Who Are Some Popular Contemporary Jazz Artists?


Quick Answer

As of 2015, some popular contemporary jazz artists include singer and pianist Norah Jones, film composer Marcus Miller, and vocalist Cassandra Wilson. Contemporary jazz is a genre that draws inspiration from classic jazz, funk, pop and R&B, utilizing slick production values to blend these different musical sensibilities.

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Full Answer

Norah Jones is, as of 2015, one of the leading contemporary jazz artists in the United States. She is heavily influenced by pop and rock, has covered country songs, and frequently works with artists outside the contemporary jazz genre. Despite her forays outside the strictures of jazz, Jones has academic training in jazz piano, composition and vocals, and is currently signed with jazz label Blue Note Records. Her first album for the label, "Come Away with Me," went multi-platinum and won eight Grammy awards.

Marcus Miller is a contemporary jazz artist who has worked as a producer, solo artist and ensemble musician. He has also worked on numerous films. One of his first film gigs was with director Spike Lee on music for "School Daze." Like Jones, Miller frequently collaborates with artists outside the genre. He has appeared on albums by Snoop Dogg, Jay-Z, Paul Simon, Aretha Franklin and Chaka Khan.

Cassandra Wilson is a vocalist who often concentrates on older jazz works, drawing on folk music, classic jazz and blues. In 2015, she released an album that focused on Billie Holiday's repertoire. Her versions of the songs freely re-invented them, at times referencing contemporary political issues, such as the Black Lives Matter protests. She won Grammy awards for her albums "New Moon Daughter" and "Loverly."

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