Dave Grusin

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Dave Grusin
Dave Grusin.jpg
Grusin in 2008
Background information
Birth nameRobert David Grusin
Born (1934-06-26) June 26, 1934 (age 84)
Littleton, Colorado, United States
Genres Jazz, jazz fusion, contemporary jazz
Occupation(s)Musician, composer, producer, arranger, label owner
InstrumentsPiano, keyboards
Years active1962–present
Labels GRP
Associated acts Lee Ritenour
Website www.grusin.net

Robert David Grusin (born June 26, 1934) is an American composer, arranger, producer, and pianist. He has composed many scores for feature films and television, and has won numerous awards for his soundtrack and record work, including an Academy Award and ten Grammy Awards. He has had a prolific recording career as an artist, arranger, producer and executive producer. He is the co-founder of GRP Records.

Composer person who creates music, either by musical notation or oral tradition

A composer is a musician who is an author of music in any form, including vocal music, instrumental music, electronic music, and music which combines multiple forms. A composer may create music in any music genre, including, for example, classical music, musical theatre, blues, folk music, jazz, and popular music. Composers often express their works in a written musical score using musical notation.

Record producer Individual who oversees and manages the recording of an artists music

A record producer or music producer oversees and manages the sound recording and production of a band or performer's music, which may range from recording one song to recording a lengthy concept album. A producer has many, varying roles during the recording process. They may gather musical ideas for the project, collaborate with the artists to select cover tunes or original songs by the artist/group, work with artists and help them to improve their songs, lyrics or arrangements.

Pianist musician who plays the piano

A pianist is an individual musician who plays the piano. Since most forms of Western music can make use of the piano, pianists have a wide repertoire and a wide variety of styles to choose from, among them traditional classical music, jazz, blues, and all sorts of popular music, including rock and roll. Most pianists can, to an extent, easily play other keyboard-related instruments such as the synthesizer, harpsichord, celesta, and the organ.


Early life

Born in Littleton, Colorado, he studied music at the University of Colorado at Boulder and was awarded his degree in 1956. [1] Grusin's mother was a pianist and his father was a violinist from Riga, Latvia. [2] [3] He's half Jewish. [4] An alumnus of the University of Colorado at Boulder, College of Music, he was awarded his bachelor's degree in 1956. His teachers included Cecil Effinger and Wayne Scott, pianist, arranger and professor of jazz. [5]

Littleton, Colorado Home Rule Municipality in Colorado, United States

Littleton is the Home Rule Municipality in Arapahoe, Douglas, and Jefferson counties that is the county seat of Arapahoe County, Colorado, United States. The city is a part of the Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO Metropolitan Statistical Area. The city population was 41,737 at the 2010 United States Census, ranking as the 20th most populous municipality in the State of Colorado.

Riga City in Latvia

Riga is the capital and largest city of Latvia. With 637,827 inhabitants (2018), it is also the largest city in the three Baltic states, home to one third of Latvia's population and one tenth of the three Baltic states' combined population. The city lies on the Gulf of Riga, at the mouth of the Daugava river. Riga's territory covers 307.17 km2 (118.60 sq mi) and lies 1–10 m above sea level, on a flat and sandy plain.

Cecil Effinger was an American composer, oboist, and inventor.


He produced his first single, "Subways Are for Sleeping", in 1962 and his first film score for Divorce American Style (1967). Other scores followed, including Winning (1969), The Friends of Eddie Coyle (1973), The Midnight Man (1974), and Three Days of the Condor (1975). [1]

<i>Divorce American Style</i> 1967 film by Bud Yorkin

Divorce American Style is a 1967 American satirical comedy film directed by Bud Yorkin and starring Dick Van Dyke, Debbie Reynolds, Jean Simmons, Jason Robards and Van Johnson. Norman Lear produced the film and wrote the script based on a story by Robert Kaufman. It focuses on a married couple that opts for divorce when counseling fails to help them resolve their various problems, and the problems presented to divorced people by alimony. The title is an homage to Divorce Italian Style (1961).

<i>Winning</i> 1969 American film directed by James Goldstone

Winning is a 1969 American motion picture starring Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward. The film is about a racecar driver who aspires to win the Indianapolis 500. A number of racecar drivers and people associated with racing appear in the film, including Bobby Unser, Tony Hulman, Bobby Grim, Dan Gurney, Roger McCluskey, and Bruce Walkup.

<i>The Friends of Eddie Coyle</i> 1973 film directed by Peter Yates

The Friends of Eddie Coyle is a 1973 crime film directed by Peter Yates and starring Robert Mitchum and Peter Boyle. The screenplay by Paul Monash was adapted from the 1970 novel of the same name by George V. Higgins.

