bands/musicians The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time  

Ranker Music
7.6k votes 2k voters 64.5k views 82 items

List Rules The greatest clarinet players ever. Vote up the all time best clarinetists.

The clarinet is a member of the woodwind family and is extremely popular in symphonic movements, jazz, and swing. It has only increased in popularity and is a common instrument to find in any orchestra. The clarinet is not just for orchestras, even director Woody Allen plays the clarinet. This instrument produces a clear, smooth sound with rich bass and is perfectly paired with just about any instrument, from piano and guitar, to brass and percussion. Who are the greatest clarinetists of all time?

From contemporary to classical, jazz and swing, to blues and Dixieland, this list features the all time greatest clarinetists, ranked as the best by music lovers. No matter what kind of music happens to be your favorite, there’s sure to be a clarinet player who has left his or her mark on the genre.

This list features the all time most popular clarinetists, both within history and in today’s world of music including, Benny Goodman, Woody Herman, Artie Shaw, and George Lewis. Vote up the clarinet players you think are the best below and see how they rank!
list ordered by

1
564 181
Benny Goodman is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time
Benny Goodman Swing music, Big band, Jazz

2
362 131
Artie Shaw is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time
Artie Shaw Swing music, Big band

3
341 129
Martin Fröst is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time
Martin Fröst Chamber music, Classical music, Contemporary classical music

4
243 115
Pete Fountain is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time
Pete Fountain Dixieland

5
244 116
Sabine Meyer is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time
Sabine Meyer Classical

6
154 75
Woody Herman is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time
Woody Herman Cool jazz, Swing music, Big band

7
144 70
Sidney Bechet is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time
slaft added Sidney Bechet Ragtime, Jazz, Dixieland

8
196 115
Squidward Tentacles is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time
JonathanPascale added Squidward Tentacles

9
118 60
Eddie Daniels is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time
AlanBrown added Eddie Daniels Third stream, Hard bop, Smooth jazz

10
99 49
Karl Leister is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time
Karl Leister Classical; Contemporary

11
173 108
Henry Cuesta is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time
JakeGibbs added Henry Cuesta

12
86 46
Buddy DeFranco is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time
Buddy DeFranco Swing music, Post-bop, Bebop

13
108 66
Hüsnü Şenlendirici is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time

14
52 22
Ranker Video
Fernie Montes added Robert Marcellus Classical - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Marcellus

Famous Jazz Clarinetists

15
108 72
Tony Scott is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time

16
93 62
Sharon Kam is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time
Sharon Kam Classical

17
133 102
Acker Bilk is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time
Acker Bilk Pop music, Trad jazz, Easy listening

18
39 20
Anat Cohen is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time
KamalSagar added Anat Cohen Post-bop, Jazz

19
85 63
Julian Bliss is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time
Julian Bliss Classical; chamber music

20
60 40
Anton Stadler is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time
Anton Stadler Classical

21
84 64
Stanley Drucker is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time
Stanley Drucker Classical; contemporary; modern

The Best Female Rock Singers

22
53 36
Carl Baermann is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time
Carl Baermann Classical

23
68 51
Barney Bigard is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time
Barney Bigard Swing music, Dixieland

24
39 24
Heinrich Baermann is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time
Heinrich Baermann Classical

25
56 42
Jack Brymer is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time
Jack Brymer Classical

26
63 49
Giora Feidman is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time
Giora Feidman Klezmer

27
38 25
Jimmy Hamilton is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time

28
67 54
Charles Neidich is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time
Charles Neidich Classical

Musicians Who Died of Alcoholism

29
46 36
Béla Kovács is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time
Béla Kovács Classical; contemporary

30
37 28
Richard Mühlfeld is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time
Richard Mühlfeld Classical

31
74 67
Richard Stoltzman is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time
Richard Stoltzman Classical music, Jazz

32
45 37
George Lewis is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time
George Lewis Blues, Dixieland

33
31 24
Buster Bailey is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time
Buster Bailey Classical; contemporary; jazz; swing; dixieland

34
30 23
Irving Fazola is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time
Irving Fazola Classical; jazz; swing; modern

35
15 9
Larry Combs is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time
Brian Johnston added Larry Combs

15 Songs That Don't Mean What You Think They Do

36
34 32
Dieter Klöcker is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time
Dieter Klöcker Classical

37
30 28
Gervase de Peyer is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time
Gervase de Peyer Classical music

38
28 26
Louis Cahuzac is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time
Louis Cahuzac Classical; contemporary

39
31 30
Edmond Hall is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time
Edmond Hall Swing music, Dixieland

40
10 7
Eric Dolphy is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time
Bill Levine added Eric Dolphy Avant-garde jazz, Third stream, Post-bop

41
9 6
Anthony Gigliotti is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time
TAT added Anthony Gigliotti Classical

42
7 4
Larry Paikin is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time
Chris Daellenbach added Larry Paikin

The Greatest Guitarists Of All Time

43
20 19
Jon Manasse is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time
1475802059983 added Jon Manasse

44
4 2
Harry Sparnaay is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time
Mathijs Lemmens added Harry Sparnaay

45
3 1
Dr. Michael White is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time
Dennis Maher added Dr. Michael White Jazz, Dixieland

46
25 28
Monty Sunshine is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time
Monty Sunshine Classical; jazz; swing; modern

47
19 22
Ted Lewis is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time
Ted Lewis Jazz, Dixieland

48
23 27
Vasilios Saleas is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time
Vasilios Saleas Classical

49
2 2
Evan Christopher is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time
Dennis Maher added Evan Christopher

50
2 2
Victor Goines is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time
Dennis Maher added Victor Goines Jazz