2020 Jazz Music: What to Expect

This article is a collaborative effort, crafted and edited by a team of dedicated professionals.

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,


As we move into 2020, what can we expect from the world of Jazz music? Here are some predictions from our team of experts!

2020 Jazz Music: What to Expect

The past few years have seen a resurgence in popularity for the jazz genre, and 2020 is shaping up to be another great year for fans of this timeless style of music. From dynamic up-and-comers to veteran performers, there is something for everyone in the world of jazz music this year. Here are just a few of the standout releases and performances to keep an eye out for in 2020.

The Return of Live Music

2020 is shaping up to be a big year for jazz music. After a few years of decline, the genre is seeing a resurgence in popularity, thanks in part to a new generation of artists who are bringing the sounds of the past into the present.

This year, expect to see more live jazz performances than ever before, as well as a renewed interest in classic jazz recordings. Here are some of the most anticipated releases and events of 2020:

-Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Returning to New Orleans
– Wynton Marsalis and Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra Performing at Newport Jazz Festival
– Miles Davis Biopic in development
– New albums from Trombone Shorty, Kamasi Washington, and Gregory Porter

More Collaborations

Jazz music in 2020 is likely to be marked by more collaborations between artists, as well as new takes on classic melodies. One of the most anticipated albums of the year is saxophonist Kamasi Washington’s “Heaven and Earth,” a two-part project that explores his spirituality and the state of the world.

Washington isn’t the only artist releasing a highly-anticipated album in 2020. Pianist Robert Glasper is also set to release a new album, “F*ck Yo Feelings,” which features an all-star cast of collaborators including Herbie Hancock, Yasiin Bey, and Rapsody.

Other jazz musicians to watch in 2020 include trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire, who will be releasing a new album called “On A Blue Note,” and saxophonist Chris Potter, who will be debuting his new band The United Quintet.

The Rise of Streaming

The rise of streaming services has had a major impact on the music industry, and jazz is no exception. More and more people are listening to music online, and this trend is only set to continue in 2020. This means that there will be more opportunities for jazz musicians to reach a wider audience.

One of the most popular streaming services is Spotify, which has a huge catalog of jazz recordings. If you’re looking for something new to listen to, this is a great place to start. Another service to check out is Amazon Music, which also has a good selection of jazz albums.

There are also several dedicated jazz streaming services, such as Jazz 24 and The Music Gallery. These platforms offer a wide range of music, from classic recordings to contemporary releases. If you’re a die-hard fan of the genre, then these are definitely worth checking out.

With more people streaming music than ever before, 2020 is shaping up to be a big year for jazz.

Key Players to Watch

As the 2020 jazz music scene continues to heat up, there are a few key players that you should keep your eye on. These artists are pushing the boundaries of the genre and putting out some truly innovative and exciting music. Here are a few of the artists that you should be on the lookout for in 2020.

Kamasi Washington

To say that Kamasi Washington changed the game in 2015 would be an understatement. The release of his debut album The Epic brought the jazz world to its knees and shook up the music industry at large. A three-hour, 17-track record featuring a full orchestra and countless guest appearances, The Epic was a bold statement of intent from the then 32-year-old saxophonist.

Since then, Washington has toured the world several times over, playing to ever-increasing crowds of diehard fans. He’s also found time to release a handful of EPs and singles, including the excellent Harmony of Difference in 2017. His latest project, Heaven and Earth, is due out in June 2018.

With his star very much on the rise, Kamasi Washington is one of the key players to watch in the jazz world right now.

Robert Glasper

Award-winning jazz pianist and composer Robert Glasper is a key player to watch in 2020. His contributions to the music industry have earned him critical acclaim, and he is considered one of the most influential artists of his generation. With a sound that is both fresh and timeless, Glasper is known for pushing the boundaries of jazz and R&B. His approach to music is deeply rooted in the tradition of jazz, but his style is also shaped by his love of hip-hop and other contemporary genres. As a result, his music appeals to a wide range of listeners, from die-hard jazz fans to those who are just discovering the genre.

In 2020, Glasper will release a new album, titled Everything’s Beautiful. The record is a tribute to Miles Davis, and it features reworked versions of some of Davis’ most iconic tunes. In addition to his solo work, Glasper is also a member of the Grammy-winning group The Robert Glasper Experiment. He has collaborated with a number of high-profile artists, including Beyoncé, Kendrick Lamar, and Common. With his unique blend of talent and versatility, Glasper is sure to make an impact on the jazz world in 2020.

Esperanza Spalding

Grammy-winning jazz bassist and singer Esperanza Spalding is one of the most acclaimed and innovative artists of her generation. She released her debut album, Junjo, in 2006 to critical acclaim, and followed it up with the critically acclaimed Esperanza in 2008.

Spalding’s latest album, Emily’s D+Evolution, was released in 2016 to widespread critical acclaim. The New York Times called it “a career-defining album.” NPR said it was “nothing short of extraordinary.”

Spalding has won four Grammy Awards, including the 2011 Grammy for Best New Artist. She is also a recipient of the MacArthur Genius Grant.

New Releases to Check Out

2020 is already shaping up to be a great year for jazz music, with new releases from some of the genre’s most celebrated artists. If you’re looking for something new to listen to, here are some of the best jazz albums of 2020.

“The Epic” by Kamasi Washington

“The Epic” by Kamasi Washington is a three-hour, seventeen-track magnum opus that was recently nominated for a Grammy award. Washington is a tenor saxophonist who has played with the likes of Kendrick Lamar and Herbie Hancock, and on his own debut album he leads an ensemble of over fifty musicians. The result is an expansive and ambitious work that explores the intersection of contemporary jazz with hip hop, R&B, and classical music.

“Black Radio” by Robert Glasper

“Black Radio” by Robert Glasper is one of the most highly anticipated releases of 2020. The album features an all-star lineup of guests, including Herbie Hancock, McCoy Tyner, and Yasiin Bey (formerly known as Mos Def). “Black Radio” is a tribute to the late great Miles Davis, and it’s sure to be one of the most talked-about albums of the year.

“Chamber Music Society” by Esperanza Spalding

Esperanza Spalding’s newest album “Chamber Music Society” is a must listen for any jazz fan. The album is a departure from her previous work, but still retains the skilled musicianship and vocal talent that have made her one of the most respected names in the genre.

“Chamber Music Society” is a more intimate album, with Spalding focusing on smaller arrangements and duets. This allows her to really showcase her virtuosity on the bass and her gorgeous singing voice. The results are stunning, and this album is sure to be one of the best jazz releases of 2020.


Jazz music in 2020 is likely to continue its trend towards greater experimentation and fusion with other genres. We can expect to see more artists pushing the boundaries of what jazz can be, and making the music their own. As always, there will be something for everyone, from traditionalists to those who like their jazz with a twist. Whatever your taste, 2020 is sure to be an exciting year for jazz music.

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