New Jazz music for 2022

Who do you think is the best jazz artist making music today? Check out our best jazz artists list, filled with musicians on the rise in 2022.

In many parts of the world, jazz scenes are still in disarray due to continuing coronavirus restrictions. Even the famous jazz musicians of today have been forced to pivot and find new ways to sustain their craft.

But, just as pockets of 2021 allowed for live music to return, 2022 is looking brighter. Jazz artists haven’t let the disrupted world stop them from collaborating in joyful and unexpected ways.

A highlight of 2021 was the release of Pharoah Sanders’ incredible Promises album with electronic artist Floating Points and the London Symphony Orchestra. Meanwhile projects like Emma-Jean Thackray’s album Yellow celebrated the community and togetherness that often emerges from making or listening to jazz.

Here are seven new jazz artists pushing boundaries in 2022.


Jas Kayser

Drummer and composer Jas Kayser, who explores afrobeat and jazz, received the 2021 breakthrough Act of the Year award from Jazz FM. As you would expect, her use of rhythm is extraordinary.

This year watch how she builds on the success of 2020 debut EP Unforced Rhythm of Grace.


Síomha

Irish artist Síomha’s music skips from jazz to neo-soul to the folky rhythms heard in single “Spéir Rua.” The singer and guitarist performs her lyrics in both English and Irish.

You’re going to want to check out her debut album Infinite Space when it drops in 2022.


Lady Blackbird

Just hit play and let that voice melt over you. Known for her RnB-adjacent releases, the 2021 album Black Acid Soul saw Marley Munroe re-centring herself as Lady Blackbird and turning fully to jazz. In the process the singer found a natural groove to fit into, which 2022 should see her continue to masterfully explore.  


Waldo’s Gift

Bristol-based trio Waldo’s Gift are explosive live, bringing crowds to life with frantic but controlled jazz funk with math rock leanings. The band kicked off 2022 with new release “Flowerbed,” which strays into electronic music territory with spellbinding effect.


Arooj Aftab

Brooklyn-based Pakistan musician Arooj Aftab’s rawly emotional voice comes from somewhere sacred as the accompaniment drifts between jazz and traditional South Asian classical music influences.

Last year Aftab’s Vulture Prince album was critically acclaimed, and she was nominated for the Best Global Music Performance award at the 2022 GRAMMYs.


Matters Unknown

Matters Unknown is composer and multi-instrumentalist Jonathan Enser’s thrilling project that gathers together top talent from the London jazz scene. The result is a collective that takes musical influences from around the globe and creates free falling, cosmic melodies.

Look out for new movements in 2022, organised by Jonny in between touring as brass contributor for Nubiyan Twist.


Nala Sinephro

Caribbean-Belgian pedal harpist and composer Nala Sinephro writes and performs experimental and absorbing ambient jazz.

For debut album Space 1.8 Sinephro gathered a collection of UK musicians including saxophonist Nubya Garcia, and weaved instruments like modular synthesiser into the tracks to create something that absolutely tingles with energy. Who will she work with next in 2022 – and where will her creations take her?


Want to discover more new music? Check out further lists of artists to watch in 2022:


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I write about music for RouteNote, sharing fun stuff, news, and tips and tricks for musicians and producers. Also a saxophonist and hater of marmalade.

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