Not an LJS Inner Circle Member? LEARN MORE

5 Most Important Jazz Musicians of All Time

If you want to crush it as a jazz improviser, knowing how to improvise over a blues inside and out will give you an unfair advantage.

"Boost Your Jazz Blues"

Sign up for my FREE Masterclass

When it comes down to it, there are so many great jazz musicians out there that you need to be listening to. There’s so many that have so much to offer, so much inspiration, and had such a big impact on jazz history.

But in today’s video, I want to boil it down to what I think are 5 of the most important jazz musicians that you need to be familiar with and listening to.

Important Links and Resources

Further Reading:

6 Important Jazz Musicians You Need to Know

Brent Vaartstra
Brent Vaartstra is a professional jazz guitarist and educator living in New York City. He is the head blogger and podcast host for which he owns and operates. He actively performs around the New York metropolitan area and is the author of the Hal Leonard publication "Visual Improvisation for Jazz Guitar." He's also the host of the music entrepreneurship podcast "Passive Income Musician."


  1. I agree with your choices if the criteria were, "5 jazz musicians most responsible for establishing what we now consider the jazz art-form". However, "most important of all time" may be a bit elusive. It's hard for me to ignore the fact that as the art-form progresses there are successors to your five who have also contributed in ways that have permanently altered the idiom in dramatic ways. Pat Metheny, Chick Corea, Michael Brecker,
    all come to mind. In sports, who is more important, Ben Hogan or Tiger Woods? Wilt Chamberlain or Michael Jordan? Babe Ruth or Willie Mays or Cal Ripkin?

    • Hey David, fair enough. All of those are quite important. In my opinion, it remains to be seen how much of an impact as far as innovation these musicians had when comparing to others I've mentioned. Doesn't mean they aren't worthy though.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Follow Us

Free Stuff

I want to...