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Lee Ritenour with Otmaro Ruiz and Melvin Davis featuring Akira Jimbo with Special guests Naoko Terai and Masato Honda

Please join this all star lineup in Japan March 2 – 13! Click HERE for additional tour dates and ticket information!!

Download SST Blues from Lee and the Six String Theory Winners

Here’s a gift of thanks to all my fans and friends, and a celebration of the Six String Theory Competition winners 2016. This is a brand-new tune I wrote called “SST Blues” and features winners Roland Balogh & Carter Low on Guitar, Nicolas Hetko on B3 Organ, Isaias Elpes on Bass and Raphael Pannier on Drums.

Also included is a short, behind the scenes video of the SST winners and myself at our recording session in Malibu, CA in September 2016 as part of the prize package. This track will go on my next album but there’s no reason to hold it back in the meantime, so please enjoy this as a free gift of music along with my very best wishes for everyone in 2017. Huge hugs to all the fans that I met around the world this year & those that participated in and/or supported the SST competition and myself- thank you so, so much!
-Lee Ritenour

Download SST Blues: WAV version | MP3 version
Right-click and select “Save Link As …” to download to your computer

*Continued gratitude to our Sponsors, who make the competition possible: Yamaha USA (YCA) , Yamaha Japan (YCJ), Berklee College of Music, Crown of the Continent Guitar Festival & Workshop (COC), Blue Note Tokyo, Monster, D’Addario, Premier Guitar, , Music Connection, Jazziz, Concord Music Group, Guitar HD, Woodshed Recording Studio, True Fire and Xotic Effects Pedals.


2016 Grand Prize Winners from Lee Ritenour’s Six String Theory Competition Recorded & Filmed at Woodshed Recording Studios in Malibu, California September 2016.

Track “SST BLUES” Produced, Composed and Arranged by Lee Ritenour, Rit of Habeas Music- ASCAP (Copyright 2016)

Lee Ritenour – Guitar
Roland Balogh – Guitar (Hungary)
Carter Low – Guitar (Canada)
Nicolas Hetko – B3 Organ (USA)
Isaias Elpes – Bass (Brazil)
Raphael Pannier – Drums (France)

Audio: Recorded and Mixed by Don Murray
Video Produced, Filmed & Edited by Kim Huynh
Project Management: Sharleen Bazeghi
Studio: Woodshed Recording Studios, Malibu, CA.

Sponsors: Yamaha USA (YCA), Yamaha Japan (YCJ), Berklee College of Music, Crown of the Continent Guitar Festival & Workshop (COC), Blue Note Tokyo, Monster, D’Addario, Premier Guitar, Music Connection, Jazziz, Concord Music Group, Guitar HD, Woodshed Recording Studio, True Fire and Xotic Effects Pedals.

Six String Theory Winners to perform at the Tokyo Blue Note September 11, 2016

Click on Latest News for additional details! lee16_a_001 lee16_a_002

Six String Theory Competition Winner’s Circle

Congratulations to all our Winners & Finalists! Check website for full lists of all Winners and Finalists!

GRAND PRIZE WINNERS (each instrument)

GUITAR (tie): Roland Balogh (jazz )- Hungary
GUITAR (tie): Carter Low (blues) – Canada
PIANO: Nick Hetko – New York, USA
BASS: Isaias Elpes – USA/Brazil
DRUMS: Raphaël Pannier – NYC/France


Jazz/Fusion Guitar Winner: Roland Balogh– Hungary

Acoustic Guitar Winner: Rhythm Shaw – India

Rock Guitar Winner: Tom Caunt – UK

Blues Guitar Winner: Carter Low – Canada

Rhythm Guitar Winner: Peter Skrabak – California, USA

Classical Guitar Winner: Stephen Lee – Indonesia

First off, I’d like to thank all of the musicians who entered in the 2016 Six String Theory Competition as well as our honorary judges who devoted their time and expertise. I was thrilled that 170 countries visited our website and contestants from 45 different countries around the world signed up for the competition. I personally viewed hundreds of videos during the last few months and can honestly say I’m humbled by the sheer amount of talent that joined the competition from around the globe.

I’ve said this before, I generally don’t like competitions. Music is not about competition… It’s about giving, growing and bringing joy to other people’s lives through music. I believe with our Six String Theory Competition, we try to reach beyond the competition part to encourage musicians to share their music and have a goal to improve. We’ve had several people who have signed up previously for Six String and either not placed at all, or did not reach very high in the rankings. Then we’ve had those same people apply in later years, and in some cases, place very high or even win the grand prize.

This year’s winners were an amazing diverse group of musicians. In some cases, the first place, second and third rankings were separated by only a few votes. All of the judges concurred that this year was very challenging because of the amazing amount of talent and diversity.

I encourage all the musicians that joined our competition to keep going forward… The gift of receiving and giving music is truly one of the beautiful things on Earth and all of you are certainly doing just that!

I also want to thank everyone for taking their valuable time to vote and help out this year… I know everyone is super busy and we really appreciate the time and effort. Everyone did a fantastic job and many of you made very astute and helpful comments regarding your selections.

As all of us know, the music business has radically changed, but one thing remains constant, people still love music and the musicians who make it. You are all proof of that and these young winners are certainly proof that we’re in good hands with the next generation of musicians. Thanks so much for your support!

~ Lee Ritenour

SST Judges Poster 7-2016



Lee Ritenour’s Vinyl Box Set Giveaway!

To celebrate Lee Ritenour’s performance at The White House this weekend for International Jazz Day, we are giving away a numbered copy of Lee’s limited-edition Vinyl LP Collection. Enter below!

To learn more about the box set, check out the promo video:

poster jazz day white house 2016