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Listen, Listen, LISTEN!

Such an important part of learning Jazz is to....listen! Jazz is essentially an aural art form. We need to listen to the masters to learn the language of Jazz Clarinet!

Below you will find a list of some of the most influential players, but there are many, many more! (these are just a selection of my favorites.) Jazz Clarinet urges you to explore and find some that inspire you!
note: due to international restrictions, some of these links may not work in your home country, and you may have to do some googling...


The King of Swing! One of the most influential clarinetists of all time! Sing Sing Sing is a swing classic and a clarinet favorite.

Another master clarinetist of the swing era, and hugely successful bandleader. Check out how he wails on his band's theme song Nightmare

Clarinetist and bandleader who had a long and successful career, well beyond the swing era. The band's biggest hit (and it was huge!): Woodchoppers Ball

A gifted clarinetist (and saxophonist) known for working with his brother (Tommy) in the Dorsey Brothers band. Check him out!

Duke Ellington's long-time clarinetist. He had a beautiful "classical-type" tone. He sounds beautiful on Duke Ellington's Far East Suite..


One of our jazz clarinet masters! One of the first soloists and virtuosos in jazz. He also brought the soprano sax to jazz! And a beautiful composer.

Here he is on one of my favorites: Egyptian Fantasy

Louis Armstrong's clarinetist in his All Stars. One of my favorite sounds on the clarinet! Check him out on The World Is Waiting for the Sunrise

Known for his work with Duke Ellington and also Louis Armstrong. Co-composer of the clarinet classic Mood Indigo

Another early master of New Orleans clarinet. I love his articulation!! Check him out on recordings with Jelly Roll Morton's band.

Another important voice in early jazz clarinet.  A beautiful velvety tone.. check him out on Sweet Lorraine.


The foremost name in jazz clarinet after the swing era, carrying the instrument into modern type swing. Here he is with the Oscar Peterson Trio

A slightly lesser known but still important clarinetist in post swing jazz. Check out his great playing with pianist Bill Evans. What a sound!

A modern master of the instrument, in both jazz and classical styles. He takes the clarinet to new levels. Here he is live..

A wonderful tone and deep musicality.

A more progressive style of jazz clarinet. Taking it to new places!

Cuban born Jazz and Latin Jazz clarinet legend! Here he is with Dizzy Gillespie..

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