Bands/Musicians The Best Banjo Players in the World  

Ranker Music
2.4k votes 833 voters 15.6k views 65 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
60 7
Earl Scruggs is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Banjo Players in the World
DocSwin added Bluegrass, Gospel music, Country

2
80 14
Adam Fudge is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Banjo Players in the World
matthew.fudge added Adam Fudge

Bluegrass, Folk Music, Rock.

3
171 74
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 23
Alan Munde is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Banjo Players in the World
Bluegrass

5
222 125
Davidson Brothers is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Banjo Players in the World
ragtime added Hamish Davidson Aussie Gun Banjo Picker

6
139 72
Steve Martin is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Banjo Players in the World

7
93 59
Noam Pikelny is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Banjo Players in the World
Progressive bluegrass, Bluegrass

8
48 28
Ralph Stanley is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Banjo Players in the World
Traditional bluegrass, Old-time music, Bluegrass

9
46 27
Alison Brown is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Banjo Players in the World
Americana, Jazz, Bluegrass

10
29 16
Gina Clowes is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Banjo Players in the World
emilioasb added Gina Clowes

11
49 34
victor furtado is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Banjo Players in the World
emilioasb added victor furtado

12
42 28
Abigail Washburn is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Banjo Players in the World
Americana, Old-time music

13
56 41
Ranker Video
dabowd added Jens Kruger

14
22 11
Ben Eldridge is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Banjo Players in the World
Bluegrass

15
22 13
Pete Wernick is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Banjo Players in the World
Bluegrass

16
18 10
Ranker Video
JamesGriggs added

17
10 3
Adam Fudge is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Banjo Players in the World
matthew.fudge added Adam Fudge

18
17 10
Buck Trent is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Banjo Players in the World
Country

19
5 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
5 2
John Hartford is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Banjo Players in the World
DocSwin added Folk music, Bluegrass, Country

21
3 0
Tony Trischka is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Banjo Players in the World
RobertW.Sansom added Bluegrass, Country

22
19 17
Lonnie Hoppers is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Banjo Players in the World
ragtime added Bluegrass Boy

23
6 4
Kelsey Crews is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Banjo Players in the World
Jamie Nehasil added Kelsey Crews Progressive Bluegrass and Country -

Progressive Bluegrass and Country

24
27 27
Ricky Skaggs is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Banjo Players in the World
Folk music, Bluegrass, Gospel music

25
12 11
Peggy Seeger is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Banjo Players in the World
Folk music

26
11 10
Bernie Leadon is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Banjo Players in the World
Rock music, Country rock, Country

27
9 8
Gina Clowes is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Banjo Players in the World
emilioasb added Gina Clowes

28
8 7
Tom Paley is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Banjo Players in the World
Traditional folk

29
8 7
Clive Palmer is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Banjo Players in the World

30
7 6
Enda Scahill is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Banjo Players in the World
Irish folk

31
7 6
Eric Weissberg is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Banjo Players in the World
Bluegrass, Country

32
5 4
Rick Shubb is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Banjo Players in the World
Folk

33
16 16
Danny Barnes is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Banjo Players in the World
Rock music, Folk music, Jazz

34
2 1
Tony Ellis is listed (or ranked) 34 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

35
14 14
Scott Avett is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Banjo Players in the World
Folk music, Folk rock, Indie rock

36
1 0
David Rawlings is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Banjo Players in the World
Angharv added American Primitivism, Americana, Folk music

37
1 0
Tony Furtado is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Banjo Players in the World
RobertW.Sansom added

38
9 9
Dwight Diller is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Banjo Players in the World
Bluegrass, Old time

39
8 8
Emily Robison is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Banjo Players in the World
Blue-eyed soul, Folk music, Country rock

40
6 6
Tim Weed is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Banjo Players in the World
Tim Weed Classical

41
14 15
Gillian Welch is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Banjo Players in the World
American Primitivism, Americana, Rock music

42
1 1
Ronnie McCoury is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Banjo Players in the World
Mary Thiery Blackwell added Bluegrass

43
0 0
Craig Smith is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Banjo Players in the World
WWarren added Craig Smith

44
0 0
Craig Smith is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Banjo Players in the World
WWarren added Craig Smith

45
9 10
Billy Connolly is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Banjo Players in the World

46
8 9
Jimmy Mazzy is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Banjo Players in the World
Traditional jazz

47
7 8
Cynthia Sayer is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Banjo Players in the World

48
5 6
Frank Fairfield is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Banjo Players in the World

49
5 6
Todd Taylor is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Banjo Players in the World
Country rock

50
4 5
Herb Pedersen is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Banjo Players in the World
Folk music, Folk rock, Country rock