The Best of European Jazz Music

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

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,


A compilation of the best European jazz musicians and bands that are making waves in the genre.


European jazz has been gaining in popularity over the past few years, and there are some truly talented artists making some great music. In this guide, we’ll take a look at some of the best European jazz musicians and their most iconic albums.

The Best of European Jazz

European jazz has been heavily influenced by American jazz and thus has a unique sound. European jazz is known for its complex rhythms and harmonies. If you’re a fan of jazz music, then you should definitely check out some of the best European jazz musicians.


Germany has a strong jazz tradition, with cities like Berlin and Cologne being centers of the European jazz scene. Some of the best German jazz musicians include bassist Eberhard Weber, saxophonist Klaus Doldinger, and pianist Joachim Kühn.


France has long been known for its contributions to the world of jazz. French musicians have been involved in the genre since its inception in the early 20th century, and the country has produced some of the greatest jazz musicians of all time.

From the early days of ragtime and Dixieland to the more modern styles of bebop and fusion, French jazz has always had its own unique sound. While French jazz may not be as commercially successful as American jazz, it is highly respected by critics and fans alike.

Some of the most well-known French jazz musicians include saxophonist Sidney Bechet, clarinetist Barney Bigard, trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie, trombonist Jacquet Breda, pianist Thelonious Monk, bassist Charles Mingus, and drummer Art Blakey. These musicians all made significant contributions to the development of jazz and helped to shape the sound of the genre.

If you’re interested in exploring French jazz further, there are many great albums that feature French musicians prominently. Some of these include “Jazz in Paris” by Sidney Bechet, “The Best of European Jazz” by various artists, “Swinging Mademoiselles” by Dizzy Gillespie, and “Jazz at the Philharmonic in Paris” by Oscar Peterson.


Italy has a long and proud tradition in jazz, with the first professional jazz band in the country being formed way back in 1919. Since then, the country has produced a number of world-renowned jazz musicians, including Enrico Rava, Stefano Bollani, and Giovanni Guidi.

In recent years, the Italian jazz scene has been booming, with a new generation of musicians carrying on the country’s rich musical heritage. One of the most exciting aspects of Italian jazz today is the incredible range of styles on offer, from traditional swing and bebop to more experimental forms.

If you’re looking for some great Italian jazz to add to your collection, here are five albums that are definitely worth checking out.


Spain is one of the most renowned destinations for jazz music in Europe, with a vibrant and thriving scene that has produced some of the genre’s most celebrated musicians. The country’s rich history and diverse culture have had a significant impact on the development of jazz, and Spanish artists have played an important role in shaping the sound of the genre.

Some of the most famous Spanish jazz musicians include saxophonist Javier Giroto, trumpeter Oskar Linx, pianist Chano Dominguez, and bassist McCoy Mrubata. These artists have earned international acclaim for their innovative and captivating music, and they continue to thrive on the Spanish jazz scene. If you’re looking for the best of European jazz, Spain is definitely a country that should be on your radar.


If you’re a fan of jazz music, then you’ll definitely want to check out the best of European jazz. Jazz has long been popular in Europe, and there are plenty of great European jazz musicians out there.

One of the best places to start is Portugal. Portugal has a rich history of jazz music, dating back to the early 20th century. Portuguese jazz is often characterized by its use of traditional Portuguese instruments like the cavaquinho and fado guitar, as well as itsuse of African rhythms. Portuguese jazz is also known for its embrace of different genres, blending elements of bossa nova, samba, and even rock into its sound.

Some of the best Portuguese jazz musicians include Paulo Braga, Mario Laginha, and Rodrigo Amado. If you’re looking for some great Portuguese jazz to listen to, start with these three artists.


In conclusion, there is a great deal of variation in the Jazz music scene across Europe. However, there are some clear standout performers and artist who have become well-known both in Europe and internationally. This list provides a great starting point for anyone interested in exploring the best of European Jazz music.

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