Music

The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History  

Ranker Music
5.3k votes 776 voters 16.2k views 106 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
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26
John Paul Jones is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
Blues-rock, Instrumental rock, Folk rock
27
Rod Argent is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
Pop music, Rock music, Progressive rock
28
Gregg Allman is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
Rock music, Gospel music, Country
29
Gregg Rolie is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
slaft added Rock and roll, Hard rock
30
Tom Coster is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
Rock music, Rock en EspaƱol, Jazz fusion
31
Paul Shaffer is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
Contemporary; Jazz; Blues
32
Barbara Dennerlein is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
33
Kerry Minnear is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
slaft added Christian music
34
Don Airey is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
Blues-rock, Rock music, Heavy metal
35
Hugh Banton is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
Hugh Banton Classical; Soul; Jazz; Blues
36
Steve Walsh is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
slaft added Rock music, Progressive rock, Hard rock
37
Danny Federici is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
Rock music, Smooth jazz, Jazz
38
Philip Glass is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
AhmedYousef added Opera, Classical music, Contemporary classical music
39
Sun Ra is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
Andujar added Doo-wop, Kozmigroov, Avant-garde jazz
40
John Patton is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
Andujar added John Patton
41
Keith Jarrett is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
slaft added Avant-garde jazz, Classical music, Smooth jazz
42
George Gershwin is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
Opera, Musical theatre, Film score
43
Wild Bill Davis is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
Country; Jazz; Blues
44
George Duke is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
slaft added Crossover jazz, Sophisti-pop, Smooth jazz
45
Patrick Moraz is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
slaft added Electronic music, Jazz fusion, Progressive rock
46
John Evan is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
Rock music, Alternative rock, Progressive rock
47
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slaft added John Evans
48
Dave Sinclair is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
slaft added
49
Leon Russell is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
slaft added Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk music
50
Dr. John is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
slaft added New Orleans rhythm and blues, Rock music, Rhythm and blues