These 25 Performers Could Shape Jazz For Decades

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Veronica Swift has both a historical connection to the music and a desire to expand its artistic purview.

(Photo: Giancarlo Belfiore/Umbria Jazz)

​Welcome to our enthusiastic, optimistic look at the future.

Below, DownBeat presents short profiles of two dozen musicians who, like Veronica Swift, have the potential to shape the direction of jazz in the decades to come. DB

Yazz Ahmed

Fabian Almazan

Lakecia Benjamin

Theo Croker

Yussef Dayes

James Francies

Nubya Garcia

Morgan Guerin

Jazzmeia Horn

Shabaka Hutchings

Jimmy Macbride

Makaya McCraven

Camila Meza

Hedvig Mollestad

Nduduzo Makhathini

Adam O’Farrill

Junius Paul

Tomeka Reid

Alfredo Rodríguez

Joel Ross

Christian Sands

Veronica Swift

Luke Stewart

Camille Thurman

Kuba Więcek

These stories originally were published in the November 2020 issue of DownBeat. Subscribe here.



  • Joey_DeFrancesco_%C2%A92021_Mark_Sheldon-1325.jpg

    ​DeFrancesco recorded his first album and toured Europe as a member of Miles Davis’ band at age 17.

  • DEREK_TRUCKS.jpg

    ​“My dad saw Hendrix open for the Monkees here in Jacksonville, and he told me it was the first time he had ever dropped acid. Pretty intense,” Trucks said,

  • Gazarek.jpg

    Gazarek is glad just to be able to have the chance to perform jazz to a wider audience from this planet, in this time.

  • Ramsey_Lewis_by_Bob_Richards.jpg

    ​Three-time Grammy winner Lewis had tremendous success at crossing over from the jazz charts to the pop charts.

  • Pharoah_Sanders_RI_Sutherland-Cohen.jpeg

    Pharoah Sanders brought beauty and spirituality to the avant-garde forefront.


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October 2022
Charles Lloyd
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