Aaron Diehl (27):
This Juilliard School grad with ill piano skills has toured with Wynton Marsalis. His The Bespoke Man’s Narrative
features George Gerswhin and Duke Ellington ballads performed in a style evoking the late jazz pianist John Lewis.
Christian Scott (30):
A trumpeter with an eight-album discography of his own, Scott has also been featured on projects by Prince and the bass-playing great Marcus Miller. He's mastered the cornet, flugelhorn and soprano sax too.
Cécile McLorin Salvant (23):
After three years in France, this Miami native returned singing (phenomenally) about an even wider range of experiences for her second album, this spring’s WomanChild
. Merci Paris!
Gerald Clayton (28).
Son of jazz bassist John Clayton, this Southern California pianist first startled the world at the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition at 22. Albums like this year’s Life Forum
deliver on that stellar promise.
James Brandon Lewis (30):
For many, the sax is
jazz. And for modern times, this Howard University grad holds it down. Just one listen to his 2010 debut Moments
proves the point.
Jonathan Batiste (26):
An ongoing collaborator with jazz vocalist Cassandra Wilson, this millennial pianist also appears occasionally on HBO’s Treme
(keep your eyes peeled).
Esperanza Spalding (28):
If you don't know, now you know. This ill bassist-cellist won a Grammy in 2011 before becoming a household name, and records like Radio Music Society
cemented that presence in Black America's hippest households, for sure.