Tickets are selling fast for Dave Grusin’s first ever African appearance featuring Lee Ritenour with David Weckl and Melvin Davis in Joburg

By Own Correspondent – Fans from far and wide are ecstatic and counting the days when legendary American composer, pianist, arranger and recipient of multiple Academy and Grammy Awards, Dave Grusin performs in South Africa for his first-ever collaborative tour with acclaimed guitarist, Lee Ritenour on African soil.

Dave Grusin'sThe collaboration of Grusin and Ritenour earned them a Grammy for the album Harlequin in 1986 and Ritenour has just been given a Life Time Achievement Award by Guitar Player Magazine.

The two take to the stage for two rare shows on May 27 and 28 at TheTeatro at Montecasino in Joburg – offering South African fans the opportunity to see these master musicians up-close in a classy, intimate setting.

Says Grusin, “I’ve long wanted to perform for music fans in South Africa – and to have Lee join me is something really special.” Grusin is known as much for his solo work as his tribute recordings – among them The Gershwin Connection, Homage to Duke, and Two For The Road, the latter a tribute to Henry Mancini.

“As an artist, I am signed as a pianist first and foremost,”

“Therefore, I’m able to choose between recording albums of all original material, and doing these great tribute collections. It’s been an interesting double life, doing both film scoring and jazz recordings, with the chief difference being that in film you have parameters based on how the music will function with the images. With my own albums, it’s like a blank canvas, absolute freedom to create from scratch, and that presents its own set of challenges.”

Indeed, it’s his film and television soundtrack work that has really turned Grusin into a household name and saw him become an Academy Award winner for The Milagro Beanfield War. It was also Grusin who composed the moving score for the 1989 film, ‘A Dry White Season’ (based on the André Brink’ book) cementing a connection with this country that’s now decades long.

Ritenour is an award-winning US guitarist who has earned the name “Captain Fingers” for his extraordinary ability on the guitar that’s seen him release a raft of solo and collaborative work.

A founding member of Fourplay – the most successful band in contemporary jazz – Ritenour has enjoyed a fantastic career that includes more than 30 recordings, several gold albums, numerous #1 spots in guitar polls and a reputation as a fusion guitarist of epic proportions. Ritenour has previously performed as part of the Cape Town International Jazz Festival line-up and his ‘Smoke ‘N Mirrors” album featured the vocals of South African singer, Zamajobe on several tracks.

Grusin and Ritenour will be joined on stage by Melvin Davis, a stalwart of the West Coast recording scene, having made many albums with both Grusin and Ritenour among others. Drummers will be champing at the bit to see in action one of the greatest drummers on the scene today, the one and only Dave Weckl.

The tour is being promoted by Sponono Productions which has previously brought other iconic performers to South African music fans – among them Gladys Knight and Peabo Bryson and Roberta Flack.

Tickets and are available from and cost between R400 to R650.