One of the greatest guitar heroes from the country of fusion with a background as one of Los Angeles’ most hired studio musicians for artists such as Aretha Franklin, Barbara Streisand, John Denver and Glenn Campbell to BB King, Quincy Jones and George Benson. Lee Ritenour is a Grammy winner as well as nominated several times for example for his record Harlequin from 1985 together with pianist Dave Grusin.
Lee Ritenour started playing guitar early, having Barney Kessel’s guitar teacher Duke Miller as his teacher. He discovered the folk, jazz and rock scene and was drawn both to the strong expression of rock and the more sophisticated playing of jazz. At 16 he made his debut as a session guitarist with a couple of demos for Mamas And The Papas and later became one of Los Angeles’ most hired studio guitarists. In 1976 he started the band First Course and encountered fusion jazz. In 1979 he played guitar on Pink Floyd’s The Wall record. A couple of years ago, his house and studio in California burned down along with hundreds of guitars, amplifiers and much of his music. A week after the fire, the now 69-year-old Lee underwent heart surgery. After these difficult years, he has returned with the new album Dreamcatcher: “Making this record was a life-saver for me.” he says.
Lee Ritenour is a musically elegant who prioritizes the melodic over the showmanship. A free-handed eclectic who, with a soft hand and a distinctive sound, alternates country, jazz and rock with Brazilian jazz and fusion.
The two evenings at Fasching are a journey through Lee’s crackling repertoire, it will be a festive moment for lovers of both more classic guitar jazz as well as those more in to modern fusion.
Lee Ritenour – Guitar
Wesley Ritenour – Drums
Melvin Lee Davis – Bass
Jesse Milliner – Keyboards