Lee Ritenour


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About Lee Ritenour

The work of amiable and prolific smooth-jazz hero Lee Ritenour is steeped in the sublime tones and techniques of jazz guitarists such as Wes Montgomery, Joe Pass, and Kenny Burrell. Exposed to those six-string masters as a child in Los Angeles, where he was born in 1952, Ritenour got his first studio gig with The Mamas & The Papas in 1968 and eventually appeared on upwards of 3,000 recordings, including more than 30 albums of his own. Ritenour’s dexterous digits earned him the moniker Captain Fingers, the title of the first of his three influential instrumental jazz-funk albums released in the late ‘70s. He dove into vocal-driven pop during the '80s, winning a Grammy for Harlequin in 1985, and never quit exploring. Festival (1988) launched a prolonged fascination with Brazilian jazz, while Stolen Moments (1990) released his inner jazz purist. Pop-jazz always remained his specialty, however, and Ritenour spent much of the '90s in fusion supergroup Fourplay. Losing his home and studio in a Malibu fire inspired Ritenour's first solo-guitar release, 2020's Dreamcatcher.

Los Angeles, CA, United States
January 11, 1952
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