In the late 1970s, he started GRP Records with his business partner, Larry Rosen, and began to create some of the first commercial digital recordings. He was the composer for The Graduate , On Golden Pond (1981), Tootsie (1982) and The Goonies (1985). In 1988, he won the Oscar for best original score for The Milagro Beanfield War , He also composed the musical scores for the 1984 TriStar Pictures and the 1993 Columbia Pictures Television logos. [6]

GRP Records American jazz record label

GRP Records is a jazz record label founded by Dave Grusin and Larry Rosen in 1978. GRP was known for its all-digital recordings and jazz-pop sound.

Larry Rosen was an American entrepreneur, producer, musician, and recording engineer.

<i>The Graduate</i> 1967 romantic comedy drama movie directed by Mike Nichols

The Graduate is a 1967 American romantic comedy-drama film directed by Mike Nichols and written by Buck Henry and Calder Willingham, based on the 1963 novel of the same name by Charles Webb, who wrote it shortly after graduating from Williams College. The film tells the story of 21-year-old Benjamin Braddock, a recent college graduate with no well-defined aim in life, who is seduced by an older woman, Mrs. Robinson, and then falls in love with her daughter Elaine.

From 1998 to 1999, he was featured on the Billboard 's Top 10 Jazz Artists [7] with the numbers going between 5 and 7. [8] [9]

<i>Billboard</i> (magazine) American music magazine

Billboard is an American entertainment media brand owned by the Billboard-Hollywood Reporter Media Group, a division of Eldridge Industries. It publishes pieces involving news, video, opinion, reviews, events, and style, and is also known for its music charts, including the Hot 100 and Billboard 200, tracking the most popular songs and albums in different genres. It also hosts events, owns a publishing firm, and operates several TV shows.

From 2000-11, Grusin concentrated on composing classical and jazz compositions, touring and recording with collaborators, including pianist and composer Lorraine Feather [10] and guitarist Lee Ritenour. Their album Harlequin won a Grammy Award in 1985. Their classical crossover albums, Two Worlds and Amparo, were nominated for Grammys. [11] [12]

Lorraine Feather is an American singer, lyricist, and songwriter.

Lee Ritenour American jazz guitarist, session musician, and composer

Lee Mack Ritenour is an American jazz guitarist who has been active since the late 1960s.

<i>Harlequin</i> (album) 1985 studio album by Dave Grusin and Lee Ritenour

Harlequin is a collaborative studio album by American pianist Dave Grusin and American guitarist Lee Ritenour, released in 1985 through GRP Records. The album reached No. 2 on Billboard's Contemporary Jazz chart, and earned a 1986 Grammy Award for Best Arrangement on an Instrumental for "Early A.M. Attitude". Harlequin also earned Grammy nominations for Best Engineered Recording, Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocals, and Best Pop Instrumental Performance.

Grusin has a filmography of about 100 titles. His many awards include an Oscar for best original score for The Milagro Beanfield War , as well as Oscar nominations for The Champ , The Fabulous Baker Boys , The Firm , Havana , Heaven Can Wait , and On Golden Pond . [13] He also received a Best Original Song nomination for "It Might Be You" from the film Tootsie . Six of the fourteen cuts on the soundtrack from The Graduate are his. Other film scores he has composed include Where Were You When the Lights Went Out? , Three Days of the Condor , The Goonies , Tequila Sunrise , Hope Floats , Random Hearts , The Heart is a Lonely Hunter , Mulholland Falls and The Firm . In addition, he also composed the original opening fanfare for film studio TriStar Pictures. [14]

Grusin composed theme music for the TV programs It Takes a Thief (1968), The Name of the Game (1968), Dan August (1970), The Sandy Duncan Show (1971–72), Maude (1972), Good Times (1974), Baretta (1975), St. Elsewhere (1982), and, for Televisa in Mexico, Tres Generaciones (1987). He also composed music for individual episodes of each of those shows. His other TV credits include The Wild Wild West (1966), The Girl from U.N.C.L.E. (1966), and Columbo: Prescription: Murder (1968). He also did the theme song for One Life to Live (1968) from 1984–92. Grusin and Larry Rosen founded GRP Records in 1978. In 1994, GRP was in charge of MCA's jazz operations. Founders Grusin and Rosen left in 1995 and were replaced by Tommy LiPuma. In 1997, Grusin and Rosen founded N2K Encoded Music, which was renamed N-Coded Music. [15]

He received honorary doctorates from Berklee College of Music in 1988 and University of Colorado, College of Music in 1989. Grusin was initiated into the Beta Chi Chapter of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia at the University of Colorado in 1991. [16]

Personal life

Grusin was married to Sara Jane Tallman from 1967 to 1970. Grusin is currently married to Nan Newton. [10] He is the father of music editor Stuart Grusin, music editor and musician Scott Grusin, and aerospace engineer Michael Grusin. He is the stepfather of artist Annie Vought and elder brother of keyboardist Don Grusin and sister Dee Grusin.[ citation needed ]

