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RIP Ndugu

Very recently, we lost a very good friend & amazing musician, Ndugu Chancler. A innovator, educator, drummer extraordinaire and personality that was so present and influential that it seems impossible that he’s gone. I felt the same way when we lost George Duke. Hopefully they’re up there today jamming away.

Ndugu & I both grew up in Los Angeles and we met each other when we were both 16… 1968… Wow… We would occasionally play casuals together and he introduced me to a 14-year-old pianist that he said was unbelievable… That was Patrice Rushen. Patrice, Ndugu and I would collaborate and be friends for the rest of our lives.

Ndugu went on to have an amazing career that included stints with Miles Davis, Jimi Hendrix, Weather Report, Michael Jackson… Just to name a few! His drum style was entirely original and his grooves we’re undeniable! He also became a fixture and an incredible educator at USC. His flame went out way too soon, but he accomplished enough for several lifetimes… Myself & many, many others will miss him dearly…
Lee Ritenour

RIP Hugh Masekela

“Hard to believe Hugh Masekela is gone. He was one of those forces in life that you believe will go on forever… He was so strong musically, spiritually and an incredible physical presence… Let alone being one of the most beautiful musicians and players that I have met. I think if I were to define “Musical Ambassador”, there are two musicians that come to mind that were true emissaries around the world… That was BB King and Hugh Masekela.
I first recorded on one of Hughs albums in the 70’s. We would work on and off for the decades ahead, and then I had the privilege of playing with him at International Jazz day twice. The last time at the White House in 2016…
More than ever I miss him, as we need these very special music ambassadors that travel literally without borders and share their message of love and music around the world… He will be missed big-time…RIP Hugh
– Lee Ritenour

2018 Six String Theory Competition

We’re so excited to announce the next Six String Theory Music Competition opens for registration January 15, 2018! Click here to enter in the Guitar, Piano, Bass, or Drum category!!



Come join us at the Baked Potato Sunday, October 8 for a terrific night of music with this very special band!

Tokyo Jazz Festival 2017

08/27/17 – Performance at Osaka Symphony Hall w/Lee Ritenour, Tom Kennedy, Peter Erskine, Masaki Hayashi 

08/31/17 – Performance at Shizuoka Granship

  • Sadao Watanabe California Shower 2017

Featuring:  Lee Ritenour, Dave Grusin, Tom Kennedy, Peter Erskine

09/02/17 – Tokyo Jazz Festival

  • Lee Ritenour Guitar Summit with Pat Martino

Featuring:  Lee Ritenour, Dave Grusin, Pat Martino, Tom Kennedy, Dave Weckl

09/03/17 – Toyko Jazz Festival

100 year project with Danish Radio Big Band  Featuring:  Lee Ritenour 

  • Sadao Watanabe California Shower 2017

Featuring:  Lee Ritenour, Dave Grusin, Tom Kennedy, Peter Erskine