Keyboard Artists in Rock

Rick wakeman I wanted to put together a kind of “master list” of all the players who have, in some notable way, contributed to the history of keyboard in rock. It’s obviously a big project, and I have a ways to go, but this is a solid base. I’ll be adding more players, videos, and trivia facts on a regular basis. The listings are just meant to be a quick facts about each artist, and not a comprehensive overview

I’m also trying to include players who don’t have as high a profile as the top names, but are still great players in their own right. Sometimes they’re primarily session / touring guys, and sometimes they’re players that were in bands that did not have widespread commercial success. Investigating these artists can sometimes open the door to some interesting discoveries.

In the video clips I’ve included, I’ve tried to showcase the artists playing live in concert or otherwise in their natural element. For some artists, the solo passages are brief, but usually enough to show some of their style and technique

 

Artist name Born (died) place of birth bands played in / for see more
Don Airey 06/21/48 Sunderland, England Deep Purple, Rainbow, Ozzy Osbourne, Black Sabbath, Electric Light Orchestra, Gary Moore, Glenn Tipton, Judas Priest, Wishbone Ash, Whitesnake, Ten, Jethro Tull, Hollywood Monsters,Divlje jagode see more
Gregg Allman 12/08/47 Nashville, TN The Allman Brothers Band Gregg Allman Band The Allman Joys The Hour Glass Allman and Woman see more
Rod Argent 06/14/45 St Albans, Hertfordshire, England The Zombies, Argent, Ringo Starr & His All-Starr Band see more
Peter Bardens 06/14/44
(01/22/02)
Westminster, Central London, England Them, Shotgun Express, Camel, Keats, Mirage  see more
Roy Bittan 07/02/49 Queens, NY Bruce Springsteen, E Street Band, Dire Straits see more
David Bryan 02/07/62 Perth Amboy, NJ Bon Jovi see more
John “Rabbit” Bundrick 11/21/48 Houston, TX Free,The Who,Johnny Nash,Bob Marley,Mallard see more
Jonathan Cain 02/26/50 Chicago, Il. The Babys, Journey, Jimmy Barnes,Michael Bolton,Bad English see more
Tony Carey 10/16/53 Watsonville, CA Blessings, Rainbow, Planet P Project, Evil Masquerade, Zed Yago, Over the Rainbow, E.B.C. ROXX, Peter Maffay see more
Paul Carrack 04/21/51 Sheffield, Yorkshire, England Eagles, Warm Dust, Ace, Roxy Music, Squeeze, Nick Lowe, Mike + The Mechanics, Ringo Starr & His All-Starr Band, Eric Clapton see more
Felix Cavaliere 11/29/43 Pelham, NY The Rascals, Treasure, Ringo Starr & His All-Starr Band, Little Steven and the Disciples of Soul, Steve Cropper, Felix Caviliere’s Rascals see more
Ray Charles 09/23/30 (6/10/04) Albany, GA Solo performer see more
Alan Clark 03/05/52 Great Lumley, County Durham England Dire Straits, Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan, Geordie see more
Tom Coster 08/21/41 Detroit, Michigan Carlos Santana, Billy Cobham, Third Eye Blind, Vital Information see more
Vincent Crane 05/21/43 (2/14/89) Reading, Berkshire, England Atomic Rooster, The Crazy World of Arthur Brown, Dexys Midnight Runners see more
Burton Cummings 12/31/47 Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada The Guess Who, Bachman Cummings, The Deverons, Tim Thorney, Ringo Starr & His All-Starr Band see more
Rick Davies 07/22/44 Swindon, Wiltshire, England Supertramp see more
Jimmy Destri 04/13/54 Brooklyn, NY. Blondie see more
Dennis DeYoung 02/18/47 Chicago, Il. Styx see more
Thomas Dolby 10/14/58 London, England Solo performer see more
Fats Domino 02/26/28 New Orleans, LA. Solo performer see more
