david benoit

Top 10 Smooth Jazz Pianists

I have been a fan of smooth jazz since college.  That feels like years ago now.  Oh yeah, it was a lot of years ago, I guess.  Anyhoo, I remember when I started listening to smooth jazz.  It was overwhelming trying to figure out where to start.  Who should I listen to?  Who are the great artists?  Who should I avoid?  I don't want to waste my time with lame artists, right?  Obviously, the best thing to do is just to dive in and find what you like.  But where do you start?

I got you covered.  Here is a list of my 10 favorite smooth jazz pianists.  I'll also include some key tracks and albums to start you out on your smooth jazz journey.  So light a candle.  Dim the lights.  And get ready to groove with the best of the best!


Gregg Karukas

Key Tracks:  Soul Kisses, Manhattan, Blue Touch

Key Album:  GK




Jonathan Fritzen

Key Tracks:  This Way That Way, Temple of Dreams, The Standard

Key Album:  Diamonds



David Benoit

Key Tracks:  Freedom at Midnight, Drive Time, Kei's Song

Key Album:  Heroes



Brian Culbertson

Key Tracks:  On My Mind, You're My Music, Modern Life

Key Album:  Dreams



Gene Harris

Key Tracks:  Sittin' Duck, Losalamitoslatinfunklovesong, Everything Happens To Me

Key Album:  Gene Harris and The Three Sounds Live at the 'It Club'



Bob Baldwin

Key Tracks:  Summer Breeze, Stand Tall, I Wanna Be Where You Are

Key Album:  Standing Tall



Bob James

Key Tracks:  Bali Run (Fourplay), 101 Eastbound (Fourplay), Since I Fell For You

Key Album:  Fourplay



Joe Sample

Key Tracks:  Street Life (The Crusaders), Chain Reaction (The Crusaders), Spellbound

Key Album:  Spellbound



Ramsey Lewis

Key Tracks:  The "In" Crowd, So What You Wanna Do, I'll Always Dream About You

Key Album:  The In Crowd

Jeff Lorber

Key Tracks:  Ain't Nobody, Grasshopper, Do What It Takes
Key Album:  Kickin' It


Want to hear more from these guys?  Get our secret playlist called "Smooth Jazz Piano's Best" featuring all of these great players!  Available absolutely free for Apple Music and Spotify users.  Just click the link below and start listening now!