1. Emily Remler
Emily Remler died when she was just 32 years old, but in her time, Herb Ellis called her “the new superstar of guitar.” During her too-short career, she recorded seven albums and toured around the globe. She studied jazz guitar at Berklee College of Music, and jazz is the music she’d play for her rest of her life.
2. Sharon Isbin
Classical guitarist Sharon Isbin is widely considered one of the greatest (and for many, the greatest) living classical guitarists. Isbin studied guitar in Europe as a child and later graduated from the Yale School of Music. Rising to classical superstardom, Isbin not only made a career as a Grammy-winning concert musician; she founded the guitar program at The Julliard School and heads the guitar department at Aspen Music Festival.
3. Bonnie Raitt
Easily the most famous guitarist on this list, blues guitarist Bonnie Raitt began life as the daughter of musical theater legend John Raitt. But she earned her own legendary status as a singer, songwriter and guitarist. Raitt has earned 10 Grammys and spots on Rolling Stone’s 100 Greatest Singers of All Time and 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time.
Orianthi has toured as the lead guitarist for Michael Jackson and Alice Cooper. The Australian-born rock n’ roll guitarist, not yet 30 years old, has also topped international charts with her single “According to You.” A quick peek at her soloing will clue you into her rapid rise to fame:
5. Mimi Fox
Well known in the contemporary jazz world, Mimi Fox plays with extraordinary skill and soul. Fox has recorded seven albums and chairs the Guitar Department as Jazzschool for Music Study and Performance.