Geoff Downes 08/25/52 Stockport,Cheshire,England The Buggles, Yes, Asia, Glenn Hughes, New Dance Orchestra, John Wetton, Icon, DBA (Downes Braide Association), GTR see more
Keith Emerson 11/02/44 Todmorden, West Yorkshire, England The Nice, Emerson Lake and Palmer see more
Brian Eno 05/15/48 Woodbridge, Suffolk, England Roxy Music Robert Fripp Harold Budd David Bowie Talking Heads Jon Hassell Cluster Devo David Byrne U2 Ultravox Robert Wyatt 801 Coldplay Genesis Damon Albarn Karl Hyde Fred Frith see more
John Evan 03/28/48 Blackpool, Lancashire, England Jethro Tull see more
Danny Federici 01/23/50 Flemington, NJ E Street Band, Mary Cutrufello see more
David Foster 11/01/49 Victoria, British Columbia, Canada Skylark, Chicago, Attitudes, Airplay, Ronnie Hawkins & The Hawks, Whitney Houston, Michael Buble see more
Mike Garson 07/29/45 NY,NY David Bowie, Nine Inch Nails, Billy Corgan, Free Flight, and The Smashing Pumpkins. see more
Ian Gibbons 07/18/52 South End, Essex, England Kinks, Kast-off Kinks see more
Greg Giuffria 07/28/51 Gulfport, MS. Angel, Giuffria, House of Lords, White Sister see more
Jimmy Greenspoon 02/07/48
(3/11/15)
Beverly Hills, CA Three Dog Night, Linda Ronstadt, Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, America, The Beach Boys, Beck, Bogert & Appice, Nils Lofgren, Lowell George, Kim Fowley, Donovan, Buddy Miles, Stephen Stills, Jeff Beck, Chris Hillman, Steve Cropper, Duck Dunn, James Burton, Hal Blaine, Leon Russell, The Wrecking Crew, Osibisa, Shaun Cassidy, Cheech & Chong, Redbone see more
Al Greenwood 10/20/51 NY, NY Foreigner, Spys see more
Jan Hammer 04/17/48 Prague,Czechoslovakia Mahavishnu Orchestra, Jan Hammer Group, Jeff Beck, Al Di Meola, Mick Jagger, Carlos Santana, Stanley Clarke, Neal Schon, Steve Lukather, Elvin Jones, Tommy Bolin  see more
Glen D. Hardin 04/18/39 Wellington, TX Elvis Presley, TCB band, (session work w/ multiple artists) see more
Greg Hawkes 10/22/52 Fulton, MD. The Cars see more
Ken Hensley 08/24/45 London, England Uriah Heep, Blackfoot, The Gods, Toe Fat, W.A.S.P see more
Jools Holland 01/24/58 Blackheath, London, England Squeeze, Sting, Eric Clapton, Mark Knopfler, George Harrison, David Gilmour, Magazin, Bono. Jools Holland’s Rhythm and Blues Orchestra see more
Nicky Hopkins 02/24/44 -(9/6/94) Perrivale, Middlesex, England Screaming Lord Sutch and the Savages, Cyril Davies All Stars, the Kinks, the Rolling Stones, the Jeff Beck Group, Sweet Thursday, the Beatles, Steve Miller Band, Jefferson Airplane, Quicksilver Messenger Service, the Who see more
Bruce Hornsby 11/13/54 Williamsburg, VA Jerry Garcia, Bob Weir, Dave Matthews Band, Sting, Hornsby & the Noise Makers, Jack DeJohnette, Skaggs & Hornsby, Bruce Hornsby Trio, Hornsby and the Range, Eric Clapton, Grateful Dead, The Other Ones, Bobby Hi-Test and the Octane Kids, Bob Dylan, Don Henley, Hall & Oates see more
Garth Hudson 08/02/37 Windsor, Ontario, Canada The Band, The Call, Ronnie Hawkins, The Best!, Burrito Deluxe, Sister Maud Hudson, Paul London and the Capers, The Shutouts, The Bandini Brothers see more
Karl Jenkins 02/17/44 Penclawdd, Gower, Wales Adiemus, Soft Machine
Eddie Jobson 04/28/55 Billingham, England UK, Jethro Tull, Roxy Music, Frank Zappa, UKZ, Yes see more
Billy Joel 05/09/49 Bronx, NY The Hassles, Attila see more
Jens Johansson 11/02/63 Stockholm, Sweden Stratovarius, Yngwie Malmsteen, Dio, Johansson, HammerFall, Kamelot, Star One, Aina see more
Elton John 03/25/47 Pinner, Middlesex, England Solo performer see more
