In this day and age, there’s no limit to crossing genre boundaries and creating new breakthroughs in music. That being said, contemporary artists often get their inspiration from traditional and historical styles of music, jazz being one of them. We’ve taken the liberty of creating a playlist of songs from six artists who tastefully incorporate the rich culture of jazz into their own modern style. Read on to learn more about each of these artists.
Rejjie Snow is a jazz-rap artist who embarked on a unique journey to get to where he is now. He grew up as the only black kid in his neighborhood in Dublin, Ireland. He almost had a career as a soccer star, but instead toured with Madonna, recorded with KAYTRANADA, and signed to the 300 Entertainment record label. His first studio album Dear Annie beautifully expresses the 23-year-old’s life experiences with jazz-influenced hip hop beats.
Singing in Hollywood jazz clubs with her father from the age of seven, Raya Yarbrough is no stranger to the genre. She is known to audiences around the world for singing “The Skye Boat Song,” the theme song for the hit TV series “Outlander.” But her talent doesn’t just stop there. Raya released her third album North of Sunset, West of Vine in October 2018. Inspired by pre-90s memories of the streets of Hollywood and Venice (before the gentrification), the album showcases Raya’s expansive vocal range.
A saxophone player, singer, rapper, comedian, and DJ, Masego is making waves in the jazz fusion scene. An energetic and motivated spirit, he gives his all both on stage and in the recording studio. Gaining inspiration from legendary Harlem jazz singer Cab Calloway and his mentor DJ Jazzy Jeff, Masego refers to his own music style as “TrapHouseJazz.” His first full-length album Lady Lady was released in September 2018 and is a perfect demonstration of what it means to be a contemporary genre-bending entertainer.
Charlotte Cardin is a Canadian singer-songwriter whose soulful voice transports us into the otherworldly realm of the modern jazz singer. In her newest single, “Double Shifts,” she makes use of minimalist piano instrumentation, tastefully heightened by her emotion-filled voice and lyrics. The song takes the listener on a journey through the sorrows and realizations of unrequited love.
A multi-instrumentalist from South London, Tom Misch started his music career upon learning the violin at just four years old. Growing up, he expanded his musical expertise by learning to play the guitar as well as creating beats for music production. His latest album Geography fuzes lo-fi hip hop beats, R&B vocals, and jazz instrumentation to create a feel-good masterpiece.
Raveena is an Indian-American R&B singer based in New York. With silky smooth vocals that melt over dreamy jazz-influenced soundscapes, her songs transport the listener into a state of sweet tranquility. Highlighting her South Asian roots, Raveena aims to empower women of color and other marginalized groups through her art. Her songs celebrate femininity, sexual fluidity, and personal growth, as demonstrated by her newest single “Temptation.”