READ List of Famous Session Musicians

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List of famous session musicians, with photos, bios, and other information when available. Who are the top session musicians in the world? This includes the most prominent session musicians, living and dead, both in America and abroad. This list of notable session musicians is ordered by their level of prominence, and can be sorted for various bits of information, such as where these historic session musicians were born and what their nationality is. The people on this list are from different countries, but what they all have in common is that they're all renowned session musicians.

Items include everything from Willie Nelson to Josh Freese.

From reputable, prominent, and well known session musicians to the lesser known session musicians of today, these are some of the best professionals in the session musician field. If you want to answer the questions, "Who are the most famous session musicians ever?" and "What are the names of famous session musicians?" then you're in the right place. (204 items)

Willie Nelson is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list List of Famous Session Musicians
Willie Hugh Nelson is an American singer-songwriter, musician, guitarist, author, poet, actor, and activist. The critical success of the album Shotgun Willie, combined with the critical and ...more

Phil Spector is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list List of Famous Session Musicians
Phillip Harvey Spector is an American record producer, songwriter, and the originator of the Wall of Sound production method. At the height of his career, Spector was a pioneer of the 1960s ...more

Ricky Skaggs is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list List of Famous Session Musicians
Ricky Lee Skaggs is an American country and bluegrass singer, musician, producer, and composer. He primarily plays mandolin; however, he also plays fiddle, guitar, mandocaster and banjo.

Nicky Hopkins is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list List of Famous Session Musicians
Nicholas Christian "Nicky" Hopkins was an English pianist and organist. Hopkins recorded and performed on many notable British and American pop and rock music releases from the 1960s ...more

Jeff Porcaro is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list List of Famous Session Musicians
Jeffrey Thomas "Jeff" Porcaro was an American drummer, songwriter, and producer best known for his work with the rock band Toto. Porcaro was one of the most recorded session musicians ...more

Michael Kamen is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list List of Famous Session Musicians
Michael Arnold Kamen was an American composer, orchestral arranger, orchestral conductor, song writer, and session musician.

Gackt is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list List of Famous Session Musicians
Gackt Camui, better known by his stage name Gackt, is a Japanese musician, singer, songwriter, actor and author. He has been active since 1994, first as the frontman of the short-lived ...more

Ry Cooder is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list List of Famous Session Musicians
Ryland Peter "Ry" Cooder is an American musician and composer. He is a multi-instrumentalist, but is known for his slide guitar work, his interest in roots music from the United ...more

Brian Blade is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list List of Famous Session Musicians
Brian Blade is an American jazz drummer, composer, session musician, and singer-songwriter.

Malcolm McNab is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list List of Famous Session Musicians
Malcolm Boyd McNab is a trumpeter and player of other brass instruments, and a Los Angeles-based session musician who has performed on nearly 2000 film and television soundtracks.

Chet Atkins is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list List of Famous Session Musicians
Chester Burton "Chet" Atkins was an American guitarist, occasional vocalist and record producer who, along with Owen Bradley, created the smoother country music style known as the ...more

Buddy Harman is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list List of Famous Session Musicians
Murrey Mizell "Buddy" Harman, Jr. was an American country music session musician.

Earl Palmer is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list List of Famous Session Musicians
Earl Cyril Palmer was an American rock & roll and rhythm and blues drummer, and member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Palmer played on many recording sessions, including Little Richard's ...more

Larrie Londin is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list List of Famous Session Musicians
Ralph Gallant, better known by his stage name Larrie Londin, was an American drummer and session musician.

Peter Erskine is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list List of Famous Session Musicians
Peter Erskine is an American jazz drummer and composer living in Los Angeles who has been a session drummer, recording and touring with many famous jazz and rock artists, including Steely Dan, ...more

Josh Freese is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list List of Famous Session Musicians
Josh Freese is an American drummer and songwriter. He is a permanent member of the Vandals and Devo, having formerly played drums for Nine Inch Nails from late 2005 until late 2008, A Perfect ...more

Steve Gadd is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list List of Famous Session Musicians
Stephen Kendall "Steve" Gadd is an American musician. Gadd is one of the most well-known and highly regarded session and studio drummers in the industry. Gadd's groove on Paul Simon's ...more

Jesse Ed Davis is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list List of Famous Session Musicians
Jesse Edwin Davis was a Native American guitarist. He was well regarded as a session artist. His death in 1988 was attributed to a drug overdose.

Russ Kunkel is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list List of Famous Session Musicians
Russell "Russ" Kunkel is an American drummer and producer who has worked as a session musician with many well-known artists, including Linda Ronstadt, James Taylor, Bob Dylan, Neil ...more

Jim Keltner is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list List of Famous Session Musicians
James Lee "Jim" Keltner is an American drummer and percussionist known primarily for his session work; he also played the ukulele. He has contributed to the work of many well-known ...more

Marc Benno is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list List of Famous Session Musicians
Marc Benno is a singer-songwriter and musician.

