Top Jazz Guitarists


Among the countless great jazz guitarists over time, here is our top eight. Beg to differ? Please make a comment below and voice your opinion. We listen!


Django Reinhardt (January 23, 1910 – May 16, 1953) was a pioneering virtuoso Belgian jazz guitarist and composer. Often regarded as the first important European jazz musician who made major contributions to the development of the idiom, he is also revered by guitarists worldwide as among the foremost exponents of the instrument.


Song: Nuages  Album: Douce Ambiance



Charles Henry "Charlie" Christian (July 29, 1916 – March 2, 1942) was an Americanswing and jazz guitarist.Christian was an important early performer on the electric guitar, and is cited as a key figure in the development of bebop and cool jazz. He gained national exposure as a member of the Benny Goodman Sextet and Orchestra from August 1939 to June 1941.


Song: Rose Room ‖ Album: The Genius of the Electric Guitar



Mike Stern (January 10, 1953 - ) is an American jazz guitarist. After playing for a few years with Blood, Sweat & Tears, he landed a gig with drummer Billy Cobham and then broke through with trumpeter Miles Davis' comeback band from 1981 to 1983, and again in 1985. Following that he launched a solo career, releasing more than a dozen albums.


Song: One World  Album: Voices



Al Di Meola (July 22, 1954 - ) is an acclaimed American jazz fusion and Latin jazz guitarist, composer, and record producer of Italian origin. With a musical career that has spanned more than three decades, he has become respected as one of the most influential guitarists in jazz to date.


Song: Zona Desperata ‖ Album: Flesh on Flesh



John Leslie "Wes" Montgomery (March 6, 1923 – June 15, 1968) was an American jazz guitarist. He is widely considered one of the major jazz guitarists, emerging after such seminal figures as Django Reinhardtand Charlie Christian and influencing countless others, including Pat Martino, George Benson, Russell Malone, Emily Remler, Kenny Burrell, Pat Metheny, Steve Howe, and Jimi Hendrix.


Song: Full House ‖ Album: Full House: Recorded Live at Tsubo - Berkeley, California



John McLaughlin (January 4 1942 - ) also known as Mahavishnu John McLaughlin, is an English guitarist, bandleader and composer. His music includes many genres of jazz, and rock, which he coupled with an interest in Indian classical music to become one of the pioneering figures in fusion.


Song: Continuum  Album: Trio of Doom



Bill Frisel (March 18, 1951 - ) is an American guitarist, composerand arranger. One of the leading guitarists in jazz since the late 1980s, Frisell's eclectic music touches on progressive folk, classical music, country music, noise and more. He is known for using an array of effects to create unique sounds from his instrument.


Song: Pretty Flowers Were Made for Blooming  Album: Blues Dream