Jazz The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World  

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1.9k votes 342 voters 6.5k views 115 items Embed

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
86 24
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

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2
79 27
Pat Metheny is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
looksharp added Pat Metheny Ethno jazz, Crossover jazz, Pop music

3
67 20
Joe Pass is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
geber.ramalho added Joe Pass Hard bop, Jazz, Bebop

4
43 14
Jim Hall is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
geber.ramalho added Jim Hall Cool jazz, Post-bop, Jazz

5
55 22
John McLaughlin is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
slaft added John McLaughlin Kozmigroov, Rock music, World music

6
50 19
George Benson is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
looksharp added George Benson Pop music, Rhythm and blues, Jazz

7
36 12
Kenny Burrell is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
looksharp added Kenny Burrell Cool jazz, Bebop, Blues

8
24 3
Django Reinhardt is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
1503538756926 added Django Reinhardt Swing music, Romani music, Gypsy jazz

9
34 10
Pat Martino is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
looksharp added Pat Martino Hard bop, Jazz fusion, Post-bop

10
35 17
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
30 16
Bill Frisell is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
looksharp added Bill Frisell Soundtrack, Americana, Experimental rock

12
49 33
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
29 16
Biréli Lagrène is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
Biréli Lagrène Swing music, Gypsy jazz, Jazz fusion

14
22 9
John Scofield is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
John Scofield Nu jazz, Jazz-funk, Acid jazz

15
15 3
Charlie Christian is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
1503538756926 added Charlie Christian Swing music, Big band, Jazz

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16
18 9
Larry Coryell is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
slaft added Larry Coryell Jazz fusion, Post-bop, Jazz

17
18 10
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
11 2
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
24 15
Kurt Rosenwinkel is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World

20
11 6
Martin Taylor is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
looksharp added Martin Taylor Jazz

21
26 19
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

22
20 16
John Pizzarelli is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
John Pizzarelli Swing music, Jazz

23
13 7
Russell Malone is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World

24
11 7
Chuck Loeb is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
slaft added Chuck Loeb

25
10 6
Bucky Pizzarelli is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
Bucky Pizzarelli Swing music, Big band, Jazz

26
8 2
Johnny Smith is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
1503538756926 added Johnny Smith Cool jazz

27
22 19
Frank Gambale is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
Frank Gambale Instrumental rock, Smooth jazz, Jazz fusion

28
19 16
Charlie Hunter is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
Charlie Hunter Jazz-funk, Acid jazz, Jazz fusion

29
18 16
Stanley Jordan is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
Stanley Jordan Jazz fusion, Jazz

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30
11 8
Mark Whitfield is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
Mark Whitfield Hard bop

31
14 12
Robben Ford is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
slaft added Robben Ford Rock music, Jazz fusion, Jazz

32
11 8
Scott Henderson is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
geber.ramalho added Scott Henderson

33
5 0
Charlie Byrd is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
1503538756926 added Charlie Byrd Swing music, Brazilian jazz, Latin jazz

34
6 1
Birelli Lagrene is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
1503538756926 added Birelli Lagrene

35
5 0
Lenny Breau is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
1503538756926 added Lenny Breau Flamenco, Classical music, Jazz

36
5 0
João Gilberto is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
1503538756926 added João Gilberto Brazilian jazz, Latin jazz, Samba

37
6 2
Herb Ellis is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
1503538756926 added Herb Ellis Cool jazz, Swing music, West Coast jazz

38
6 2
Barney Kessel is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
1503538756926 added Barney Kessel Pop music, Cool jazz, Rock music

39
5 1
Freddie Green is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
1503538756926 added Freddie Green

40
5 1
Les Paul is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
1503538756926 added Les Paul Pop music, Rock music, Rock and roll

41
5 1
Vic Juris is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
1503538756926 added Vic Juris

42
4 4
Ralph Towner is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
Christopher Kriz added Ralph Towner Ethno jazz, Third stream, Folk music

43
7 4
Tommy Emanuel is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
1503538756926 added Tommy Emanuel

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44
4 1
Antônio Carlos Jobim is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
1503538756926 added Antonio Carlos Jobim Brazilian jazz, Latin jazz, Samba

45
4 1
Tal Farlow is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
1503538756926 added Tal Farlow Cool jazz, Jazz, Bebop

46
4 1
Laurindo Almeida is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
1503538756926 added Laurindo Almeida Jazz, Bossa nova

47
5 4
Egberto Gismonti is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
Alfredo Acuña added Egberto Gismonti

48
5 4
Howard Alden is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
looksharp added Howard Alden Jazz

49
11 11
Steve Khan is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
Steve Khan Jazz

50
10 8
Norman Brown is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
Norman Brown Smooth jazz, Jazz fusion