Male 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.

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 1 Jeff Goldblum

Jeff Goldblum
4
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: October 22, 1952
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: West Homestead, Pennsylvania, United States

Having starred in some of the highest-grossing films, such as Jurassic Park, Jeff Goldblum is one of the most bankable actors of his generation. He has also had an impact on the American TV and theatre scene. Also a musician, Goldblum has a couple of studio albums to his credit. He is married to Emilie Livingston, 30 years his junior.

 2 Miles Davis

Miles Davis
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Famous As: Jazz Trumpeter
Birthdate: May 26, 1926
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Alton, Illinois, United States
Died: September 28, 1991
Jazz trumpeter and composer Miles Davis was a pioneer in the bepop and jazz fusion genres. His work also had electronic, African, and Spanish influences. His album Kind of Blue sold 5 million copies in the U.S. and was termed a national treasure by the House of Representatives, years later. 

 3 Nat King Cole

Nat King Cole
4
Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: March 17, 1919
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Montgomery, Alabama, United States
Died: February 15, 1965
Jazz pianist/singer Nat King Cole, father of singer Natalie Cole, is best remembered for tracks such as Too Young and Mona Lisa. His last album, L-O-V-E, was recorded while he battled lung cancer. With The Nat King Cole Show, he became the first African-American to host his own show.

 4 Sting

Sting
6
Famous As: Musician & Singer
Birthdate: October 2, 1951
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Wallsend, England

Sting is an English singer-songwriter, musician, and actor. Credited with co-founding the popular rock band, The Police, Sting played an important role in the band's success from 1977 to 1984 during which he served as the band's bassist, lead singer, and principal songwriter. Also known for his work as an activist, Sting has shown interest in political and social issues.

 5 Carlos Santana

Carlos Santana
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Birthdate: July 20, 1947
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Autlán de Navarro, Jalisco, México

Guitarist Carlos Santana rose to fame in the late 1960s and 1970s with his rock band Santana. He introduced elements of Latin American jazz in his rock music to create unique songs. He is the recipient of ten Grammy Awards and three Latin Grammy Awards. Rolling Stone magazine listed him on its list of the 100 greatest guitarists in 2015.

 6 Duke Ellington

Duke Ellington
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Famous As: Composer, Pianist
Birthdate: April 29, 1899
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Washington, D.C., United States
Died: May 24, 1974
Jazz legend Duke Ellington managed his orchestra till his death, and over a 6-decade-long career. He is known for his collaborations with legends such as pianist and composer Billy Strayhorn. He termed his music “American music” and refused to attach any category to it. He received a posthumous Pulitzer Prize.

 7 John Coltrane

John Coltrane
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Famous As: Saxophonist, Composer
Birthdate: September 23, 1926
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: HaHamlet, North Carolina, United States
Died: July 17, 1967
Jazz saxophonist John Coltrane is remembered for his significant influence on modern jazz. He was initially part of the Navy band and eventually collaborated with musicians such as Miles Davis. He won a Pulitzer Prize and a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, and was canonized by the African Orthodox Church.
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 8 Don Shirley

Don Shirley
4
Famous As: Composer
Birthdate: January 29, 1927
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Pensacola, Florida, USA
Died: April 6, 2013

 9 Bobby Darin

Bobby Darin
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Famous As: Singer, Actor, Jazz musician, Songwriter
Birthdate: May 14, 1936
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: New York City
Died: December 20, 1973

 10 Gary Burghoff

Gary Burghoff
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: May 24, 1943
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Bristol, Connecticut

Gary Burghoff is an American actor who is credited with originating the popular role of Charlie Brown in the 1967 Broadway musical You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown. He is also known for originating the role of Walter Eugene O'Reilly in the 1970 black comedy war movie MASH and the popular TV series of the same name.

 11 Chet Baker

Chet Baker
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Famous As: Jazz Trumpeter
Birthdate: December 23, 1929
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Yale, Oklahoma, United States
Died: May 13, 1988

Chet Baker was an American vocalist and jazz trumpeter. He achieved recognition during the 1950s and his innovations within cool jazz, a style of modern jazz music, earned him the nickname prince of cool. However, his drug addiction overshadowed much of his professional achievements. His life and work inspired the 2015 drama film Born to Be Blue.

