Lee Ritenour & Dave Grusin
July 18 @ 7:30 pm
Growing up in L.A. in the 60’s, Grammy award winning guitarist Lee Ritenour received a rich cross section of exposure to jazz, rock and Brazilian music. From one of his first sessions at 16 with the Mamas and Papas to accompanying Lena Horne and Tony Bennett at 18, his forty year eclectic and storied career is highlighted by a Grammy Award win for his 1986 collaboration with Dave Grusin, Harlequin; 17 Grammy nominations; numerous #1 spots in guitar polls and the prestigious “Alumnus of the Year” award from USC. He has recorded over 40 albums, with 35 chart songs, notably the Top 15 hit “Is It You,” which has become a contemporary jazz radio classic. In the 90s, Ritenour was a founding member of Fourplay, one of the most successful bands in contemporary jazz, with keyboardist Bob James, bassist Nathan East and drummer Harvey Mason. The first Fourplay album in 1991 spent an unprecedented 33 weeks at No. 1 on Billboard’s contemporary jazz chart. Adding to this legacy is his latest CD Smoke ‘n’ Mirrors; the recently completed Grammy nominated recording Amparo, (a follow-up with Dave Grusin to their highly-successful 2001 Grammy Award nominated contemporary classical crossover CD) and producer of Gordon Goodwin’s Big Phat Band’s latest CD Act Your Age (which is nominated for 3 Grammys.
Dave Grusin has achieved high levels of success in his career as a performer, producer, composer, arranger, and bandleader. As a pianist, Grusin tends toward the fusion and smooth end of jazz, but he’s also an accomplished film and television soundtrack composer. Grusin played with Terry Gibbs and Johnny Smith while studying at the University of Colorado, was the assistant music director and pianist for Andy Williams from 1959 to 1966. He also maintained a rich career through the 60s and 70s, recording with such greats as Benny Goodman, Don Lamond, Thad Jones, Frank Foster, Quincy Jones, Carmen McCrae, and Gerry Mulligan. As a long-time band leader of the illustrious GRP All-Star band, he also helped to establish GRP Records out of a production company. GRP developed into one of the top contemporary jazz and fusion companies. In addition to his numerous GRP releases, Grusin has also recorded for Columbia, Sheffield Lab, and Polygram. In 2011, he released the concert album and DVD An Evening with Dave Grusin, which featured him backed by the 75-piece Henry Mancini Institute Orchestra revisiting works from throughout his varied career.