richest jazz players
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Written by Corey Morgan

Do you love jazz? If so, you’ll be interested in learning about the richest jazz players in the world. These musicians have achieved incredible success and earned a lot of money through their music. Some of them are even billionaires! In this blog post, we will take a look at the wealthiest jazz players and see how they made their fortunes. We will also discuss their musical achievements and what makes them stand out from the rest. So, if you’re a fan of jazz music, be sure to read on!

Here is a list of the five richest jazz players in the world (they are written alphabetically).

  1. Anthony Braxton
  2. Keith Jarret
  3. Kenneth Bruce Gorelick (Kenny G)
  4. Quincy Jones
  5. Wynton Marsalis

We will share with you the details you need to know about these amazing jazz players; especially about what they earn as jazz players that puts them on the list of the richest jazz players. Remember that this is written alphabetically and not in the order of their earnings as jazz players.


Anthony Braxton was in born in America on 4^(th) June, 1945. He plays a lot of instruments professionally, but is famously known for his creative and skillful play of the alto saxophone, as well as his ability to improvise and compose songs. So Anthony Braxton became a jazz music name and a household name from playing the alto saxophone and composing songs. Growing up in the southern part of Chicago, Braxton joined the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians, and began his career in 1968 when he was twenty-three.

In 1969 a year after he began his musical career as a jazz musician, Anthony Braxton was reckoned for his LP in which he played the saxophone alone throughout the album. (A full length album of solo saxophone play). He since then had so many other records including duets and played in ensembles. Braxton also played with about eight music record labels. In 1994, Braxton was received the McArthur Foundation genius grant, and founded a Foundation himself in that same year.

Being a music academia, Anthony Braxton also taught from 1985 to 1990 at Mills College and was also a music professor from 1990 at the Wesleyan University where he retired towards the end of the year 2013. Braxton earned a living as a composer, a saxophonist, and as a music instructor; his earnings qualify him to be one of the richest Jazz players and his current net worth is about one point five million US Dollars ($1,500,000).

He has received nothing less than nine awards and although retired from academic works, Anthony Braxton is still an active composer and saxophonist.


Seventy-six year old Keith Jarret was born at Allentown, Pennysylvania, US in 1945 on May 8. Keith Jarret is an American composer as well as a classical and jazz pianist. He began his career in 1966 with Art Blakey and later progressed with Miles Davis, Charles Lloyd and fifteen other composers, he was a solo jazz performer, and a soloist in classical music and jazz fusion.

He also played with other groups and was usually the leader of his group. Keith Jarret was quite creative that he knew how to improvise and compose from jazz traditions, ethnic folks, western classic, and other genres of music. In 1975 Keith Jarret released an album he called ‘The Koln Concert’, which was the bestselling piano recording (currently still leading the chart in history).

Jarret was awarded the polar music prize in 2003 and was the first to receive awards for both classic music and contemporary music. He was recipient of the Leonie Sonning music prize in 2004. The down beat jazz hall of fame inducted Keith Jarret in its 73^(rd) Magazine annual readers’ poll in 2008.

Keith Jarret had a great music career which earned him a lot of money and made him a household name. While still alive he stopped active practice in February 2018 when he was down with a stroke, he had a second stroke that left his left hand partially paralyzed, making him unable to play. Prior to that, Keith in his active years worked with about four record labels and won several awards too. Keith Jarret is currently worth one million US Dollars ($1,000,000).


Kenneth Bruce Gorelick whose music name is Kenny G was born in 1956 on the 5^(th) of June at Seattle, Washington, US. Kenny G is an American record producer, a songwriter, a saxophonist, and a golfer. Kenny G began his career while playing in groups in 1973, and by 1982 he stopped playing in groups and began playing solo till his current practice.

It is necessary to note that Kenny G started playing the saxophone in 1966 when he was just ten years old, after he heard a saxophone performance at the Ed Sullivan Show—that single performance his ears witnessed spurred him to learning about saxophone and how to make music with the saxophone.

In high school he joined the jazz band after his second audition, and while in school he took private classes in clarinet and in saxophone from the instructor Johnny Lessen weekly for a year. Kenny G was associated with about eight instrumentalists and composers, played in three record labels and won awards too.

He made a lot music in his album however his commercial music fully began when he release his album Duotones in 1986, four years after he began to play solo. Overtime Kenneth Bruce Gorelick became one of the bestselling artists and his label sells over seventy-five (75) million records globally. He plays the alto saxophone, the tenor saxophone, the soprano saxophone, he is also a real estate financial investor, and is worth one hundred million US Dollars ($100,000,000) with his 75 million albums still selling across the world.


Quincy Jones is an American composer, jazz trumpeter, songwriter, musician, record producer, television producer, and a film producer. Jones began his active music career in 1951, and did music with about eighteen (18) musicians including Michael Jackson. He also played in about eight record labels including his own.

Quincy had an interesting beginning for his career, he began as an arranger and a conductor of the jazz music before he started to play the trumpet. Over his seventy years of practice as an entertainer, the African American has been nominated for eighty Grammy awards and he has won about twenty-eight Grammy awards and in 1992 he won one Grammy legend award.

He produced three of most successful albums of Michael Jackson and also conducted the “We are the World” charity song. He was the first African American music conductor at the Academy award and was the first African America to receive Jean Hersholt Humanitarian award from the Academy and by 2013 he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Jones has dedicated his time and life to music as well as to the entertainment industry. He is still active and is worth about three hundred and fifty million US Dollars ($350,000,000).


Wynton owned a trumpet when he was six years and began regular practice at age twelve, and by 1980 he began he is music career as a trumpeter and composer (at nineteen) after being admitted to the Tanglewood Music Centre as the youngest musician at age seventeen (17).

Marsalis made a lot of music and won at least nine Grammy awards; making a record as the only musician to have won a Grammy in both Jazz and classic music in the same year. His ‘Blood on the Fields’ music was also the first jazz composition to have won the Pulitzer Prize for Music. Wynton is also known as Wynton Kelly (his jazz pianist name). As a music director, composer, and jazz pianist who has played in about four record labels including his Marsalis Music, Wynton is worth about fifteen million US Dollars ($15,000,000).

Final thoughts on the richest jazz players

Jazz music has a long and storied history, with some of the greatest players in the genre coming from all over the world. While this list is by no means exhaustive, it provides a snapshot of some of the most talented and successful jazz musicians out there. We hope you’ve enjoyed learning about these incredible artists as much as we have!