Can Match the Jazz Musician to Their Instrument?


By: J.P. Naomi

5 Min Quiz

Image: YouTube

About This Quiz

Get a load of this riff! Think you have what it takes to match the jazz musician to the instrument they play? Take this quiz to test your jazzy knowledge now!

What instrument did Louis Armstrong play?

Louis Armstrong was nicknamed "Satchmo," "Satch," or "Pops." He died of a heart attack in 1971 at the age of 69.


Charlie Parker played the ________.

Charlie Parker was born on August 29, 1920 in Kansas City, Kansas. He was known as "Yardbird" or "Bird."


John Coltrane was known for playing the _______.

John William Coltrane was known simply as "Trane." He worked alongside greats Miles Davis and Thelonious Monk.


Not just a scat singer, Dizzy Gillespie played the _______.

John Birks "Dizzy" Gillespie was born on October 21, 1917. He played the genres of Jazz, Bebop and Afro-Cuban Jazz.


Which instrument felt right at home with Thelonius Monk?

Thelonious Sphere Monk was born on October 10, 1917. He was known for his unique improvisational style.


Name the instrument played by Charlie Mingus.

Charles Mingus Jr. was born on April 22, 1922. He died at the age of 56 in Cuernavaca, Mexico.


Lester Young not only played the trumpet, but also the ________.

Lester Willis Young was known as "Pres" or "Prez." He occasionally played the clarinet as well.


Coleman Hawkins was known for playing the ______.

Coleman Randolph Hawkins was born on November 21, 1904. He was sometimes referred to as "Hawk" or "Bean."


Miles Davis was a ______ player.

Miles Dewey Davis III was born on May 26, 1926. He left The Julliard School to make his professional debut in Charlie Parker's bebop quintet.


At which instrument did Art Blakey excel?

Born Arthur Blakey, he converted to Islam and became known as Abdullah Ibn Buhaina.


Ornette Coleman was known for playing the ________.

Ornette Coleman was born Randolph Denard Ornette Coleman on March 9, 1930 in Fort Worth, Texas.


Name the instrument played by Benny Goodman.

Benjamin David Goodman was born on May 30, 1909. He was known as the "King of Swing."


Which of the following jazz artists did NOT play the guitar?

Art Pepper played the clarinet and the alto sax, not the clarinet.


Bill Evans played the tenor sax and could also be found playing the ________.

William John Evans was born in Plainfield, New Jersey on August 16, 1929. He died in 1980 at the age of 51.


Art Tatum played this instrument like an art form...

Arthur Tatum, Jr. was born on October 13, 1909. He is widely acknowledged as the greatest jazz pianist of all time.


Which instrument was Clifford Brown known for playing?

Clifford Brown was known as "Brownie." He died in a car crash at the age of 25 and left behind only four years of amazing jazz recordings.


Stan Getz was well known for playing the _______.

Stanley Gayetski was born on February 2, 1927. He was known as "The Sound" because of his warm, lyrical tone.


Which of the following did NOT play the flute?

Like many other jazz musicians, Lee Morgan played the trumpet.


Sarah Vaughan's instrument of choice was...

Sarah Lois Vaughan was born on March 27, 1924. She was known as "Sassy," "The Divine One" and "Sailor."


Bud Powell was a whiz at the _______.

Earl Rudolph "Bud" Powell died at the age of 41 in New York. He was a leading figure in the development of the modern jazz style known as bebop.


Which instrument did Sonny Rollins play?

Walter Theodore Rollins was born on September 7, 1930 in New York City. He was also known as "Newk" and "Colossus."


Name the instrument Django Reinhardt is remembered for playing.

Jean Reinhardt was born on January 23, 1910, in Belgium. He wrote nearly 100 songs and is regarded as one of the greatest musicians of the 20th century.


He not only played the tenor sax, but Wayne Shorter also played the ______.

Wayne Shorter was born on August 25, 1933. He has won 10 Grammy Awards and is still active.


Which instrument did jazz great Rahsaan Roland Kirk play?

Ronald Theodore Kirk was born on August 7, 1935. He played many jazz instruments, including tenor saxophone, clarinet, and keyboards.


Which of the following jazz artists did NOT play the drums?

Fred Hersch was born on October 21, 1955 and was the first person to play week-long engagements as a solo pianist at New York City's Village Vanguard.


Dave Brubeck played the ________.

David Warren Brubeck was born on December 6, 1920 in Concord, California. He lived a long life of jazz, and died in 2012 at age 91.


Eric Dolphy played not only the alto sax, but the _____ as well.

Eric Dolphy was born on June 20, 1928 and died in 1964 at age 36.


For which instrument is Oscar Peterson remembered?

Oscar Peterson was born on August 15, 1925. Duke Ellington once called him the "Maharaja of the keyboard."


Which of the following did NOT play the piano?

Artie Shaw is remembered for playing the clarinet.


________ player Charlie Christian had jazz in his heart.

Charlie Christian died on March 2, 1942, at age 25, after contracting tuberculosis in the late 1930s.


Ben Webster is remembered for his talent playing the _______.

Benjamin Francis Webster was born on March 27, 1909. He is considered one of the three most important 'swing tenors.'


Do you know which instrument Wes Montgomery played?

John Leslie "Wes" Montgomery was born on March 6, 1923. He died at the age of 45, though surely left his mark on jazz.


Which of the following did NOT play the drums?

John McLaughlin was a jazz guitar player.


Herbie Hancock - master of the ________.

Herbert Jeffrey Hancock was born on April 12, 1940 in Chicago, Illinois. He can also play the keyboard, organ, clavinet, keytar and vocoder.


What type of sax did Sidney Bechet play?

Sidney Bechet was born in New Orleans on May 14, 1897. He was one of the first soloists in jazz, and even beat Louis Armstrong to the recording studio by several months.


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