Dave Mason is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list List of Famous Session Musicians
David Thomas "Dave" Mason is an English singer-songwriter and guitarist from Worcester, who first found fame with the rock band Traffic. In his long career, Mason has played and ...more

Hal Blaine is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list List of Famous Session Musicians
Hal Blaine is an American drummer and session musician. He is most known for his work with the Wrecking Crew in California. Blaine played on numerous hits by popular groups, including Nancy ...more

Jack Nitzsche is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list List of Famous Session Musicians
Bernard Alfred "Jack" Nitzsche was a musician, arranger, producer, songwriter, and film score composer. He first came to prominence in the late 1950s as the right-hand-man of producer ...more

Kim Richmond is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list List of Famous Session Musicians
Kim Richmond Kim Richmond is an American jazz saxophonist and composer. Richmond played piano, clarinet, and saxophone when young, and made his professional debut in 1956. He studied at the University of ...more

Bobby Graham is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list List of Famous Session Musicians
Bobby Graham was an English session drummer, composer, arranger and record producer. Shel Talmy, who produced The Kinks, David Bowie and The Who, described Graham as "the greatest drummer ...more

Derek Watkins is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list List of Famous Session Musicians
Derek Roy Watkins was an English jazz, pop and classical trumpet player. Best known for his lead trumpet work on the soundtracks of every James Bond film from Dr. No to Skyfall, Watkins recorded ...more

Clem Cattini is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list List of Famous Session Musicians
Clemente Anselmo Arturo "Clem" Cattini is an English rock and roll drummer, who was a member of The Tornados before becoming well known for his work as a session musician. He is one of ...more

Henry Spinetti is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list List of Famous Session Musicians
Henry Anthony George Spinetti is a Welsh-born session drummer whose playing has featured on a large number of prominent rock and pop albums. He is the younger brother of actor Victor Spinetti.

Leon Russell is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list List of Famous Session Musicians
Leon Russell is an American musician and songwriter, who has recorded as a session musician, sideman, and maintained a solo career in music.

Frank Ferrer is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list List of Famous Session Musicians
Frank Ferrer is an American rock drummer and session musician. In October 2006, Ferrer became an official member of the American hard rock band Guns N' Roses after serving as the band's ...more

Garth Hudson is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list List of Famous Session Musicians
Eric Garth Hudson is a Canadian multi-instrumentalist. As the organist, keyboardist and saxophonist for Canadian-American rock group The Band, he was a principal architect of the group's unique ...more

Charlie Peacock is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list List of Famous Session Musicians
Charles William Ashworth better known by the stage name Charlie Peacock is an American singer-songwriter, pianist, record producer, session musician and author. His albums include the ...more

Michał Jelonek is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list List of Famous Session Musicians
Michał Jelonek Michał Jelonek, also known as Jelonek, is a musician and composer. He specializes in violin. He is a member of bands Hunter and Orkiestra Dni Naszych, and former member of Ankh. In 2007 Jelonek ...more

Marek Raduli is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list List of Famous Session Musicians
Marek Raduli Marek Raduli is a Polish jazz, rock, blues session guitarist.

Tom Scott is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list List of Famous Session Musicians
Thomas Wright "Tom" Scott is an American saxophonist, composer, arranger, conductor and bandleader of the west coast jazz/jazz fusion ensemble the L.A. Express.

Ronnie Free is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list List of Famous Session Musicians
Ronnie Free is an American jazz drummer. His recording credits date back to the 1950s, and has collaborated with several notable session musicians, including Mose Allison, Oscar Pettiford, ...more

Ben Keith is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list List of Famous Session Musicians
Bennett Keith Schaeufele, better known by his stage name Ben Keith, was an American musician and record producer. Known primarily for his work as a pedal steel guitarist with Neil Young, Keith ...more

Chuck Leavell is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list List of Famous Session Musicians
Charles Alfred "Chuck" Leavell is an American musician, who was a member of the Allman Brothers Band during the height of their 1970s popularity, a founding member of the jazz-rock ...more

Clare Fischer is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list List of Famous Session Musicians
Douglas Clare Fischer was an American keyboardist, composer, arranger, and bandleader. After graduating from Michigan State University, he became the pianist and arranger for the vocal group the ...more

Amos Garrett is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list List of Famous Session Musicians
Amos Garrett is an American-Canadian musician, performer, and author. He holds dual citizenship and was raised in Toronto and Montreal. He is best known for his guitar solo on Maria Muldaur's ...more

David Bromberg is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list List of Famous Session Musicians
David Bromberg is an American multi-instrumentalist, singer, and songwriter. An eclectic artist, Bromberg plays bluegrass, blues, folk, jazz, country and western, and rock and roll equally well. ...more

Chris Frangou is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list List of Famous Session Musicians
Chris Frangou (born 3 May 1991 in Bacchus Marsh, Victoria, Australia) is a songwriter, bass virtuoso, multi-instrumentalist and session musician best know for his work as the bass player for ...more

Barry Beckett is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list List of Famous Session Musicians
Barry Edward Beckett was a keyboardist, session musician, record producer, and studio founder. He is best known for his work with David Hood and Roger Hawkins, his bandmates in the Muscle Shoals ...more

David Grisman is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list List of Famous Session Musicians
David Grisman is an American bluegrass/newgrass mandolinist and composer of acoustic music. In the early 1990s, he started the Acoustic Disc record label to help spread acoustic and instrumental ...more

Dave Moody is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list List of Famous Session Musicians
David B. Moody is an artist, producer, songwriter and filmmaker from North Carolina. His instrumental proficiency has earned him two Grammy Award Nominations and three International CMA Awards ...more

David
David "Buck" Wheat was an American folk and jazz musician, songwriter and recording artist. The Texas-born Wheat was a well-known guitarist and bass player with the big dance bands of ...more

Leland Sklar is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list List of Famous Session Musicians
Leland Bruce "Lee" Sklar is an American musician and film score composer. A prominent electric bassist, Sklar has contributed to over 2,000 albums as a session musician. He has ...more

Clarence White is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list List of Famous Session Musicians
Clarence White, was an American bluegrass and country guitarist and singer. He is best known as a member of the bluegrass ensemble the Kentucky Colonels and the rock band The Byrds, as well as ...more

Carlos Villalobos is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list List of Famous Session Musicians
Carlos Jonathan Villalobos, Jr. is an American composer, studio musician, recording engineer, and multi-instrumentalist.