peterson, Joe Pass, Dizzy Gillespie, Tony Bennett, Sonny Stitt and Thelonius Monk, Ellington’s standing as a musical great can’t unquestioned.

3. Charlie Parker

Pioneer of the “bebop,” Charlie Parker stands out as an inventive performer. Nicknamed the “Bird,” his fast and remarkable playing style received praise from other musicians who tried to replicate his style. By altering the standards for composition, Parker’s main contribution to jazz is the introducing the hipster persona whose aim was to bring out jazz musicians as both intellects and entertainers. Parker’s solos and licks have swayed many modern musicians and famous jazz composers into copying his style with some even naming some particular styles after him.

4. Miles Davis

Miles Davis was a member of Charlie Parker’s band for some time during the bebop era. However, he later left the group and pursued varying styles of music. Along with the be-bop, Davis was vital in spearheading styles like cool jazz, fusion funk, free jazz, techno music and hard bop. Continually reinventing his style of music, Davis ensured he was a step ahead of the competition.Davis formed groupies mainly comprising of young budding composers who he gave a helping hand on their way to stardom. Among the players inspired by Davis include; J.J Johnson, Bill Evans, Keith Jarrett, Wayne Shorter, John Coltrane, Chick Corea and Cannonball Adderley.Throughout his career, Davis won eight Grammy Awards and got inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Miles Davis