Music

The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World  

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4.5k votes 744 voters 12k views 129 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
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
Django Reinhardt is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
picardy37 added Swing music, Romani music, Gypsy jazz
3
Joe Pass is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
geber.ramalho added Hard bop, Jazz, Bebop
4
George Benson is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
looksharp added Pop music, Rhythm and blues, Jazz
5
Pat Metheny is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
looksharp added Ethno jazz, Crossover jazz, Pop music
6
Jim Hall is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
geber.ramalho added Cool jazz, Post-bop, Jazz
7
John McLaughlin is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
slaft added Kozmigroov, Rock music, World music
8
Kenny Burrell is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
looksharp added Cool jazz, Bebop, Blues
9
Gábor Szabó is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
picardy37 added Crossover jazz, Jazz fusion, Jazz
10
Pat Martino is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
looksharp added Hard bop, Jazz fusion, Post-bop
11
Charlie Christian is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
picardy37 added Swing music, Big band, Jazz
12
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
Al Di Meola is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
slaft added Chicano rock, Rock music, Instrumental rock
14
John Abercrombie is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
slaft added Avant-garde jazz, Cool jazz, Hard bop
15
Barney Kessel is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
picardy37 added Pop music, Cool jazz, Rock music
16
Biréli Lagrène is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
Swing music, Gypsy jazz, Jazz fusion
17
Bill Frisell is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
looksharp added Soundtrack, Americana, Experimental rock
18
Kurt Rosenwinkel is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
19
Tal Farlow is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
picardy37 added Cool jazz, Jazz, Bebop
20
Emily Remler is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
picardy37 added Hard bop, Jazz fusion, Jazz
21
Grant Green is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
Jazz-funk, Hard bop, Jazz
22
Lenny Breau is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
picardy37 added Flamenco, Classical music, Jazz
23
Johnny Smith is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
picardy37 added Cool jazz
24
Les Paul is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
picardy37 added Pop music, Rock music, Rock and roll
25
Herb Ellis is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
picardy37 added Cool jazz, Swing music, West Coast jazz