Jazzy Baby Names: Miles, Mose & Mabel

Jazzy Baby Names: Miles, Mose & Mabel

There’s something undeniably cool and, well, jazzy, about the names of jazz musicians.  Take the ultimate example, the personification of cool —Miles Davis— who imparted a silky, seductive veneer to his name, as Quincy Jones did to his.

The inimitable Ella Fitzgerald gave hers a jazzy edge long before Ella was anywhere near the pop lists.  Names like Ray and Roy, Cecil and Percy and Dexter all take on an appealing funkiness and rise to another level when looked at in the context of jazz.

And then there are the great unique appellations—Bix, Django, Eubie, Mercer—that could appeal to the intrepid jazz aficionado baby namer.

Jazz immortals’ surnames are another possiblity,as chosen by a few celebs—model Helena Christensen called her son Mingus, and Woody Allen used Bechet, the name of one of his musical heroes, Sidney Bechet.

Here, some of the jazziest choices:


  • ABBEY Lincoln

  • ALBERTA Hunter

  • ANITA O’Day

  • BESSIE Smith

  • BLOSSOM Dearie

  • CARMEN McRae

  • CASSANDRA Wilson

  • CLEA Bradford

  • CLEO Laine

  • DAKOTA Staton

  • DELLA Reese

  • DINAH Washington

  • DOROTHY Donegan

  • ELLA Fitzgerald

  • ERNESTINE Anderson

  • ETTA James

  • HAZEL Scott

  • IVY Anderson

  • JUNE Christy

  • LIL Armstrong

  • LOREZ Alexandria

  • MABEL Mercer


  • NINA Simone

  • REGINA Carter

  • SABLE Winters

  • TIERNEY Sutton

  • BOYS

  • ARNETT Cobb

  • ARCHIE Shepp

  • BARNEY Kessel

  • BIX (Leon) Beiderbeck

  • BOOKER Ervin, Little

  • BOYD Raeburn

  • CABELL (Cab) Calloway

  • CECIL Taylor

  • CHET (Chesney) Baker

  • CHICO (Forestorn) Hamilton


  • CLARK Terry

  • CLAUDE Thornhill

  • CLIFFORD Brown

  • COLEMAN Hawkins


  • CURTIS Fuller

  • DJANGO Reinhardt

  • DEXTER Gordon

  • ELLIS Larkins

  • ELMO Hope

  • ERROLL Garner

  • EUBIE Blake

  • FLETCHER Henderson

  • GILDO Mahones

  • GUS Mancuso

  • HAMPTON Hawes

  • HORACE Silver

  • HUMPHREY Littleton

  • IKE Quebec

  • ILLINOIS (Jean Baptiste) Jacquet

  • JULIAN (Cannonball) Adderley

  • KAI Winding

  • LARS Gullin

  • LIONEL Hampton

  • LOUIS Armstrong

  • MAX Roach

  • McCOY Tyner

  • MEADE Lux Lewis

  • MERCER Ellington

  • MILES Davis

  • MONGO Santamaria

  • MOSE Allison

  • ORNETTE Coleman

  • OSCAR Peterson, Pettiford

  • PEPPER (born PARK) Adams

  • PERCY Heath

  • PHINEAS Newborn, Jr.

  • QUINCY Jones

  • RAMSEY Lewis

  • RAY Charles

  • REX Stewart

  • ROY Eldridge

  • CONTE (born Secondo) Candoli

  • STEPHANE Grapelli

  • TADD Dameron

  • TAFT Jordan



  • VIDO Musso

  • ZIGGY (Harry) Elman

  • About the Author

    Linda Rosenkrantz

    Linda Rosenkrantz

    Linda Rosenkrantz is the co-founder of Nameberry, and co-author with Pamela Redmond of the ten baby naming books acknowledged to have revolutionized American baby naming. You can follow her personally at InstagramTwitter and Facebook. She is also the author of the highly acclaimed New York Review Books Classics novel Talk and a number of other books.