Bands/Musicians The Best Banjo Players in the World  

Ranker Music
2.3k votes 795 voters 14.9k views 63 items

List Rules Living banjo players only

From folk, to bluegrass, and even jazz, the banjo is a popular stringed instrument used in many genres of music. These best banjo players in the world include popular musicians like Marcus Mumford as well as lesser known banjo players who are still some of the best in the world. Who are the best living banjo players today?

The banjo is a four or five string instrument, similar to a guitar, but with a circular frame. Banjos were originally played by Africans in Colonial America. Along with the fiddle, the banjo is the most common instrument used in old-time music, as well as country, bluegrass, and folk music.

The greatest banjoists living and playing today are from different genres but are all greatly adept at their instrument. These best banjoists in the world have the ability to execute flawless music whether its a rehearsed piece or something improvised. These musicians often helped define their respective musical genres, and some of the great living banjo players on this list teach banjo to a new generation of musicians as well.

The best banjo players currently active are from all over the world and include musicians like Bela Fleck, Abigail Washburn, Frank Fairfield, and Jimmy Mazzy. To become one of the best banjo players in the world takes great commitment, a strong work ethic, and dedication. Cast your votes for the best living banjo players below.

list ordered by

1
75 7
Adam Fudge is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Banjo Players in the World
1525982582879 added Adam Fudge

Bluegrass, Folk Music, Rock.

2
48 4
Earl Scruggs is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Banjo Players in the World
DocSwin added Bluegrass, Gospel music, Country

3
163 71
Béla Fleck is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Banjo Players in the World
Rock music, Folk music, Folk rock

4
68 19
Alan Munde is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Banjo Players in the World
Bluegrass

5
133 65
Steve Martin is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Banjo Players in the World

6
221 123
Davidson Brothers is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Banjo Players in the World
ragtime added Hamish Davidson Aussie Gun Banjo Picker

7
90 58
Noam Pikelny is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Banjo Players in the World
Progressive bluegrass, Bluegrass

8
45 27
Alison Brown is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Banjo Players in the World
Americana, Jazz, Bluegrass

9
42 27
Ralph Stanley is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Banjo Players in the World
Traditional bluegrass, Old-time music, Bluegrass

10
28 15
Gina Clowes is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Banjo Players in the World
emilioasb added Gina Clowes

11
48 34
victor furtado is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Banjo Players in the World
emilioasb added victor furtado

12
55 41
Ranker Video
dabowd added Jens Kruger

13
40 28
Abigail Washburn is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Banjo Players in the World
Americana, Old-time music

14
21 11
Ben Eldridge is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Banjo Players in the World
Bluegrass

15
21 13
Pete Wernick is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Banjo Players in the World
Bluegrass

16
17 10
Ranker Video
JamesGriggs added

17
9 3
Adam Fudge is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Banjo Players in the World
1525982582879 added Adam Fudge

18
16 10
Buck Trent is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Banjo Players in the World
Country

19
3 0
J. D. Crowe is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Banjo Players in the World
RobertW.Sansom added Progressive bluegrass, Bluegrass

20
19 17
Lonnie Hoppers is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Banjo Players in the World
ragtime added Bluegrass Boy

21
8 6
Tom Paley is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Banjo Players in the World
Traditional folk

22
4 2
John Hartford is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Banjo Players in the World
DocSwin added Folk music, Bluegrass, Country

23
2 0
Tony Trischka is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Banjo Players in the World
RobertW.Sansom added Bluegrass, Country

24
12 11
Peggy Seeger is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Banjo Players in the World
Folk music

25
26 26
Ricky Skaggs is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Banjo Players in the World
Folk music, Bluegrass, Gospel music

26
9 8
Gina Clowes is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Banjo Players in the World
emilioasb added Gina Clowes

27
7 6
Eric Weissberg is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Banjo Players in the World
Bluegrass, Country

28
7 6
Enda Scahill is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Banjo Players in the World
Irish folk

29
5 4
Rick Shubb is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Banjo Players in the World
Folk

30
16 16
Danny Barnes is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Banjo Players in the World
Rock music, Folk music, Jazz

31
14 14
Scott Avett is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Banjo Players in the World
Folk music, Folk rock, Indie rock

32
2 1
Tony Ellis is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Banjo Players in the World
RobertW.Sansom added Tony Ellis Bluegrass, old-time, parlor music -

Interview of Tony Ellis by Steve Martin: https://banjonews.com/2011-07/tony_ellis_interview.html

33
1 0
David Rawlings is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Banjo Players in the World
Angharv added American Primitivism, Americana, Folk music

34
1 0
Tony Furtado is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Banjo Players in the World
RobertW.Sansom added

35
9 9
Dwight Diller is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Banjo Players in the World
Bluegrass, Old time

36
9 9
Bernie Leadon is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Banjo Players in the World
Rock music, Country rock, Country

37
8 8
Emily Robison is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Banjo Players in the World
Blue-eyed soul, Folk music, Country rock

38
7 7
Clive Palmer is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Banjo Players in the World

39
6 6
Tim Weed is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Banjo Players in the World
Tim Weed Classical

40
14 15
Gillian Welch is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Banjo Players in the World
American Primitivism, Americana, Rock music

41
1 1
Ronnie McCoury is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Banjo Players in the World
Mary Thiery Blackwell added Bluegrass

42
9 10
Billy Connolly is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Banjo Players in the World

43
8 9
Jimmy Mazzy is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Banjo Players in the World
Traditional jazz

44
7 8
Cynthia Sayer is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Banjo Players in the World

45
5 6
Frank Fairfield is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Banjo Players in the World

46
5 6
Todd Taylor is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Banjo Players in the World
Country rock

47
4 5
Herb Pedersen is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Banjo Players in the World
Folk music, Folk rock, Country rock

48
3 4
Kelsey Crews is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Banjo Players in the World
Jamie Nehasil added Kelsey Crews Progressive Bluegrass and Country -

Progressive Bluegrass and Country

49
2 3
Jay Munly is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Banjo Players in the World
Country, Roots

50
10 12
Jenny is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Banjo Players in the World
ragtime added Australian Bluegrass Banjo