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Here is a list of young(er) musicians making serious waves in the jazz world.
Many of them are already established stars with busy performing and teaching careers, but there is some youth here.
The level of creativity, technical command and overall musicianship of these artists is proof indeed that the music is in more than capable hands.
Around 2010, self-produced videos of this quirky looking teenager singing multiple parts and playing every instrument appeared on several social media sites.
A cover of Stevie Wonder’s Don’t You Worry ‘Bout A Thing was the beginning of a flood of multi-tracked, heavily produced arrangements that Jacob began putting out.
He’s an astonishing talent, playing drums, bass and keyboards, while pushing the boundaries of computer-based, looping-style productions and technology.
Mr Glasper is a pianist, arranger, producer and songwriter.
His afro-hip-hop-jazz trio stylings have attracted new listeners to the music.
Part of a re-energized west-coast scene, Robert Glasper continues to tour and push the boundaries of jazz music.
Born in Santiago, Chile, to musical parents, Aldana was exposed to the language of jazz before she could speak Spanish.
In 2013, she won the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Saxophone Competition.
She also won a Grammy for Best Improvised Jazz Solo in 2019 from her album Visions (Motéma) .
She’s currently busy touring the world and being a mom.
I first heard Julian play I’ll Be Seeing You in a YouTube video featuring Scott Colley on bass, and Kenny Wollesen on drums.
I’d never heard a Fender Telecaster sound this way.
Born in Dec 1987, he was a child prodigy who would go on to perform at the 2000 Grammy awards at the age of 12.
He’s currently a Blue Note artist and is on the faculty at the New England Conservatory Of Music.
Born in Bali, Indonesia in 2003, Joey is another childhood prodigy.
His command of the jazz language, and the technical demands of the piano is beyond many seasoned professionals.
A Youtube clip of him playing Coltrane’s Giant Steps in a practice room went viral and for good reason.
He too is busy touring and spreading the jazz message to those willing whose ears are open.
Like all the artists here, Gretchen Parlato has a unique and personal approach to her craft.
Her live recording of Herbie Hancock’s “Butterfly” is a study in subtlety, control and tempo.
She’s performed with Herbie, Wayne Shorter, Esperanza Spalding and Lionel Loueke.
Awards include The Thelonius Monk Jazz Vocals Competition winner in 2004, and ” Best Vocal Album, NPR Music Jazz Critics Poll (2011), The Lost and Found”
Born and raised in Los Angeles, Washington went on to study ethnomusicology at UCLA where he began performing with jazz veterans such as Kenny Burrell and Billy Higgins.
He played saxophone on Kendrick Lamarr’s breakthrough How To Pimp A Butterfly.
He’s performed with Robert Glasper , Thundercat, Herbie Hancock, Lauryn Hill, Snoop Dog and Wayne Shorter.
Born in 1984, Ms Spalding is a bassist, singer, songwriter and band leader.
Spalding has said that, for her, discovering the bass was like “waking up one day and realizing you’re in love with a co-worker.
She’s won five Grammy awards and continues to push boundaries of what the bass and the voice can do.
When not touring the world’s stages and festivals, she teaches at The Berklee College Of Musician
Emmet Cohen came to many peoples attention through his social media concert feed, “Live From Emmets place” that started during the pandemic.
Live From Emmets Place brings mostly new-generation jazz performers to sit in with his trio.
It’s all recorded and broadcast with great production values both video and audiowise.
A gifted pianist and composer, he was a recipient of the 2019 American Pianists Award and the Cole Porter Fellow of the American Pianists Association award.
His live concerts on social media which started during the pandemic lockdowns, introduced a whole new generation of players to new audiences and vice-versa.
Like most of the others listed here, Seamus Blake is an established international star.
He won the Thelonious Monk International Saxophone Competition in 2002 and has since led both his own groups and appeared as a sideman with among others, The Mingus Big Band, Dave Kikoski, ad , Erci Reed.
A word about the title: even though the artists mentioned are all international stars, there is a broad, somewhat arbitrary line between new generation and old-school jazz artists. In the latter category I put Miles Davis, Coltrane, Bird.
Stay tuned for an upcoming New Generation Jazzers companion piece. There’s a ton of talent out there!
Joshua Lebofsky is a musician, writer, composer and observer of popular and not so popular music.
He’s played cello, saxophones, piano and keyboards, and toured internationally . His World Music CD Play A little Prayer garnered international attention. He’s busy with several new music productions slated for release in 2022.