By: Ryan Nelson
Outside of the tight knit modern jazz community, very little is known about current artists in the genre. Everyone knows the American legends like Miles Mavis and Thelonious Monk, but this new generation should not be overlooked. Below are five musicians you should know.
Gregory Porter is an award-winning Jazz vocalist and composer. At the 53rd Grammy Awards, Water, his debut album, was nominated for Best Jazz Vocal album in 2011. His 2013 album Liquid Spirit was nominated for and won the Grammy Award for Best Jazz Vocal Album. As BBC's Kevin Le Gendre said during his review of Porter's first album, Water, "Gregory Porter has a voice and musicality to be reckoned with."
Twenty-nine-year-old Marquis Hill is an up and coming trumpeter born and raised in Chicago. He's a veteran of the Chicago jazz scene, which you can hear in his music with its hard-hitting, swingy feel. He now spends half his time in New York. The Way We Play, his newest album, was released June 24, 2016, and recorded with his Chicago-based working band, the Blacktet. Howard Reich at the Chicago tribune says that "Hill commands a nimble technique, a fluid way of improvising and a pervasively lyrical manner."
Aaron Diehl is a jazz pianist, born in Columbus, Ohio. In 2002, at Jazz at Lincoln Center's Essentially Ellington competition, Diehl was a finalist and won an award for "Outstanding Soloist." He graduated from Juilliard in 2007 and a few years later, released his first album, Live at the Caramoor. In 2010, he released his second album, Live at the Players. Diehl released his debut album with Mack Avenue Records, The Bespoke Man's Narrative, in 2013 and won an award from the Jazz Journalists Association for Up-And-Coming Artist the same year. He's won several other awards as well and was the Artistic Director of the Catskill Jazz Factory. Diehl has played with several internationally acclaimed artists and ensembles too and is currently on tour with Cécile McLorin Salvant.
Jamison Ross is a jazz drummer and vocalist from Jacksonville, FL. He got his start playing the drums and singing at his grandfather's church. In 2007, Ross was featured in the documentary "Chops". Jamison was invited to the Betty Carter Jazz Ahead Residency at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. in 2009, where he met Carmen Lundy, the grammy-award winning singer/songwriter. He went on to record as the drummer on Lundy's Changes and Soul to Soul. In 2012, alongside winning the Thelonious Monk International Jazz competition, Ross was named the best vocalist amongst young, jazz artists by Vanity Fair. On June 23, 2015, his first album, Jamison, was released by Concord Jazz. The album received a nomination for Best Jazz Vocal Album at the 2016 Grammy Awards.
Cécile McLorin Salvant is a jazz vocalist from Miami, Florida. In 2010, she won the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition and released Cecile, her first album. In 2013, she released her second album, WomanChild, on Mack Avenue Records. Salvant was nominated for Best Jazz Vocal Album for the 2014 Grammy Awards. For One to Love, her third album, was released on September 5, 2015, and won her the Grammy Award for Best Jazz Vocal Album in 2016.