Jazz is a type of music that uses improvisation, simple to complex syncopated rhythms and altered scales There are other forms of music that developed from jazz including bebop, blues, ragtime, rhythm and blues and swing.
Louis Armstrong was a talented musician and composer who brought jazz music to the forefront. His unique talent and happy disposition endeared him to many. He was a natural performer; not only in terms of music, but in acting as well. His legacy continues and many jazz musicians of today think of Armstrong as an icon.
2. Buddy Bolden
Buddy Bolden left no known recordings of his music, but he certainly left an influential mark on cornet players and jazz musicians that followed. There is very little information on the life of Bolden and as such, certain myths about him have persisted over the years. It has been mentioned that he was a barber, but according to the National Historical Park of New Orleans, this is untrue.
3. Ray Charles
Ray Charles was truly an inspiration to many. He is proof that with courage and perseverance, anything is possible. Charles was an American singer, composer and pianist who became blind at the age of 7 due to glaucoma. He went on to become one of the most celebrated performers in history; winning dozens of Grammy awards. He was inducted to the Georgia Music Hall of Fame, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and Jazz Hall of Fame.
John Coltrane was one of the musicians who revolutionized jazz music. His successful career and triumph over personal struggles will surely inspire anyone.
Duke Ellington was a composer, bandleader and jazz pianist known for his instrumental pieces. Later on, lyrics were added to many of his compositions including "Prelude to A Kiss" and "I Got It Bad (And That Ain't Good)." He was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1971 and was posthumously awarded a Pulitzer Prize Special Citation in 1999.
With her powerful voice, wide vocal range and incredible scat-singing, it's no wonder Ella Fitzgerald earned the title "The First Lady of Song." She worked with other jazz legends such as Louis Armstrong, Dizzy Gillespie and Benny Goodman and received honorary doctorates from several prestigious universities.
7. Stan Getz
Stan Getz earned the nickname "The Sound" due to his own unique, polished style. He is considered one of America's top tenor saxophone players.
Dizzy Gillespie was a jazz trumpeter known for his trademark puffed cheeks while playing the trumpet. He earned the nickname "Dizzy" due to his amusing antics onstage but his music is certainly not a laughing matter.
Benny Goodman was a musician who was able to break the barriers of poverty and went on to become one of the most prominent figures of the Swing Era. Benny's self-discipline had a lot to do with his success. He started playing the clarinet at age 10 and spent hours everyday practicing his musical instrument.
10. Billie Holiday
One of the greatest blues singers of her time; known for her emotional songs and soulful voice. Eleanora Fagan, famously known as Billie Holiday, lives on from the many recordings she did during her fruitful career.