Jazz piano is a constantly evolving genre with innovative pianists pushing the boundaries of the music. Here are a few contemporary jazz pianists who have been recognized for their innovation in the field, much like Herbie Hancock or Bill Evans.
- Vijay Iyer - Iyer is a critically acclaimed pianist, composer, and bandleader who has been described as one of the most innovative jazz musicians of his generation. He has won numerous awards for his work, including a MacArthur Fellowship in 2013. He is known for his complex rhythmic structures, harmonic innovation, and blending of genres.
Source: MacArthur Foundation, "Vijay Iyer - MacArthur Foundation"
- Jason Moran - Moran is a jazz pianist and composer who has been recognized for his unique style and approach to the piano. He has been described as a "conceptualist" and is known for his incorporation of visual art and multimedia into his performances. He has won several awards for his work, including a MacArthur Fellowship in 2010.
Source: The Kennedy Center, "Jason Moran"
- Brad Mehldau - Mehldau is a jazz pianist and composer who is known for his improvisational skills and innovative use of harmony. He has released numerous albums and has collaborated with many other musicians, including saxophonist Joshua Redman. He has been praised for his ability to combine different genres, such as rock and classical music, into his jazz compositions.
Source: NPR, "Brad Mehldau: Stretching Out With 'Highway Rider'"
- Robert Glasper - Glasper is a pianist and composer who has been recognized for his blend of jazz, hip-hop, and R&B. He has won several Grammy Awards for his work and has collaborated with numerous musicians, including rapper Kendrick Lamar. He is known for his use of electronic keyboards and synthesizers, which he incorporates into his performances.
Source: The New York Times, "Robert Glasper Experiment: Blurring Genres, Not Lines"
These are just a few examples of contemporary jazz pianists who have been recognized for their innovation in the field. There are many more pianists out there who are pushing the boundaries of jazz piano and continuing to evolve the genre.