 12 Ginger Baker

Ginger Baker
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Famous As: Drummer, Jazz musician, Musician, Songwriter
Birthdate: August 19, 1939
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: London Borough of Lewisham

 13 Kenny G

Kenny G
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Famous As: Saxophonist
Birthdate: June 5, 1956
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Seattle, Washington, United States

Kenneth Bruce Gorelick, better known as Kenny G, is a best-selling jazz saxophonist who has sold over 75 million records and even owns a line of saxophones. He is also a certified pilot and a skilled golfer who has participated in the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am seven times.

 14 Mick Taylor

Mick Taylor
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Famous As: Musician
Birthdate: January 17, 1949
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Welwyn Garden City, England

Mick Taylor soared to fame as the guitarist of iconic rock band The Rolling Stones. He has also been part of John Mayall's Bluesbreakers. Named to the Rock 'n Roll Hall of Fame, he was also declared one of Rolling Stone magazine’s 100 greatest guitarists of all time.

 15 Jon Batiste

Jon Batiste
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Famous As: Musician
Birthdate: November 11, 1986
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Kenner, Louisiana, United States

 16 Jaco Pastorius

Jaco Pastorius
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Famous As: Bassist, Composer, Jazz musician, Bandleader
Birthdate: December 1, 1951
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Norristown
Died: September 21, 1987

 17 Thelonious Monk

Thelonious Monk
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Famous As: Jazz Pianist & Composer
Birthdate: October 10, 1917
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Rocky Mount, North Carolina, United States
Died: February 17, 1982

Thelonious Monk was an American jazz pianist and composer who was noted for his unorthodox approach and idiosyncrasy during his performance. Mentored by Mary Lou Williams, Thelonious Monk contributed to bebop and was associated with Columbia and Riverside labels. His run-in with the police affected his performance after his New York City Cabaret Card was confiscated following the discovery of narcotics in a car.

 18 Buddy Rich

Buddy Rich
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Famous As: Musician
Birthdate: September 30, 1917
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, USA
Died: April 2, 1987

 19 Django Reinhardt

Django Reinhardt
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Famous As: Musician
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.

 20 Thundercat

Thundercat
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Famous As: Musician
Birthdate: October 19, 1984
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States

 21 Herb Alpert

Herb Alpert
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Famous As: Trumpeter
Birthdate: March 31, 1935
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Boyle Heights, Los Angeles, California, United States
Herb Alpert is an American trumpeter who achieved popularity in the 1960s when he led the band Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass. He is also credited with co-founding A&M Records. Also a well-known philanthropist, Alpert launched the Herb Alpert Foundation in the 1980s in an attempt to deal with environmental issues and support youth and arts education.

 22 Buckethead

Buckethead
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Famous As: Guitarist, Composer, Banjoist, Jazz musician, Jazz guitarist
Birthdate: May 13, 1969
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Huntington Beach

 23 Kyle Eastwood

Kyle Eastwood
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Famous As: Actor, Composer, Jazz musician, Music arranger, Jazz guitarist, Film score composer
Birthdate: May 19, 1968
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Los Angeles

 24 Herbie Hancock

Herbie Hancock
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Famous As: Singer-songwriter, Bandleader, Conductor, Jazz musician, Keyboardist, Actor, Musician, Pianist, Film score composer
Birthdate: April 12, 1940
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Chicago

 25 Donald Fagen

Donald Fagen
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Famous As: Singer-songwriter, Singer, Pianist
Birthdate: January 10, 1948
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Passaic, New Jersey, United States

 26 Ralph Tresvant

Ralph Tresvant
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Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: May 16, 1968
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Roxbury

 27 Dizzy Gillespie

Dizzy Gillespie
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Famous As: Jazz Trumpeter, Bandleader
Birthdate: October 21, 1917
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Cheraw, South Carolina, United States
Died: January 6, 1993

Jazz trumpeter, bandleader, and singer Dizzy Gillespie developed the virtuoso style of Roy Eldridge, modifying it with innovative harmony and rhythm. He popularized the bebop style of music and was famous for his signature horn-rimmed spectacles. His contribution to modern jazz earned him the title of the Ambassador of Jazz.

 28 Adan Canto

Adan Canto
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: December 5, 1981
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Ciudad Acuña, Coahuila, Mexico
Adan Canto is best known as Sunspot from the film X-Men: Days of Future Past and as Paul Torres in the series The Following. He played real-life politician Rodrigo Lara Bonilla in the Netflix series Narcos. He also directed the award-winning short film The Shot through his own production house.

