List of jazz genres

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This is a list of subgenres of jazz music.

Genre Characteristics Era
Acid jazz Combined elements of soul music, funk, disco, including looping beats and modal harmony 1980s–90s
Afro-Cuban jazz It mixes Afro-Cuban clave-based rhythms with jazz harmonies and techniques of improvisation. 1940s ->
Asian American jazz Asian-American jazz combines standard jazz instruments with Asian instruments (such as taiko, shamisen, erhu, suona, or kulintang), which are often performed by musicians from Asia. 1950s ->
Avant-garde jazz A style of music and improvisation that combines avant-garde art music and composition with jazz. It originated in the 1950s and developed through the 1960s. 1950s ->
Bebop Bebop or bop is a style of jazz characterized by a fast tempo, instrumental virtuosity, and improvisation based on a combination of harmonic structure and occasional references to the melody. 1940s ->
Bossa nova Brazilian melodic samba-like genre influential in cool jazz/West Coast jazz 1960s ->
British dance band British dance band is a genre of popular jazz and dance music that developed in British dance halls and hotel ballrooms during the 1920s and 1930s. 1920s ->
Cape jazz Cape jazz (more often written Cape Jazz) is a genre of jazz that is performed in the southernmost part of Africa, the name being a reference to Cape Town, South Africa. 1990s ->
Chamber jazz Chamber jazz is a genre of jazz involving small, acoustic-based ensembles where group interplay is important. 1960s ->
Continental jazz Early jazz dance bands of Europe in the swing medium, to the exclusion of Great Britain.
Cool jazz Contrasts with the hard, fast sound of bebop. Based largely on Lester Young. 1940s-1960s
Crossover jazz Artists mix different styles of music into jazz. 1970s ->
Dark jazz A form of modern jazz characterized by the fusion of downtempo, minimalist ambient music with jazz. 2010s ->
Dixieland Dixieland music or New Orleans jazz, sometimes referred to as hot jazz or early jazz, is a style of jazz music which developed in New Orleans at the start of the 20th century. Stylistically it is essentially a form of Ragtime, typically transposed for brass band, banjo and/or clarinet. 1900s ->
Electro Swing Modern interpretation of Swing merged with EDM. Performances typically include both a live band and a DJ. 1990s ->
Ethio jazz A specific form of jazz that evolved in Ethiopia in the likes of the music of Mulatu Astatke, also referred to as the King of Ethio-jazz. 1950s ->
Ethno jazz Ethno jazz, a form of ethno music, is sometimes equaled to world music or is regarded as its successor, particularly before the 1990s. An independent meaning of "ethno jazz" emerged around 1990. 1990s ->
European free jazz European free jazz is a part of the global free jazz scene with its own development and characteristics. 1960s ->
Free funk A combination of avant-garde jazz with funk music 1970s ->
Free improvisation Free improvisation or free music is improvised music without any rules beyond the logic or inclination. Free jazz incorporates "free improvisation," but "free improvisation" can be any genre, it isn't necessarily jazz. 1960s ->
Free jazz Free jazz musicians attempted to alter, extend, or break down jazz convention, often by discarding fixed chord changes or tempos. 1950s ->
Gypsy jazz A style of jazz music often said to have been started by guitarist Jean "Django" Reinhardt in the 1930s. The style was originally called "hot club" or "hot jazz" and served an acoustic European interpretation of swing. The term "gypsy jazz" didn't appear until after the 1970s, when Sinti people adapted their folk music to emulate that of Django's. 1930s/1970s->
Hard bop Incorporated influences from rhythm and blues, gospel music, and blues, especially in saxophone and piano playing. 1950s ->
Hot club Hot club or "Hot jazz" is a hard swing associated with the early works of Django Reinhardt. 1930s-1940s
Indo jazz Fusion of jazz with Indian music (see also Sitar in jazz and Jazz in India). 1950s ->
Jazz blues Term is misnomer. Jazz is a branch of blues, all jazz is blues. (link redirects to twelve-bar blues)
Jazz-funk Jazz-funk is a subgenre of jazz music characterized by a strong back beat (groove), electrified sounds, and an early prevalence of analog synthesizers. 1970s ->
Jazz fusion Combines elements of jazz and rock. Characterized by electronic instruments, riffs, and extended solos. 1970s ->
Jazz rap Jazz rap is a fusion subgenre of hip hop music and jazz, developed in the late 1980s and early 1990s. The lyrics are often based on political consciousness, Afrocentrism, and general positivism. 1980s ->
Jazz rock The term "jazz-rock" (or "jazz/rock") is often used as a synonym for the term "jazz fusion". 1960s ->
Kansas City blues This genre of blues music has spawned the Kansas City Blues & Jazz Festival and the Kansas City Blues Society. 1940s ->
Kansas City jazz Kansas City jazz is a style of jazz that developed in Kansas City, Missouri and the surrounding Kansas City Metropolitan Area during the 1930s 1930s ->
Latin jazz Draws heavily on salsa and merengue influences. Heavy use of percussion, including congas, timbales, bongos, guiros, and others.
M-Base 1980s ->
Mainstream jazz A genre of jazz music that was first used in reference to the playing styles around the 1950s 1950s ->
Modal jazz Pioneered by Miles Davis, others. Characterized by use of modes, such as dorian modes.
Neo-bop jazz A comparatively accessible, "retro" genre that emerged in the 1980s as a stylistic reaction against free jazz and jazz fusion. Notably associated with Wynton Marsalis. 1980s ->
Neo-swing 1990s ->
Novelty ragtime 1920s ->
Nu jazz Music that blends jazz elements with other musical styles, such as funk, soul, electronic dance music, and free improvisation. 1990s ->
Orchestral jazz Also known as "Symphonic Jazz" 1920s ->
Post-bop A genre of small-combo jazz that assimilates hard bop, modal jazz, avant-garde and free jazz without necessarily being immediately identifiable as any of those forms 1960s ->
Punk jazz The amalgamation of elements of the jazz tradition (usually free jazz and jazz fusion of the 1960s and 1970s) with the instrumentation or conceptual heritage of punk rock 1970s ->
Ragtime A genre that uses a specific type of syncopation in which melodic accents occur between metrical beats. Particularly popular with pianists before World War I, it is also the underlying stylistic form for most Dixieland jazz. 1890s ->
Ska jazz 1960s ->
Smooth jazz In general a smooth jazz track is downtempo (the most widely played tracks are in the 90–105 BPM range), layering a lead, melody-playing instrument (saxophones – especially soprano and tenor – are the most popular, with guitars a close second) over a backdrop that typically consists of programmed rhythms and various synth pads and/or samples. 1960s ->
Soul jazz 1950s ->
Straight-ahead jazz 1960s ->
Stride jazz 1920s ->
Swing Big band arrangements, always swung. Pioneered by Duke Ellington, Count Basie, and Benny Goodman. 1930s-1950s
Third stream The fusion of the jazz stream and classical stream. 1950s ->
Trad jazz Short for "traditional jazz", refers to the Dixieland and ragtime jazz styles of the early 20th century
Vocal jazz 1950s ->
West Coast jazz A less frenetic, calmer style than hard bop, heavily arranged, and more often compositionally-based subgenre of cool jazz. 1950s–60s

See also

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