Johnnie Johnson 07/08/24 St. Louis, Mo. Chuck Berry  see more
Howard Jones 02/23/55 Southhampton, Hampshire, England Solo Performer see more
John Paul Jones 01/03/46 Sidcup, Kent, England Led Zeppelin, Them Crooked Vultures, Donovan, Diamanda Galas, Butthole Surfers, Seasick Steve, King Crimson, R.E.M., Dave Rawlings Machine see more
Booker T. Jones 11/12/44 Memphis, TN Booker T. & the MGs, Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Stephen Stills, Otis Redding, Drive-By Truckers, the Mar-Keys, Rancid> see more
Tony Kaye 01/11/46 Leister, England Yes, Flash, Badger, Detective, Badfinger, Circa, Yoso, David Bowie see more
Peter Keys 05/30/65 Burlington, VT P-Funk, George Clinton, 420 Funk Mob, Lynyrd Skynyrd, SeepeopleS and Steve Richard see more
Carole King 02/09/42 NYC, NY James Taylor the City Danny Kortchmar Neil Sedaka Gerry Goffin Louise Goffin Soraya see more
Larry Knechtel 08/04/40 (8/20/09) Bell, California Bread, The Wrecking Crew see more
Al Kooper 02/05/44 Brooklyn, NY Mike Bloomfield, The Blues Project, Blood, Sweat & Tears, Bob Dylan  see more
T Lavitz 04/16/56 (10/7/10) new Jersey Dixie Dregs, Jazz Is Dead, Jefferson Starship, Widespread Panic see more
Chuck Leavall 04/28/52 Birmingham, Alabama The Allman Brothers Band The Rolling Stones,John Mayer,The Black Crowes,Sea Level,Eric Clapton,Gov’t Mule,Aquarium Rescue Unit see more
Amy Lee 12/13/81 Riverside, CA. Evanescence, Dave Eggar Seether see more
Jerry Lee Lewis 09/29/35 Ferriday, LA. Solo performer see more
Professor Longhair 12/19/18 – (1/30/80) Bogalusa, LA. Solo performer see more
Jon Lord 06/09/41 – (7/16/12) Leicester, England Deep Purple, Whitesnake, Paice Ashton Lord, The Artwoods, The Flower Pot Men see more
Manfred Mann 10/21/40 Johannesburg, South Africa Manfred Mann
Manfred Mann Chapter Three, Manfred Mann’s Earth Band
see more
Richard Manuel 04/03/43
(4/4/86)
Stratford, Ontario, CA The Band, Ronnie Hawkins & the Hawks, the Revols, Bob Dylan, the Pencils see more
Ray Manzarek 02/12/39 (5/20/13) Chicago, IL. The Doors, Manzarek – Krieger, Rick & the Ravens, Nite City, The Manzarek – Rogers Band see more
Bob Mayo 08/25/51
(2/23/04)
NY, NY Peter Frampton, Hall & Oates. Foreigner, Robert Plant, Dan Fogelberg, Aerosmith, Joe Walsh, Joe Vitale, Procol Harum, The Renovators, Doc Holliday, Rat Race Choir, Renegade, Ramble and the Descendants see more
Goldy McJohn 05/02/45 Toronto, Canada The Mynah Birds, The Sparrows, Steppenwolf, Humble Pie, The Saints, Freddy & the Screamers, Southern Pacific see more
Ron “Pigpen” McKernan 09/08/45 San Bruno, VA Grateful Dead, Mother McCree’s Uptown Jug Champions, The Warlocks coming soon
Ian Mclagan 05/12/45 (12/3/14) Hounslow, Middlesex, England Small Faces, Faces, Rod Stewart, The Rolling Stones, The New Barbarians, Bump Band, Billy Bragg and the Blokes, Michael Grimm, Izzy Stradlin, The Empty Hearts see more
Christine McVie 07/12/43 Bouth, Cumbria, England Fleetwood Mac, Chicken Shack see more
Freddie Mercury 09/15/46
(11/24/91)
Stonetown, Zanzibar Queen, Larry Lurex, Ibex / Wreckage, Sour Milk Sea, Montserrat Caballé see more
Mic Michaeli 11/11/62 Upplands Vasby, Sweden Europe, Glenn Hughes, Brazen Abbot, Last Autumn’s Dream, Nordic Beast see more
Max Middleton 08/04/46 Amersham, Buckinghampshire, England Jeff Beck, The Jeff Beck Group, BBA, Hummingbird, Chris Rea, Kate Bush, Bobby Tench, Nazareth, Cleo Laine, Cozy Powell, Snowy White, Robert Ahwai, Streetwalkers, Mick Taylor see more
Kevin Moore 05/26/67 Kings Park, NY O.S.I., Chroma Key, Dream Theater, Fates Warning see more
