Jazz Guitarists

Last updated on the 30th September, 2014


When it comes to the topic of Jazz Guitarists, these are a very few of the names that you should know. I also wrote a very little about them so you won’t feel all that lost in these conversations. Other than just knowing them, it’s always a wise practice to listen to many musicians and their music. Listening to these musicians will benefit you and also you would have a better understanding about the “real” conversation of jazz guitarists; their music, their playing styles, their creativity, etc.


  • Chet Atkins

An American guitarist commonly known as Mr. Guitar

Known for his finger picking style

He received 14 Grammy awards

Popularized country music style

 1924 – 2001 aged 77


  • George Benson

An American guitarist who uses a gypsy jazz style similar to Django Reinhardt

Also a singer song writer

1943 aged 71


  • Al Di Meola

From Jersey City, New Jersey

A jazz guitarist who crosses over into other genres such as and well known in Latin jazz

Very solid fan base internationally and is one of the most influential jazz guitarists.


  • Joe Pass

An American jazz guitarist

Known well for his use of walking bass lines, melodic counterpoint during improve, chord melodies, outstanding knowledge of chord inversions and progressions opened new possibilities for jazz guitar and has a huge influence on later guitarists.

Born 1929 died 1994 (65 years old)


  • Stanley Jordan

Born in Chicago, United stated

He invented the touch technique which is a very advanced tapping technique

Still alive at 55 and pursuing a master’s degree in music therapy


  • Django Rienhardt

A French guitarist; regarded as one of the greatest and most influential people to the development of guitar in the genre of jazz

His third and fourth fingers were paralysed as a result from burns from a fire hence leaving him to play with only with first and second fingers

This is now a popular technique in jazz playing and in French gypsy guitar culture

Some of his most famous songs include: minor swing, djangology along with others that has become jazz standards

He died at 43 years old 1910 – 1953


  • Larry Carlton

An American guitarist famous for his performance of the theme from the TV series, Hill Street blues

Spent a lot of time in session appearances with well-known artists and solo recordings

Also played sub genres of jazz including rock

Born 1948 (aged 66)


  • Grant Geissman

Born in Berkeley, California

He is an Emmy nominated composer for network TV series and TV movies

He is an in demand studio musician and can be heard on Monk TV series


  • Wes Montgomgery

An American jazz guitarist

Widely known for his use of octaves

Also an excellent single line or single note player

Has a great tone using his thumb to play making his style very different

This came about as he practiced long hours and his thumb was to make the guitar quiet to his neighbours

1923 – 1648 45 years old.


  • Fitzroy Coleman (listen to his audio)

A Jazz guitarist from Trinidad and Tobago

Considered to be one of the top jazz guitarists

Had a unique technique in playing the guitar


  • Michael O'Neill (listen to his audio)

Worked with many artists such as George Benson, Stevie Wonder and contemporary artists as well such as John Legend and Micheal Buble

Has been perform for 30 years at the highest level

Great improvisational style










Bibliography and References

All the information above was research not only from the listing of sites below, but in interviews, academic experiences (lectures, discussions, etc.).


  • Although there has been a lot of controversy of the accuracy of the information on Wikipedia, my usage of this site has been very cautious, researched, followed through and also as a guideline.






















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