Music

The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History 

Ranker Music
5.6k votes 817 voters 16.4k 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
Genre: Stride, Ragtime & Swing music; Nationality: United States of America
2
Keith Emerson is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
Genre: Classic rock, Rock music & Classical music; Nationality: United Kingdom
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
HerbertHöpfl added Genre: Blues-rock, Rock music & Heavy metal; Nationality: United Kingdom
5
Count Basie is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
slaft added Genre: Swing music, Big band & Piano blues; Nationality: United States of America
6
Herbie Hancock is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
slaft added Genre: Kozmigroov, Jazz-funk & Electro; Nationality: United States of America
7
Ray Manzarek is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
MarySSpiegel added Genre: Blues-rock, Rock music & Jazz fusion; Nationality: United States of America
8
Rick Wakeman is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
MarySSpiegel added Genre: Christian music, Pop music & Rock music; Nationality: England
9
Chick Corea is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
slaft added Genre: Kozmigroov, Fusion & Avant-garde jazz; Nationality: United States of America
10
Billy Preston is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
Genre: Rock music, Rhythm and blues & Soul music; Nationality: United States of America
11
Steve Winwood is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
Genre: Blues-rock, Blue-eyed soul & Rock music; Nationality: England
12
Booker T. Jones is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
Genre: Instrumental rock, Electric blues & Rhythm and blues; Nationality: United States of America
13
Joey DeFrancesco is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
Genre: Hard bop, Post-bop & Jazz; Nationality: United States of America
14
Ray Charles is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
slaft added Genre: Soul blues, Pop music & Rock music; Nationality: United States of America
15
Brian Auger is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
Genre: Jazz fusion; Nationality: United Kingdom
16
John Paul Jones is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
Genre: Blues-rock, Instrumental rock & Folk rock; Nationality: England
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
Gregg Allman is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
Genre: Rock music, Gospel music & Country; Nationality: United States of America
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
Genre: Rock music, Classical music & Pop rock; Nationality: England
22
Rod Argent is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
Genre: Pop music, Rock music & Progressive rock; Nationality: England
23
Joe Zawinul is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
slaft added Joe Zawinul Genre: Romantic music, World music & Jazz fusion; Nationality: Austria
24
Richard Wright is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
JayWalker1 added Genre: Electronic music, Experimental rock & Jazz; Nationality: United Kingdom
25
Al Kooper is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
Genre: Rhythm and blues, Pop rock & Blues; Nationality: United States of America