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Jazz: Musicians

Information on jazz styles, theory, arranging, textbooks, composers, performers, and more

Jazz Composers, Bandleaders, & Musicians

If you wish to be generally familiar with jazz music, here are some people you should know.

Name

Birth

Death

Instrument

Style

Representative Pieces

Adams, Pepper

1930 1986 Baritone Saxophone Big Band, Hard Bop Reflectory
Bossallegro

Basie, Count

1904 1984 Piano Swing, Big Band One O'Clock Jump
April in Paris

Beiderbecke, Bix

1903 1931 Cornet Dixieland In a Mist
For No Reason at All in C

Black, Eubie

1887 1983 Piano Ragtime I'm Just Wild about Harry
Charleston Rag

Brown, Les

1912 2001 Clarinet, Alto Saxophone Big Band Sentimental Journey
I've Got My Love to Keep Me Warm

Brubeck, Dave

1920 2012 Piano Cool Jazz Take Five
In Your Own Sweet Way
Blue Rondo A La Turk

Calloway, Cab

1907 1994 Singer Blues Minnie the Moocher
The Jumpin' Jive

Carter, Benny

1907 2003 Alto Saxophone, Trumpet Big Band, Swing Crazy Rhythm
Honeysuckle Rose

Coleman, Ornette

1930 Alto Saxophone Free Jazz Free Jazz
Lonely Woman

Coltrane, John

1926 1967 Tenor Saxophone Hard Bop, Free Jazz My Favorite Things
Giant Steps

Dorsey, Jimmy

1904

1957

Clarinet, Alto Saxophone Big Band, Swing, Dixieland I'm Glad There Is You
So Many Times

Dorsey, Tommy

1905

1956

Trombone Big Band, Swing Indian Summer
I'll Never Smile Again

Ellington, Duke

1899

1974 

Piano

Big Band, Swing

It Don't Mean a Thing if it Ain't Got that Swing
Mood Indigo
Satin Doll

Gillespie, Dizzy

1917

1993

Trumpet

Bebop, Afro-Cuban

A Night in Tunisia
Salt Peanuts

Goodman, Benny

1909

1986

Clarinet

Big Band, Swing

Sing, Sing, Sing
Stompin' at the Savoy

Hampton, Lionel

1908

2002

Vibraphone

Swing, Blues

On the Sunny Side of the Street
Flying Home

Hawkins, Coleman

1904

1969

Tenor Saxophone

Bebop, Swing

Body and Soul

Herman, Woody

1913 1987

Clarinet

Swing, Blues, Cool Jazz Woodchopper's Ball
Four Brothers

Hirt, Al

1922

1999

Trumpet Swing, Dixieland

The Green Hornet
Java

Hodges, Johnny

1906

1970

Alto Saxophone Swing, Big Band

Passion Flower
Hodge Podge

James, Harry

1916 1983 Trumpet Big Band, Swing You Made Me Love You

King, B.B.

1925 Guitar Blues, R&B The Thrill Is Gone
Sweet Little Angel

Miller, Glenn

1904 1944 Trombone Big Band, Swing In the Mood
Moonlight Serenade
Chattanooga Choo-Choo

Mingus, Charles

1922 1979 Double Bass Hard Bop Better Git it in Your Soul
Moanin'

Monk, Thelonius

1917 1982 Piano Bebop, Hard Bop Round Midnight
Blue Monk

Mulligan, Gerry

1927 1996 Baritone Saxophone Cool Jazz Bernie's Tune
Walkin' Shoes

Parker, Charlie

1920 1955 Alto Saxophone Bebop Yardbird Suite

Paxton, George

~1914 1989 Tenor Saxophone Swing Paxonia
All of Me

Rollins, Sonny

1930 Tenor Saxohpone Hard Bop Doxy
St. Thomas

Strayhorn, Billy

1915

1967

Piano

Swing, Mainstream

Take the "A" Train
Lush Life 

Tabackin, Lew

1940 Flute, Tenor Saxophone Big Band, Bebop I'll Be Seeing You
Tanuki's Night Out

Waters, Muddy

1913 1983 Guitar Blues Rollin' Stone
Hoochie Coochie Man

Whiteman, Paul

1890

1967

Violin

Symphonic Jazz

Rhapsody in Blue
Wang Wang Blues

Young, Lester

1909 1959 Tenor Saxophone Swing, Bebop Lester Leaps In
Tickle Toe

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