Patrick Moraz 06/24/48 Morges, Switzerland Refugee, Yes, The Moody Blues, Mainhorse, Vímana see more
Larry Muhoberac 02/12/37 Louisiana Elvis Presley (session work w/multiple artists) see more
Steve Nieve 02/19/1958 London, England Elvis Costello The Attractions Madness see more
Jack Nitzsche 04/22/37 (8/25/00) Chicago, Il. The Nooney Rickett 4, Sonny Bono, Phil Spector, The Wrecking Crew, Neil Young and Crazy Horse, The Rolling Stones, Willy DeVille coming soon
Roger O’ Donnell 10/29/55 London, England The Cure, The Psychedelic Furs Thompson Twins, Berlin see more
David Paitch 06/25/54 Los Angeles, CA. Toto, Boz Scaggs, Michael Jackson see more
Alan Park 10/05/51 Glasgow, Scotland Beggars Opera (various coming soon
Bill Payne 03/12/49 Waco, TX. Little Feat, Phil Lesh and Friends, Leftover Salmon see more
Greg Phillinganes 05/12/56 Detroit MI. Stevie Wonder, The Jacksons, Michael Jackson, Toto, Eric Clapton, Quincy Jones see more
Mike Pinder 12/27/41 Edington, Birmingham, England The Moody Blues El Riot and the Rebels Krew Kat see more
Billy Powell 06/03/52 (1/28/09) Corpus Christi, TX. Lynyrd Skynyrd, Kid Rock, .38 Special see more
Roger Powell 03/14/49 Utopia, Todd Rundgren see more
Billy Preston 09/02/46 (6/6/06) Houston, TX Little Richard,Syreeta,Sam Cooke, The Beatles,Sly and the Family Stone,King Curtis,The Rolling Stones,Ray Charles,George Harrison, Ringo Starr & his All-Star Band  see more
Alan Price 04/19/42 Washington, County Durham, England The Alan Price Rhythm and Blues Combo, The Alan Price Set, Price and Fame, Alan Price and Friends, The Animals, Eric Burdon, The Electric Blues Company, Bobby Tench, Zoot Money  see more
Don Randi 02/25/37 NY, NY Wrecking Crew, jazz and session musician  see more
Mike Ratledge 05/04/43 Maidstone, Kent, England, Soft Machine,Karl Jenkins  see more
Paul Raymond 11/16/45 St Albans, Hertfordshire, England England Plastic Penny, Chicken Shack, Savoy Brown, Danny Kirwan, UFO, The Michael Schenker Group, Waysted, Paul Raymond Project  see more
Little Richard 12/5/28 Macon, GA Solo Performer  see more
Billy Richie 04/20/44 Lanark, Scotland The Premiers, 1-2-3, Clouds see more
Gregg Rolie 06/17/47 Seattle, WA. Santana, Journey, The Storm, Abraxas Pool, Gregg Rolie Band, Ringo Starr & His All-Starr Band see more
David Rosenthal 01/01/61 NY, NY Rainbow, Billy Joel, Bruce Springsteen, Enrique Iglesias, Robert Palmer, Steve Vai,[2] Cyndi Lauper,[2] Yngwie Malmsteen, Little Steven and Happy The Man. see more
Jordan Rudess 12/4/56 Great Neck, NY Dream Theater, Dixie Dregs, Liquid Tension Experiment, John Petrucci, Rod Morgenstein, David Bowie, Vinnie Moore, Tom Coster, Kip Winger, Nóirín Ní Riain, Rhonda Larson, Paul Winter, Scott McGill, Steven Wilson, Prefab Sprout, Jupiter, Neal Morse, Daniel J, Neil Zaza, Annie Haslam, John-Luke Addison, Behold… The Arctopus, Liquid Trio Experiment, Enrique Iglesias, Mr. Fastfinger, Ricky Garcia, Frost*, Richard Lainhart, Ayreon see more
Leon Russell 04/02/42 (11/12/16) Lawton, OK. Wrecking Crew, Solo performer (session work) see more
David Sancious 11/30/53 Asbury Park, New Jersey Bruce Springsteen, Santana, Eric Clapton, Jack Bruce, Stanley Clark see more
Neil Sedaka 03/13/39 Brooklyn, NY solo performer see more
Paul Shaffer 11/28/49 Thunder Bay, Ontario CBS Orchestra, The World’s Most Dangerous Band see more
Dave Sinclair 11/24/47 Herne Bay, Kent, England Caravan, Matching Mole, Hatfield and the North, Polite Force, Camel coming soon
