With a surprise win at the Grammys for Album of the Year, Jon Batiste achieves recognition for his underdog status. The last Black Album of the Year winner was in 2008, and the supremely popular choices from Billie Eilish, Olivia Rodrigo, and Taylor Swift seemed primed to beat We Are. In light of Batiste’s exciting victory, here are some more artists to check out if you like the sound of the 2022 Album of the Year.
Jon Batiste has jazz keyboardist chops, but Brad Mehldau is a modern master. His piano jazz remains some of the most critically acclaimed of the last 30 years, and he has dozens of albums to explore.
For jazzy R&B, it doesn’t get any better than with Stevie Wonder.
Esperanza Spalding is just about the best choice for recent jazzy R&B, and her bass skills nearly rival her compositions.
Another keyboardist only more recently active, Diehl is more rooted in post-bop but branches into classical influence as well.
Glasper is primarily a jazz pianist, but his music evokes hip-hop traditions more than any other artist on this list.
Snarky Puppy / Bill Laurance / Cory Henry
This group from Texas showcases fusion jazz compositions with masterful keyboard work from Laurance and Henry, the two biggest stars of the group.
The Bad Plus
The Bad Plus struck a chord with listeners for expertly incorporating instrumental rock into their jazz trio sound with several popular covers.
Harry Connick, Jr.
This keyboardist/singer specializes in a traditional pop background, famously making the soundtrack album for the film When Harry Met Sally.
A young but masterful composer, arranger, and multi-instrumentalist, Collier is another rising genre-inclusive newcomer.
Go check these folks out on streaming services, right after a run-through of We Are!