It is a common belief that jazz is a dead genre, and the only good jazz music you can hear is from yesteryears. Modern jazz has been openly despised by people such as Ralph Ellison (novelist and literary critic), who considers it to be unethical to the ‘highly conscious sense of [jazz’s] sources and its own traditions.’

More than 25 years after Ellison’s death, people’s opinions about jazz music is still more or less remain the same.

However, it is high time we start giving some credit to the younger and refreshing talent who are doing their best to keep the genre alive. Here’s a look at the new blood of jazz that you should definitely check out.

Mary Halvorson

Mentored by the likes of Anthony Braxton (composer and multi-instrumentalist) and Joe Morris (free-jazz guitarist and bassist), Mary is considered to be one of the most celebrated jazz guitarists. Although the impact of being trained by such brilliant musicians can clearly be seen in her work, she has a class of her own. She has a singular avant-garde style of improvisation, while also sharing the philosophy of finding your own voice as a bandleader.  He playing has often been described as sounding like no other guitarist.

Notable Songs: And, Pretty Mountain, My Ming I Find in Time, The Unexpected Natural Phenomenon, The Maid With the Flaxen Hair, The Hook Up.

Gregory Porter

Hailed as the next great male jazz singer, Gregory Porter, is one of the most important jazz artists of the 21st century. Aside from his impeccable manner and tone, what sets him apart is the stories that his songs weave. And his baritones have the ability to send us to a familiar place. One of the major issues Ellison had with modern jazz was that it didn’t touch up the essence of the reality of life and experience as earlier eras of jazz did. However, it is impossible to have those complaints with Porter’s music.

Notable Songs: Be Good (Lion’s Song), If Love Is Overrated, 1960 What?, Hey Laura, No Love Dying, Real Good Hands, On My Way to Harlem,

Esperanza Spalding

Spalding is a self-trained musical prodigy. At the age of five, she played violin in the Chamber Music Society of Oregon. Her debut album, Junjo, was released in 2006 and received wide critical acclaim. She went on to win four Grammy awards for the album, including the Best New Artist in 2011, making her the first jazz artist to do so. She also won the Best Jazz Vocal Album for her 2013 album, Radio Music Society. However, the true genius and skill of Spalding can be experienced through her latest album, Exposure. The entire album was written and recorded in under 77 hours, revealing a heady, jazzy range of intricacy and improvisation.

Notable Songs: Radio Song, Earth To Heaven, City of Roses, Unconditional Love, I Know You Know, Judas, I Can’t Help It.

So if you are a fan of jazz, but feel that you aren’t able to find any new content that is good, try giving these artists a shot. You won’t be disappointed!