Jazz The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World  

Ranker Music
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3.1k votes 489 voters 9k views 130 items

List Rules Vote up all of your favorite jazz guitarists and add any that you don't see on here.

The guitar is one of the most popular and diverse musical instruments in the world. It's permeated through dozens of genres of music, lending itself to help create some of the most moving and emotional pieces of music in history. The people on this list are masters of the guitar and are considered giants in the musical world.  

Whether you recognize these musicians or not, they've all carved a place out for themselves in the music world and have become influential and prominent figures in the industry. If you love geeking out on music, we definitely recommend finding some of their music. 

This list is votable and rerankable, so take a look through and vote up your favorite jazz guitarists. If you don't see someone on here who should be, feel free to add them, but this list is for living musicians only.
list ordered by

1
117 39
Wes Montgomery is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
geber.ramalho added Crossover jazz, Hard bop, Smooth jazz

2
91 32
Joe Pass is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
geber.ramalho added Hard bop, Jazz, Bebop

3
107 46
Pat Metheny is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
looksharp added Ethno jazz, Crossover jazz, Pop music

4
59 13
Django Reinhardt is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
1503538756926 added Swing music, Romani music, Gypsy jazz

5
58 22
Jim Hall is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
geber.ramalho added Cool jazz, Post-bop, Jazz

6
70 30
John McLaughlin is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
slaft added Kozmigroov, Rock music, World music

7
74 30
George Benson is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
looksharp added Pop music, Rhythm and blues, Jazz

8
49 22
Pat Martino is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
looksharp added Hard bop, Jazz fusion, Post-bop

9
48 22
Kenny Burrell is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
looksharp added Cool jazz, Bebop, Blues

10
46 16
John Scofield is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
Nu jazz, Jazz-funk, Acid jazz

11
62 45
Al Di Meola is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
slaft added Chicano rock, Rock music, Instrumental rock

12
48 30
Larry Carlton is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
slaft added Pop music, Rock music, Smooth jazz

13
28 9
Charlie Christian is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
1503538756926 added Swing music, Big band, Jazz

14
37 24
Bill Frisell is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
looksharp added Soundtrack, Americana, Experimental rock

15
39 23
Biréli Lagrène is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
Swing music, Gypsy jazz, Jazz fusion

16
27 16
John Abercrombie is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
slaft added Avant-garde jazz, Cool jazz, Hard bop

17
39 20
Kurt Rosenwinkel is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World

18
22 9
Lee Ritenour is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
Jazz-funk, Pop music, Sophisti-pop

19
17 4
Barney Kessel is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
1503538756926 added Pop music, Cool jazz, Rock music

20
21 15
Larry Coryell is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
slaft added Jazz fusion, Post-bop, Jazz

21
11 3
Emily Remler is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
1503538756926 added Hard bop, Jazz fusion, Jazz

22
14 2
Lenny Breau is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
1503538756926 added Flamenco, Classical music, Jazz

23
12 5
João Gilberto is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
1503538756926 added Brazilian jazz, Latin jazz, Samba

24
14 3
Tal Farlow is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
1503538756926 added Cool jazz, Jazz, Bebop

25
23 22
Stanley Jordan is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
Jazz fusion, Jazz

26
13 7
Paco de Lucía is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
1503538756926 added Flamenco, World music, Classical music

27
18 13
Martin Taylor is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
looksharp added Jazz

28
15 6
Herb Ellis is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
1503538756926 added Cool jazz, Swing music, West Coast jazz

29
16 12
Chuck Loeb is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
slaft added

30
20 19
Robben Ford is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
slaft added Rock music, Jazz fusion, Jazz

31
14 10
Bucky Pizzarelli is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
Swing music, Big band, Jazz

32
6 7
Ralph Towner is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
Christopher Kriz added Ethno jazz, Third stream, Folk music

33
32 25
Earl Klugh is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
Crossover jazz, Smooth jazz, Jazz fusion

34
26 24
Frank Gambale is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
Instrumental rock, Smooth jazz, Jazz fusion

35
11 4
Charlie Byrd is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
1503538756926 added Swing music, Brazilian jazz, Latin jazz

36
12 5
Birelli Lagrene is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
1503538756926 added Birelli Lagrene

37
12 5
Johnny Smith is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
1503538756926 added Cool jazz

38
18 11
Tommy Emanuel is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
1503538756926 added Tommy Emanuel

39
19 13
Russell Malone is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World

40
16 14
Scott Henderson is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
geber.ramalho added

41
12 6
Les Paul is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
1503538756926 added Pop music, Rock music, Rock and roll

42
9 3
Freddie Green is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
1503538756926 added

43
22 22
John Pizzarelli is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
Swing music, Jazz

44
20 20
Charlie Hunter is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
Jazz-funk, Acid jazz, Jazz fusion

45
7 8
Egberto Gismonti is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
Alfredo Acuña added

46
10 6
Vic Juris is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
1503538756926 added

47
11 8
Antônio Carlos Jobim is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
1503538756926 added Brazilian jazz, Latin jazz, Samba

48
3 1
Sonny Sharrock is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World

49
3 1
Grant Green is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
Jazz-funk, Hard bop, Jazz

50
11 14
Mark Whitfield is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
Hard bop