Happy Birthday Don Grusin

April 22, 1941

A birthday tribute to the versatile keyboardist

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Don Grusin was born April 22, 1941 in Denver, Colorado; his older brother is arranger-composer-keyboardist Dave Grusin.

After graduating from the University Of Colorado Boulder, Don Grusin worked as an economics professor in Guadalajara, Mexico and Foothill College in Southern California.

A talented keyboardist, Grusin switched to music, working with Azteca and the Quincy Jones Orchestra (1975) before becoming a studio musician.

Grusin contributed to albums by Randy Crawford, Joe Pass, Billy Eckstine and the Pointer Sisters, led the fusion group Friendship, and became a record producer, working with Ernie Watts, Gerald Albright, David Benoit, Larry Carlton, Oscar Castro-Neves, Jim Hall, Flora Purim, Zoot Sims, Sadao Watanabe and many others in the jazz, Latin music and pop/jazz idioms.

In addition to appearing on a countless number of projects, he has led at least 18 albums of his own.

Here is Don Grusin in 2012 performing “Let’s Not Talk About It” from a session with tenor-saxophonist Ernie Watts, guitarist Lee Ritenour, bassist Abe Laboriel, and drummer Alex Acuna.

-Scott Yanow


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