Thanks for taking the time to check out some great jazz artists, from historically important jazz musicians to multi-instrumentalist contemporary performers and educators. This is, by no means, an exhaustive list of performers. Instead, it’s a curated list of three performers on each wind instrument, and is a “jumping off” point in your exploration of jazz instrumentation. Jazz has no boundaries: artists of all genders and nationalities have been selected to demonstrate the diversity of personnel and creativity.
Kyle Engelhardt, Band Director, Cedar Falls High School
Historically important in development of bebop in the 1940s
Recommended Audio: Bird: The Savoy Recordings (Full Album)
Modern Puerto Rican alto saxophonist, composer, band leader, music producer, and teacher.
Recommended Audio: Identities are Changeable – live with Identities Big Band, 2014
Contemporary Saxophonist, composer, and educator, and part of the all-female band touring with Beyonce.
Recommended Audio: Live at the Strathmore Mansion, 2014
Historically important member of the Basie Band, active from 1933-1959.
Recommended Audio: Lester Young with the Oscar Peterson Trio
American jazz saxophonist, composer, and multi-instrumentalist. Active 1990 to present.
Recommended Audio: Live @ A Vaulx Jazz 2019
Contemporary Chilean tenor saxophonist
Recommended Audio: Live combo performance from 2018
American jazz icon, popularized the bari as a solo instrument, active from 1946-1996.
Recommended Audio: Gerry Mulligan & Chet Baker: Carnegie Hall Concert
Legendary bari sax player with the Duke Ellington band. Active from 1927-1974
Recommended Audio: “Sophisticated Lady” – Duke Ellington Orchestra
Winner of the “Rising Star” in the 2019 Downbeat Critics Poll, and Grammy Award winner.
Recommended Audio: Live at Dizzy’s Club, 2017
American trombonist, composer, arranger. Active from 1942-1996, one of the first to embrace bebop
Recommended Audio: The Great Kai and J.J. (full album)
American, Grammy Award winning jazz trombonist of Costa Rican descent.
Recommended Audio: Live from the Puerto Rico – Heineken Jazz Festival, 2013
Singer, Songwriter, trombonist, “Rising Star – Trombone” Downbeat 2019.
Recommended Audio: Natalie Cressman and Ian Faquini – “You Go To My Head” (house concert)
One of the most influential and acclaimed figures in the history of jazz.
Recommended Audio: Miles Davis – Kind of Blue. Best selling jazz album of all-time.
Canadian trumpet player, one of the best modern trumpet players alive today.
Recommended: Discover Jazz – Ingrid Jensen. 2016 PBS Special from 2016.
American virtuoso trumpeter, composer, teacher, and artistic director of Jazz at Lincoln Center
Recommended Audio: Wynton Marsalis live at Jazz in Marciac 2019