 29 George Benson

George Benson
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Famous As: Guitarist, Singer, Songwriter, Jazz musician, Composer, Jazz guitarist
Birthdate: March 22, 1943
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Pittsburgh

 30 Scatman John

Scatman John
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Famous As: Musician, Singer
Birthdate: March 13, 1942
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Monte, California, United States
Died: December 3, 1999

 31 Chick Corea

Chick Corea
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Famous As: Jazz musician, Composer
Birthdate: June 12, 1941
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Chelsea, Massachusetts, United States
Died: February 9, 2021

 32 Benny Goodman

Benny Goodman
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Famous As: Bandleader and clarinetist
Birthdate: May 30, 1909
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States
Died: June 13, 1986

 33 Malcolm John Rebennack Jr.

Malcolm John Rebennack Jr.
4
Famous As: Singer-songwriter, Singer, Pianist, Jazz musician, Guitarist
Birthdate: November 21, 1940
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: New Orleans

 34 Al Jarreau

Al Jarreau
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Famous As: Musician
Birthdate: March 12, 1940
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States
Died: February 12, 2017

 35 Charles Mingus

Charles Mingus
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Famous As: Jazz Pianist
Birthdate: April 22, 1922
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Nogales, Arizona, United States
Died: January 5, 1979
Jazz double bassist and pianist Charles Mingus is remembered for his stints with artists such as Louis Armstrong, Charlie Parker, Dannie Richmond, and Herbie Hancock, and was named to the Down Beat Jazz Hall of Fame. His scores and recordings are preserved in the Library of Congress.

 36 Jeff Porcaro

Jeff Porcaro
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Famous As: Drummer, Jazz musician
Birthdate: April 1, 1954
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Hartford
Died: August 5, 1992

 37 Mel Tormé

Mel Tormé
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Famous As: Actor, Singer, Composer, Novelist, Songwriter, Autobiographer, Jazz musician, Television actor, Writer
Birthdate: September 13, 1925
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Chicago
Died: June 5, 1999

 38 Chet Atkins

Chet Atkins
4
Famous As: Guitarist, Jazz musician, Record producer, Jazz guitarist, Classical guitarist, Songwriter
Birthdate: June 20, 1924
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Luttrell
Died: June 30, 2001

 39 Walter Becker

Walter Becker
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Famous As: Guitarist, Record producer
Birthdate: February 20, 1950
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Queens, New York, United States

 40 Wynton Marsalis

Wynton Marsalis
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Famous As: Trumpeter
Birthdate: October 18, 1961
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: New Orleans, Louisiana, United States

 41 Jack Bruce

Jack Bruce
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Famous As: Composer, Singer, Jazz musician, Diarist, Pianist, Songwriter
Birthdate: May 14, 1943
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Bishopbriggs
Died: October 25, 2014

 42 Danny Carey

Danny Carey
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Famous As: Drummer, Jazz musician
Birthdate: May 10, 1961
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Lawrence

 43 Madlib

Madlib
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Famous As: Composer, Disc jockey, Jazz musician, Record producer
Birthdate: October 24, 1973
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Oxnard

 44 Chuck Mangione

Chuck Mangione
3
Famous As: Composers
Birthdate: November 29, 1940
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Rochester, New York, USA

 45 Charlie Watts

Charlie Watts
4
Famous As: Drummer
Birthdate: June 2, 1941
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Kingsbury, London, England
Died: August 24, 2021

English drummer, Charlie Watts, was best known as a member of the band Rolling Stones. He was associated with the group for almost 60 years. He began his career as a graphic designer for an advertising company and played with bands in his leisure time. He eventually started drumming full time with Rolling Stones.

 46 Montell Jordan

Montell Jordan
3
Famous As: Singer, Singer-songwriter, Record producer
Birthdate: December 3, 1968
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Los Angeles

 47 John Densmore

John Densmore
3
Famous As: Musician
Birthdate: December 1, 1944
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Santa Monica, California, USA

 48 Tevin Campbell

Tevin Campbell
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Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: November 12, 1976
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Waxahachie

 49 John McLaughlin

John McLaughlin
3
Famous As: Guitarist, Bandleader, composer
Birthdate: January 4, 1942
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Doncaster

 50 Oscar Peterson

Oscar Peterson
3
Famous As: Jazz Pianist
Birthdate: August 15, 1925
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Montreal
Died: December 23, 2007
Seven-time Grammy-winning jazz pianist Oscar Peterson had initially wished to be a trumpeter but switched to the piano because of a lung ailment. He was the first living person, apart from a king, to get a commemorative Canadian stamp. He used a signature handkerchief between performances.