Awards and honors

Academy Awards

Grammy Awards

Golden Globe Awards



As leader

As sideman

With Patti Austin

With the Brothers Johnson

With Tom Browne

With Don Grusin

With Quincy Jones

With John Klemmer

With Earl Klugh

With Jon Lucien

With Harvey Mason

With Carmen McRae

With Sergio Mendes

With Lee Ritenour

With Dave Valentin

With Sadao Watanabe

With others


1967 Divorce American Style Bud Yorkin Columbia Pictures
Waterhole No. 3 William A. Graham Paramount Pictures
The Graduate Mike Nichols Embassy Pictures
1968 A Man Called Gannon James Goldstone Universal Pictures
Where Were You When the Lights Went Out? Hy Averback United Artists
The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter Robert Ellis Miller Warner Bros.
Candy Christian Marquand ABC Pictures
1969 Winning James GoldstoneUniversal Pictures
Tell Them Willie Boy Is Here Abraham Polonsky Universal Pictures
1970 Halls of Anger Paul Bogart United Artists
Adam at 6 A.M. Robert Scheerer Cinema Center Films
1971 The Pursuit of Happiness Robert Mulligan Columbia Pictures
Shoot Out Henry Hathaway Universal Pictures
A Howling in the Woods Daniel Petrie NBC
Universal Television
Television film
The Gang That Couldn't Shoot Straight James Goldstone Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
1972 The Great Northfield Minnesota Raid Philip Kaufman Universal Pictures
Fuzz Richard A. Colla United Artists
1973 Amanda Fallon Jack Laird NBC
Universal Television
Television film
The Friends of Eddie Coyle Peter Yates Paramount Pictures
1974 The Nickel Ride Robert Mulligan 20th Century Fox
The Midnight Man Roland Kibbee
Burt Lancaster
Universal Pictures
The Yakuza Sydney Pollack Warner Bros.
1975 W.W. and the Dixie Dancekings John G. Avildsen 20th Century Fox
Three Days of the Condor Sydney PollackParamount Pictures
1976 Murder by Death Robert Moore Columbia Pictures
The Front Martin Ritt Columbia Pictures
1977 Mr. Billion Jonathan Kaplan 20th Century Fox
Fire Sale Alan Arkin 20th Century Fox
The Goodbye Girl Herbert Ross Warner Bros.
Bobby Deerfield Sydney PollackColumbia Pictures
1978 Heaven Can Wait Warren Beatty
Buck Henry
Paramount Picturesnominated for Academy Award for Best Original Score
1979 The Champ Franco Zeffirelli Metro-Goldwyn-Mayernominated for Academy Award for Best Original Score
...And Justice for All. Norman Jewison Columbia Pictures
The Electric Horseman Sydney PollackColumbia Pictures
1980 My Bodyguard Tony Bill 20th Century Fox
1981 On Golden Pond Mark Rydell ITC Entertainment nominated for Academy Award for Best Original Score
Reds Warren BeattyParamount Pictures
Absence of Malice Sydney PollackColumbia Pictures
1982 Author! Author! Arthur Hiller 20th Century Fox
Tootsie Sydney PollackColumbia Picturesnominated for Academy Award for Best Original Score
1984 Racing with the Moon Richard Benjamin Paramount Pictures
The Little Drummer Girl George Roy Hill Warner Bros.
Falling in Love Ulu Grosbard Paramount Pictures
1985 The Goonies Richard Donner Warner Bros.
1986 Lucas David Seltzer 20th Century Fox
1987 Ishtar Elaine May Columbia Pictureswith Bahjawa and Paul Williams
1988 The Milagro Beanfield War Robert Redford Universal Pictureswinner of the Academy Award for Best Original Score
Clara's Heart Robert MulliganWarner Bros.
Tequila Sunrise Robert Towne Warner Bros.
1989 A Dry White Season Euzhan Palcy Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
The Fabulous Baker Boys Steve Kloves 20th Century Foxnominated for Academy Award for Best Original Score
1990 Havana Sydney PollackUniversal Picturesnominated for Academy Award for Best Original Score
The Bonfire of the Vanities Brian De Palma Warner Bros.
1991 For the Boys Mark Rydell20th Century Fox
1993 The Firm Sydney PollackParamount Picturesnominated for Academy Award for Best Original Score
1995 The Cure Peter Horton Universal Pictures
1996 Mulholland Falls Lee Tamahori Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
1997 Selena Gregory Nava Warner Bros.
In the Gloaming Christopher Reeve HBO Television film
1998 Hope Floats Forest Whitaker 20th Century Fox
1999 Random Hearts Sydney PollackColumbia Pictures
2001 Dinner with Friends Norman JewisonHBOTelevision film
2006 Even Money Mark Rydell Yari Film Group
2008 Recount Jay Roach HBOTelevision film
2010HarmonyStuart Sender
Julie Bergman Sender
NBCTelevision film
2013Skating to New YorkCharles MinskyWell Go USA Entertainment

See also

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