There are quite a few musicians and singers who we can say have made an impact on history. Here are six influential jazz artists who did just that. They contributed greatly to the music industry and paved the way for the musicians of today.
1. Arthur “Art” Tatum, Jr.
Born in 1909 in Toledo, Ohio, Arthur Tatum, Jr., was an American virtuoso jazz pianist. He has widely been acknowledged as one of the greatest jazz pianists of all time and was a major influence on later generations of jazz pianists. He was honored with the Grammy Hall of Fame Award and the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.
2. Art Blakey
Art Blakey was known for the way he helped to revolutionize the way that jazz was played with the drums. His style has often been referred to as having a bit of swing, blues, funk, and hard bop rolled into one.
3. Dizzy Gillespie
Dizzy Gillespie could never be forgotten with the amazing contributions he brought to jazz. He was a jazz trumpet player, composer, singer, and bandleader who was known for his horn-rimmed glasses and puffy cheeks while playing the trumpet. Gillespie was one of the most influential trumpet players in history.
Count Basie led one of the most successful bands in history. Basie was a renowned pianist, composer, organist, and bandleader who introduced multiple generations of listeners to the big band sound. He wrote numerous hits like “April in Paris” and “One O’clock Jump.
5. Billie Holiday
Born Eleanora Fagan, but known throughout her professional career as “Lady Day,” Billie Holiday was discovered by producer John Hammond while she was performing in a Harlem jazz club at the age of 18. Holiday went on to have a great influence on jazz music and singing.
6. Nina Simone
Legendary performer Nina Simone sang a mix of jazz, blues and folk music in the 1950s and ’60s.
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