There’s nothing like taking a song written by one of the great jazz musicians of all time and integrating your own style into the beat. Jazz music dates way back to the early 1900’s when a new style of music surfaced where the left hand established the rhythm and the right hand improvised the melodies. This peaked many people’s interest and still does as the demand for online jazz piano lessons continues to grow.
Jazz wouldn’t be as fun to play as it is without these six great jazz pianists leading the way.
Today’s online jazz piano lessons are fun and sassy thanks to the great Art Tatum. Nobody’s hands could fly across the keyboard like Tatum. He celebrated his skills with his recording of “Tiger Rag” in 1933. Tatum played every performance relaxed and flawlessly. His effortless talents make him one of the most influential jazz pianists whose ever lived.
Clarence Smith (Pinetop Smith)
Boogie-woogie is fun to say, but even more fun to learn when taking online jazz piano lessons. Clarence Smith was an American boogie-woogie style blues pianist in the early 1900’s. His top hit was the cornerstone of ragtime music. The boogie-woogie laid out the path for big band music and is one of the fundamentals for rock and roll.
Earl Rudolph (Bud Powell)
After a few online jazz piano lessons, you’ll gain the confidence needed to put your own twist on things like Bud Powell. Powell played with all the great dance bands including the swing orchestra of Cootie Williams. He was highly considered by his peers to be one of the key figures in bebop, also known as modern jazz. If your looking for someone to admire when taking online jazz piano lessons, think of Powell and his talented way of improvise a toe-tapping melody at the drop of the hat.
Mary Lou Williams
One of the few jazz musicians to play in the first three decades of jazz piano was Mary Lou Williams. Known as the “little piano girl,” Williams started out young, playing ragtime at the age of four. She went on to travel, write, and arrange pieces developing a little-known style of jazz called the Kansas City Swing. Some of the younger musicians new to the jazz scene including the likes Miles Davis and Charlie Parker performed pieces she wrote.
Ray Charles Robinson, known to family and friends as “Brother Ray,” was genius as he was able to play the piano masterfully despite being blind since age seven. In the 1950’s Charles combined country, jazz, and blues into one style of music known as soul music. He also led the way for equality in the music industry being the first African American musician to have a mainstream record company to grant him artistic control.
At age 11, Herbie Hancock played with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. From then on, Hancock heard the call of jazz and became one of the leading jazz pianist in the 1960’s. His style fused together rock and jazz. Rather than playing a grand piano, Hancock opted for electronic keyboards and synthesizers.
If you want to make the list for the all-time best jazz pianist, then you should start right here and sign up for our online jazz piano lessons. We’ll work to pair you up with a teacher that is best suited for you and your swinging style.