Bands/Musicians The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History  

Ranker Music
4.7k votes 657 voters 15k 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

1
132 47
Fats Waller is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
Stride, Ragtime, Swing music

2
125 74
Jimmy Smith is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
Jazz-funk, Hard bop, Jazz fusion

3
77 41
Herbie Hancock is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
slaft added Kozmigroov, Jazz-funk, Electro

4
69 36
Count Basie is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
slaft added Swing music, Big band, Piano blues

5
113 73
Jon Lord is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
HerbertHöpfl added Blues-rock, Rock music, Heavy metal

6
131 88
Keith Emerson is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
Classic rock, Rock music, Classical music

7
94 60
Rick Wakeman is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
MarySSpiegel added Christian music, Pop music, Rock music

8
105 69
Ray Manzarek is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
MarySSpiegel added Blues-rock, Rock music, Jazz fusion

9
66 38
Chick Corea is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
slaft added Kozmigroov, Fusion, Avant-garde jazz

10
80 54
Billy Preston is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
Rock music, Rhythm and blues, Soul music

11
82 58
Joey DeFrancesco is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
Hard bop, Post-bop, Jazz

12
67 45
Booker T. Jones is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
Instrumental rock, Electric blues, Rhythm and blues

13
78 58
Steve Winwood is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
Blues-rock, Blue-eyed soul, Rock music

14
40 25
Ray Charles is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
slaft added Soul blues, Pop music, Rock music

15
27 16
Jack McDuff is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
DaveMcCarthy added Jazz-funk, Hard bop, Rhythm and blues

16
52 41
Brian Auger is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
Jazz fusion

17
50 40
Rick DePiro is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
Rock music, Jazz, Country

18
29 22
Joe Zawinul is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
slaft added Romantic music, World music, Jazz fusion

19
46 41
Tony Banks is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
Rock music, Classical music, Pop rock

20
44 39
Gregg Allman is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
Rock music, Gospel music, Country

21
25 20
Jan Hammer is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
slaft added Synthpop, Pop music, Jazz fusion

22
31 27
Richard Wright is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
JayWalker1 added Electronic music, Experimental rock, Jazz

23
26 22
Garth Hudson is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
mccotis added Americana, Pop music, Rock music

24
25 22
John DeFrancesco is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History

25
50 49
Paul Shaffer is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
Contemporary; Jazz; Blues