Derek Sherinian 08/25/66 Laguna Beach, CA Dream Theater, Planet X, Alice Cooper, Kiss, Yngwie Malmsteen, Billy Idol, Black Country Communion, Joe Bonamassa, PSMS see more
Claudio Simonetti 02/19/52 São Paulo, Brazil Cherry Five/Goblin, Daemonia see more
Chris Stainton 03/22/44 Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England Joe Cocker, Leon Russell, The Grease Band, Spooky Tooth, Eric Clapton, Boxer, The Who, Jim Capaldi, Ian Hunter, Elkie Brooks, Bryn Haworth, Maddy Prior, Roger Waters, B.B. King, Jimmy Smith , David Gilmour, The Alarm, Bryan Ferry see more
Mark Stein 03/11/47 Bayonne, NJ Vanilla Fudge, Boomerang, Tommy Bolin Alice Cooper see more
David A. Stewart 09/09/52 Sunderland, England The Tourists Eurythmics The Spiritual Cowboys Vegas Platinum Weird SuperHeavy Shakespears Sister Joss Stone Stevie Nicks coming soon
Ian Stewart 07/18/38 (12/12/85) Pittenweem, Fife, Scotland The Rolling Stones, Rocket 88, Led Zeppelin, George Thoroughgood see more
Richard Tandy 03/26/48 Birmingham, England Electric Light Orchestra, Jeff Lynne, Tandy Morgan Band see more
Richard Tee 12/24/43
(7/21/93)
Brookln, NY Paul Simon, Hank Crawford, George Benson, Grover Washington, Jr., Cornell Dupree, Stuff, Steve Gadd, Jackie DeShannon, Hall & Oates, Billy Joel, Bob Marley, Quincy Jones, Roberta Flack, Peter Gabriel, Aretha Franklin, Wilbert Longmire, Mariah Carey, Tom Scott, George Harrison see more
Benmont Tench 09/07/53 Gainesville, FL. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Mudcrutch, Don Henley, Johnny Cash, Roy Orbison, Works Progress Administration see more
Ian Underwood 05/22/39 NY, NY The Mothers of Invention, Flo & Eddie, Frank Zappa, Captain Beefheart coming soon
Thijs Van Leer 03/31/48 Amsterdam, Netherlands Focus see more
Rick Wakeman 05/18/49 London, England Solo, Yes, English Rock Ensemble, Strawbs see more
Bobby Whitlock 03/18/48 Memphis, TN. Delaney & Bonnie and Friends, Derek and the Dominos, Eric Clapton, Coco Carmel see more
Paul “Wix” Wickens 03/27/56 Brentwood, Essex, England Paul McCartney, Paul Carrack, Jim Diamond, Nik Kershaw, Boy George, Elton John, Joni Mitchell, Bon Jovi, Bob Dylan see more
Brian Wilson 06/20/42 Inglewood, CA The Beach Boys see more
Edgar Winter 12/28/46 Beaumont, TX. Johnny Winter, Rick Derringer, The Edgar Winter Group, Sawbuck, Ringo Starr & His All-Starr Band, David Lee Roth, Todd Rundgren, Ronnie Montrose see more
Steve Winwood 05/12/48 Handsworth, Birmingham, England Spencer Davis Group, Traffic, Blind Faith, Eric Clapton, Jim Capaldi, Ginger Baker’s Air Force, Billy Joel see more
Bernie Worrell 04/19/44 (6/26/16) Long Branch, NJ Parliament-Funkadelic, Talking Heads, Praxis, Tom Tom Club, Colonel Claypool’s Bucket of Bernie Brains see more
Gary Wright 04/26/43 Cresskill, NJ Spooky Tooth, Wonderwheel, George Harrison, Ringo Starr & His All-Starr Band, Stone Temple Pilots see more
Richard Wright 07/28/43 (9/15/08) Hatch End, Middlesex, England Pink Floyd, Zee, Syd Barrett, David Gilmour, Anthony Moore see more
Warren Zevon 01/24/47 (9/07/03) Chicago Il CBS Orchestra, Billy Bob Thornton, Jackson Browne, David Lindley, Waddy Wachtel, Bruce Springsteen, Dwight Yoakam, Hindu Love Gods, Linda Ronstadt, The Everly Brothers, Don Everly, Phil Everly, Richie Hayward, Jack Casady, Chick Corea, Jerry Garcia, David Gilmour, Neil Young, Don Henley, George Clinton, Timothy B. Schmit, Bob Dylan, Joe Walsh, Emmylou Harris, Tom Petty, The Eagles, R.E.M., The Turtles, lyme and cybelle, Jorge Calderón, Stevie Nicks, Rock Bottom Remainders, David Marks, Widespread Panic see more