Music

The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History 

Ranker Music
5.7k votes 823 voters 16.7k views 104 items

Similar to the harpsichord and piano, but more grand and beautiful, the organ can create a louder, richer sound with a deep bass. The sound that comes out of an organ is often projected through large, steel pipes, especially in a setting that requires the sound to project through an entire room, such as in a symphony hall or large cathedral. The organ is also trickier to master than similar instruments. Who are the greatest organists of all time?

The musicians listed here are known for being the absolute best, and have received a place of prominence in the world of music because of their incredible talent on the organ. This list has been ranked by the community's votes to determine the absolute best organists of all time, living or dead, from all periods of music history.

This list includes top organists like Tori Amos, Steve Winwood, John Paul Jones, and Mike Oldfield. Vote up the best organists in history below or add an organ player you think is great if he or she isn't already on the list.
list ordered by
1
Fats Waller is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
2
Keith Emerson is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
3
Jimmy Smith is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
4
Jon Lord is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
5
Herbie Hancock is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
6
Count Basie is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
7
Ray Manzarek is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
8
Rick Wakeman is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
9
Chick Corea is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
10
Billy Preston is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
11
Steve Winwood is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
12
Booker T. Jones is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
13
Joey DeFrancesco is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
14
Ray Charles is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
15
Brian Auger is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
16
Gregg Allman is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
17
Rick DePiro is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
Rick DePiro
18
Barbara Dennerlein is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
19
John Paul Jones is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
20
Paul Shaffer is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
21
Tony Banks is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
22
Rod Argent is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
23
Joe Zawinul is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
slaft added Joe Zawinul
24
Richard Wright is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
25
Al Kooper is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History