5 Up and Coming Jazz Musicians

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Best New Jazz Artists You Need to Know About

  • Cécile McLorin Salvant
  • Esperanza Spalding
  • Marquis Hill
  • Aaron Diehl
  • Jamison Ross
Music fans are around the world, from New York to London to Tokyo. They’re always on the hunt to find new names that are spicing up the jazz scene. Here are a few names to keep in mind when scouting for new musicians to listen to.

Cécile McLorin Salvant

Cécile McLorin Salvant is one of the most talented musicians in jazz right now. It’s no surprise that she has made this list. This Miami-born jazz vocalist and pianist hails from French and Haitian heritage. She has embraceed both of her parents’ cultural upbringing in her music. She recorded her debut album, Cécile, in 2009.  She then went on to win the 2010 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Vocals Competition. She has since become one of the most successful musicians of her generation and won the 2016 Grammy for the Best Jazz Vocal Album.

Esperanza Spalding

Esperanza Spalding is a name that many jazz enthusiasts have heard for over a decade. But the multi-talented musician and vocalist’s trajectory to the mainstream is not yet complete. She has five records under her belt and multiple Grammy awards to her name. Spalding has not finished showing the jazz world what she is capable of. Her fifth studio album, Emily’s D+Evolution, was released early last year and garnered critical acclaim. It brought her name to the forefront of the music world. Mainstream fans have been able to discover what this bassist, cellist, and singer has in store for them.

Read: 10 Best University Jazz Programs

Marquis Hill

Chicago-born Marquis Hill is a name that most jazz fans will recognize. This multi-talented musician got his first break when he won an award for the 2014 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Trumpet Competition. Now the 30-year-old is impressing fans with his 2016 album, The Way We Play. It was recorded with the help of his Chicago working band, the Blacktet. There is more on the way from this incredible musician, so be prepared to be amazed at his next musical outing.

Aaron Diehl

Aaron Diehl is a Juilliard graduate and a recipient of an award from the Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Essentially Ellington Competition in 2002. But it wasn’t until 2013 that his work in the field became known to general audiences. In that year, he released his debut album,  The Bespoke Man’s Narrative. He went on to later win the “Up-and-Coming Artist” award from the Jazz Journalists Association. He spent the majority of last year on tour with another up-and-coming musician, Cécile McLorin Salvant.

Jamison Ross

For jazz fans, the name Jamison Ross brings about a sense of excitement. This drummer and vocalist hails from Jacksonville, Florida, and got his start in 2009. That year, Ross was awarded the Betty Carter Jazz Ahead Residency, located in Washington, D.C. The year also brought about the beginning of his working relationship with Grammy award-winning Carmen Lundy. He went on to work on two albums with Lundy before winning the 2012 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition. That same year he was named by Vanity Fair as the best jazz vocalist of his generation. He released his debut album in 2015, Jamison, which received a Grammy nomination for Best Jazz Vocal Album in 2016. Jazz is a uniquely American creation. It was born in African American communities in New Orleans in the 19th century. It has become a beautiful form of self-expression that ties African American music traditions to the African cultures from which they are descended from. With these five up and coming jazz musicians, any fan can get into the young talent in the scene.

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