Jazz has never stood still since its inception from the early 20s. It is a form of musical expression that can be hard to pin down. There are many different styles in the history of jazz that have built a strong legacy this form of music stands today. Likewise, jazz has a set of innovators who have passed the legacy from one generation to another with certain twists and turns.
There are many American Jazz legends including Thelonious Monk and Miles Davis who have changed the perspective towards Jazz, But, new younger artists are bringing a new mixture to this music genre which is pretty much liked by the audiences. From the breakout success of musicians like Esperanza Spalding to forthcoming fresh talents like Aaron Diehl, we have covered 7 Jazz musicians that are shaping the future of Jazz.
1. Robert Glasper
The three-time Grammy award-winning jazz and hip-hop pianist Robert Glasper was born on April 5, 1978, as Robert Andre Glasper. Glasper’s music is known for pushing Jazz forward by blending it with hip-hop and R &B. He wants to attract more audiences by fusing Jazz with genres that are more popular with the younger audiences. This is what made him stand out among his contemporaries. His broad array of collaborators from The Roots and Erykah Badu to Kendrick Lamar are evidence of his talent as an artist.
Glasper has already performed with great jazz artists including Christian McBride and Terence Blanchard. The talented jazz artist Galsper’s first debut album was released by Fresh Sound New Talent in 2004. The album was named as Mood.
He has released hit albums like Double-Booked, Black Radio, Covered, Everything’s Beautiful, Fuck Yo Feelings, and many more. The musician has showcased his talent on a number of renowned platforms like The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, The Kennedy Center, Monetary Jazz Festival, London Jazz Festival, Playboy Jazz Festival, Apollo Theater, and many others. Recently, he won Grammy Award under ‘Best Compilation Soundtrack for Visual Media’ for the album ‘Miles Ahead’.
2. Esperanza Spalding
A native of Portland, Oregon Esperanza Emily Spalding is an American jazz bassist, singer, and cellist. She played the classical violin as a child and gigged as a bassist in the Indie band as a teenager. Spalding is a 21st century Jazz genius who is extending the frontiers of jazz with music genres that embraces funk, rock, Latin, and the avant-garde.
Esperanza burst into America’s Jazz music industry with the debut album ‘Junjo’ in 2006. Her album was positively reviewed by critics like Ben Ratliff. Since then, Spalding has released albums like Esperanza, Chamber Music Society, Radio Music Society, Emily’s D+Evolution, Exposure, and 12 Little Spells.
Her album Emily’s D+Evolution has been sung through the alter ego of Emily, her middle name. The album received widespread critical acclaim in the entertainment industry. Likewise, her album Exposure was written and recorded in just 77 hours while streamed on a Facebook Live. The Live streaming clocked 1.4 million views from audiences worldwide. The disciplined artists like Spalding can just turn on a genius tap and let their creativity flow to the audiences. She is one of the most original thinkers and leading-edge conceptualists in the jazz world.
3. Nubya Garcia
Nubya Garcia is one of the fastest rising jazz musicians of the 21st century. She is an award-winning saxophonist and composer born and raised in London. Garcia began her music career by performing in small gigs and impromptu jazz sessions around London after completing her music education. She started her music education at Camden music and later joined Tomorrow’s Warriors. Likewise, she got training at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music.
She debuted with the album “NUBYA’s 5ive” in 2017. The album was released via label Jazz refreshed. Her debut album was titled as ‘exceptional’ by The Vinyl Factory. Likewise, her second album “When We are” released in 2018 was also a massive hit. It was titled as NPR’s Best songs in 2018.
In 2018, she bagged the Sky Arts Breakthrough Act of the Year Award and Jazz FM UK JAzz Breakthrough Act of the Year Award. Further, she recently won the Jazz FM Uk Jazz Act of the Year Award. Since her debut, her audiences have been growing organically and she has been touring internationally in countries like Australia, the USA, India, and Europe.
4. Jamison Ross
Jamison Ross is one of the hottest young names in drummers, singers, and music. His music revolves around jazz, R&B, gospel, blues, and soul. He began honing his talent at a young age playing at his grandfather’s church.
The drummer Jamison Ross introduced the world to his rhythm and melody with the album ‘Jamison’ on Concord Jazz in 2015. For this, he was nominated in the Grammy Awards under the category ‘Best Jazz Vocal Album”. Before he was signed by Concave Jazz, he had won the ‘Thelonious Monk Jazz Drums Competition’ in 2012.
Further, his sophomore release, ‘All for One’ garnered critical acclaim. By this time, he has collaborated with great American jazz singers like Carmen Lundy, Jon Batiste, and Cecile McLorin Salvant. Besides, he has also recorded the album with singer Carmen Lundy titled Changes and Soul to Soul.
5. Aaron Diehl
Aaron Diehl is an American Jazz pianist and composer born on September 22, 1985. He has made a remark on the jazz world over the last 15 years. The New York Times featured him as the ‘smart young pianist with a fastidious grasp of jazz traditions.” He released his first album ‘Live at Caramoor’ in 2009. Likewise, his debut album on Mack Avenue Records was a hit. It got at the number 1 position on the JazzWeek Jazz Chart.
Aaron has won Jazz Journalist Association Award in 2013. Apart from this, he is also the recipient of the Cole Porter Fellowship from the American Pianists Association in 2011. The award-winning pianist latest release Space-Time Continuum has garnered wide acclaim for its blend of historic and contemporary styles of Jazz.
6. Jazzmeia Horn
Jazz in the name, this 28 years old Texas chanteuse is an American jazz singer and songwriter. She came in the headlines when she won Thelonious Monk Institute International Jazz Competition in 2015. This cracked her a deal with Concord Records and the rest is all history. Later, she debuted in the Jazz industry with the album “A Social Call’ released by Concord in 2017. The album won rave reviews and earned her a proclaim fame. Further, the album introduced her as the new voice of Jazz in the world.
7. Melody Gardot
Melody Gardot is an American Jazz singer born in New Jersey. Her musical career has been influenced by artists like Janis Joplin, Miles Davis, Duke Ellington, Caetano Veloso, Stan Gets, and Judy Garland.
The Grammy-nominated singer started her career at the age of 16 playing at the bars in her hometown. However, she honed her skills when she met with a car accident as a teenager. In her lengthy recovery period, she wrote her own songs. She debuted in 2008 with the album “Worrisome Heart” produced by Glenn Barratt. She has released albums like My One and Only Thrill, The Absence, Currency of Man, and Live in Europe. Born to sing Jazz, she is known for a dramatic and mysterious stage performance.