Jazz The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World  

Ranker Music
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2.5k votes 428 voters 7.9k views 115 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
102 34
Wes Montgomery is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
geber.ramalho added Wes Montgomery Crossover jazz, Hard bop, Smooth jazz

2
81 24
Joe Pass is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
geber.ramalho added Joe Pass Hard bop, Jazz, Bebop

3
98 39
Pat Metheny is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
looksharp added Pat Metheny Ethno jazz, Crossover jazz, Pop music

4
44 7
Django Reinhardt is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
1503538756926 added Django Reinhardt Swing music, Romani music, Gypsy jazz

5
64 26
George Benson is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
looksharp added George Benson Pop music, Rhythm and blues, Jazz

6
52 20
Jim Hall is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
geber.ramalho added Jim Hall Cool jazz, Post-bop, Jazz

7
61 27
John McLaughlin is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
slaft added John McLaughlin Kozmigroov, Rock music, World music

8
43 17
Pat Martino is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
looksharp added Pat Martino Hard bop, Jazz fusion, Post-bop

9
41 18
Kenny Burrell is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
looksharp added Kenny Burrell Cool jazz, Bebop, Blues

10
42 23
Larry Carlton is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
slaft added Larry Carlton Pop music, Rock music, Smooth jazz

11
35 13
John Scofield is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
John Scofield Nu jazz, Jazz-funk, Acid jazz

12
58 38
Al Di Meola is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
slaft added Al Di Meola Chicano rock, Rock music, Instrumental rock

13
23 6
Charlie Christian is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
1503538756926 added Charlie Christian Swing music, Big band, Jazz

14
33 22
Bill Frisell is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
looksharp added Bill Frisell Soundtrack, Americana, Experimental rock

The Greatest Guitarists Of All Time

15
33 20
Biréli Lagrène is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
Biréli Lagrène Swing music, Gypsy jazz, Jazz fusion

16
34 19
Kurt Rosenwinkel is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World

17
24 14
John Abercrombie is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
slaft added John Abercrombie Avant-garde jazz, Cool jazz, Hard bop

18
14 4
Lee Ritenour is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
Lee Ritenour Jazz-funk, Pop music, Sophisti-pop

19
18 12
Larry Coryell is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
slaft added Larry Coryell Jazz fusion, Post-bop, Jazz

20
9 1
João Gilberto is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
1503538756926 added João Gilberto Brazilian jazz, Latin jazz, Samba

21
30 22
Earl Klugh is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
Earl Klugh Crossover jazz, Smooth jazz, Jazz fusion

The Greatest Actors & Actresses in Entertainment History

22
12 7
Bucky Pizzarelli is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
Bucky Pizzarelli Swing music, Big band, Jazz

23
8 1
Emily Remler is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
1503538756926 added Emily Remler Hard bop, Jazz fusion, Jazz

24
9 2
Antônio Carlos Jobim is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
1503538756926 added Antonio Carlos Jobim Brazilian jazz, Latin jazz, Samba

25
9 2
Tal Farlow is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
1503538756926 added Tal Farlow Cool jazz, Jazz, Bebop

26
9 2
Birelli Lagrene is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
1503538756926 added Birelli Lagrene

27
16 9
Russell Malone is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World

28
10 3
Barney Kessel is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
1503538756926 added Barney Kessel Pop music, Cool jazz, Rock music

The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams

29
14 7
Tommy Emanuel is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
1503538756926 added Tommy Emanuel

30
22 19
Stanley Jordan is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
Stanley Jordan Jazz fusion, Jazz

31
15 11
Martin Taylor is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
looksharp added Martin Taylor Jazz

32
14 10
Chuck Loeb is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
slaft added Chuck Loeb

33
7 1
Freddie Green is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
1503538756926 added Freddie Green

34
9 3
Johnny Smith is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
1503538756926 added Johnny Smith Cool jazz

35
18 16
Robben Ford is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
slaft added Robben Ford Rock music, Jazz fusion, Jazz

Catchiest Viral Internet Songs of All Time

36
15 12
Scott Henderson is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
geber.ramalho added Scott Henderson

37
24 22
Frank Gambale is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
Frank Gambale Instrumental rock, Smooth jazz, Jazz fusion

38
9 4
Paco de Lucía is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
1503538756926 added Paco De Lucia Flamenco, World music, Classical music

39
7 2
Charlie Byrd is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
1503538756926 added Charlie Byrd Swing music, Brazilian jazz, Latin jazz

40
8 3
Vic Juris is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
1503538756926 added Vic Juris

41
7 2
Lenny Breau is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
1503538756926 added Lenny Breau Flamenco, Classical music, Jazz

42
9 4
Les Paul is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
1503538756926 added Les Paul Pop music, Rock music, Rock and roll

The Best Scandal Episodes

43
22 20
John Pizzarelli is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
John Pizzarelli Swing music, Jazz

44
19 18
Charlie Hunter is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
Charlie Hunter Jazz-funk, Acid jazz, Jazz fusion

45
9 5
Herb Ellis is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
1503538756926 added Herb Ellis Cool jazz, Swing music, West Coast jazz

46
5 5
Ralph Towner is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
Christopher Kriz added Ralph Towner Ethno jazz, Third stream, Folk music

47
11 10
Mark Whitfield is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
Mark Whitfield Hard bop

48
7 6
Egberto Gismonti is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
Alfredo Acuña added Egberto Gismonti

49
9 8
Eric Gale is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
slaft added Eric Gale Pop music, Jazz

50
6 3
Philip Catherine is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
1503538756926 added Philip Catherine Jazz