Famous French Jazz Musicians

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

Vote for Your Favourite French Jazz Musicians

 1 

Django Reinhardt
4
Birthdate: January 23, 1910
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Liberchies, Belgium
Died: May 16, 1953
Belgian-born Romani-French jazz musician Jean Reinhardt was better known by his nickname Django. Some of his most celebrated composition were Belleville and Swing '42. Though he died at 43, he influenced an entire generation of musicians, which led to annual Django Festivals, a film, and a biography.

 2 
Jean-Luc Ponty
(Jazz violinist and composer)

Jean-Luc Ponty
3
Birthdate: September 29, 1942
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Avranches, France

 3 
Stéphane Grappelli
(Former jazz violinist best known as a founder of the Quintette du Hot Club de France with guitarist Django Reinhardt in 1934)

Stéphane Grappelli
3
Birthdate: January 26, 1908
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: December 1, 1997

Stéphane Grappelli was a French-Italian violinist best remembered as the co-founder of a jazz group named The Quintette du Hot Club de France. The group became famous for being one of the first jazz bands to house only string instruments. Nicknamed the grandfather of jazz violinists, Stéphane Grappelli went on to play in concerts well into his 80s.

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 4 
Sacha Distel
(Former singer, guitarist who had hits with a cover version of "Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head" in 1970)

Sacha Distel
3
Birthdate: January 29, 1933
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: July 22, 2004
A jazz guitarist and singer, Sacha Distel recorded more than 200 tunes during his career. He appeared in several French films and became one of the country's most popular television actors. During a career stretching over almost half a century, he performed for Queen Elizabeth on three occasions. In 1997, he received France's highest civilian award The Legion of Honor.

 5 
Darius Milhaud
(Former composer who rose to fame as a member of the group Les Six)

Darius Milhaud
2
Birthdate: September 4, 1892
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Marseille, France
Died: June 22, 1974

Darius Milhaud was a French composer, teacher, and conductor. One of the 20th century's most prolific composers, Milhaud was part of a famous group known as The Group of Six. He also contributed greatly to the French film industry, composing music for films like Madame Bovary and The Beloved Vagabond. Milhaud is often counted among the most important modernist composers. 

 6 
Ibrahim Maalouf
(Jazz Trumpeter & Composer Known for His Work in the Classical, Jazz, and Jazz-Rock Fusion Genres)

Ibrahim Maalouf
2
Birthdate: November 5, 1980
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Beirut, Lebanon

Ibrahim Maalouf is a French-Lebanese composer and jazz trumpeter. In addition to his many studio albums, Maalouf is also known for his contribution as a composer for many movie soundtracks and symphonic orchestras. In 2014, he was honored at the French Music Awards with the prestigious Best World Music Artist award.

 7 
Michel Petrucciani
(Jazz pianist)

Michel Petrucciani
2
Birthdate: December 28, 1962
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Orange, France
Died: January 6, 1999

Michel Petrucciani was a French jazz pianist who was born with a condition called osteogenesis imperfecta which affected his physical growth. In spite of his health condition, Petrucciani went on to become one of the most successful jazz pianists of his generation. Interestingly, the genetic disease contributed greatly to his playing style as well as his personality.

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 8 
Chico Bouchikhi
(Musician)

Chico Bouchikhi
1
Birthdate: October 13, 1954
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Arles, France

 9 
Richard Galliano
(Accordionist)

Richard Galliano
1
Birthdate: December 12, 1950
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Cannes, France

 10 
Claude Nougaro
(Songwriter)

Claude Nougaro
1
Birthdate: September 9, 1929
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Toulouse, France
Died: March 4, 2004

 11 
Louiguy
(Musician)

Louiguy
1
Birthdate: April 3, 1916
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Barcelona, Spain
Died: April 4, 1991

 12 
Jacques Pellen
(Jazz guitarist)

Jacques Pellen
0
Birthdate: April 9, 1957
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Brest, France
Died: April 21, 2020