Ritenour was born January 11, 1952 in Los Angeles. He has maintained a delicate balance between the individual creative vision and the group dynamic, since the beginning of his career.

Lee played his first session when he was 16 with the Mamas & the Papas and given the moniker, “Captain Fingers”, because of his manual dexterity on the guitar. Ritenour was a sought-after session guitarist by the mid-1970s, and won Guitar Player magazine’s Best Studio Guitarist twice in the 1970s.

He is noted for playing his red Gibson ES-335 and his Gibson L5 guitars. Since his early recordings in the 1970s, Lee has held numerous #1 spots on guitar polls, a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Canadian SJ Awards, and a prestigious “Alumnus of the Year” Award from the University of Southern California.

He has recorded more than 40 albums that have yielded 35 chart songs. As a young guitarist, he put his combination of diverse musical styles and brilliant technical chops to work on more than 3,000 sessions with a broad spectrum of artists, and was a founding member of Fourplay, which is considered the most successful group in contemporary jazz.

His prolific career includes a Grammy Award for the collaborative work Harlequin (1985), and 19 Grammy nominations.

Ritenour also holds the distinction of having two of the promotional videos for his songs “Is It You” and “Mr. Briefcase” being played during MTV’s first day. Ritenour has been at the top of many guitar polls throughout the world.

Read more about Lee Ritenour at his official website.

Selected Discography

Color Rit

GRP Records 1989

Tracks: Bahia Funk, E, All The Same Tonight, Mister Reggae, I Can't Let Go, Color Rit, The Kiss, Malibu, Tropical Storm & Etude.

Musician on the Color Rit album: Lee Ritenour, Carlos Vega, Bob Wilson, Oscar Castro-Neves, Jimmy Johnson, Anthony Jackson, Russell Ferrante, Dave Witham, Paulinho Da Costa, Ernie Watts, Jerry Hey, Larry Williams, Gracinha Leporace, Kate Markowitz & Phil Perry.


GRP Records 1988

Tracks: Night Rhythms, Latin Lovers, Humana, Rio Sol, Waiting for You, Odile Odilaˆ, Linda, New York/Brazil & The Inner Look.

Musicians on the Festival album: Lee Ritenour, Omar Hakim, Joao Bosco, Marcus Miller, Anthony Jackson, Dave Grusin, Bob James, Paulinho Da Costa, Ernie Watts, Larry William, Jerry Hey, Joao Bosco, Gracinha Leporace & Caetano Veloso.


GRP Records 1987

Tracks: Asa, Turn the Heat Up, Windmill, White Water, Portrait, G-Rit, Shades in the Shade, Children's Games, Runaway & Route 17.

Musicians on the Portrait album: Lee Ritenour, Vinnie Colaiuta, William Kennedy, Harvey Mason, Djavan, Paul Jackson Jr., Tim Landers, Nathan East, Jimmy Haslip, Greg Phillinganes, Russell Ferrante, Barnaby Finch, Larry Williams, Paulinho Da Costa, Alex Acuna, Jerry Hey, Kenny G, Mark Russo, Eric Tagg, Phil Perry & Kevin Lettau.

Earth Run

GRP Records 1986

Tracks: Soaring, Earth Run, If I Dreamin' (Don't Wake Me), Water Colours, The Sauce, Butterfly, Hero & Sanctuary.

Musicians on the Earth Run album: Lee Ritenour, Jimmy Johnson, Abraham Laboriel, David Foster, Dave Grusin, Don Grusin, Greg Mathieson, Larry Williams, Harvey Mason, Carlos Vega, Paulinho Da Costa, Tom Scott, Ernie Watts, Phil Perry, Tommy Funderburk & Maurice White.

Banded Together

Elektra Records 1984

Tracks: Operator (Thief On The Line), Other Love, Sunset Drivers, Mandela, Amaretto, Rit Variations, Be Good To Me, I'm No Responsible, Shadow Dancing & Heavenly Bodies.

Musicians on the Banded Together album: Lee Ritenour, Nathan East, Abraham Laboriel, Lee Sklar, Michael Boddicker, Steve Defuria, Don Grusin, Jeremy Lubbock, Greg Mathieson, Marcus Ryle, Phil Collins, Harvey Mason, Carlos Vega, Paulinho Da Costa, Gary Herbig, Ernie Watts, Larry Williams, Gary Grant, Jerry Hey, Patti Austin, Tom Kelly, John Massaro & Eric Tagg.

Rit 2

Electra Records 1982

Tracks: Cross My Heart, Promises Promises, Dreamwalkin', Keep It Alive, A Fantasy, Tied Up, Voices, On The Boardwalk, Road Runner & Malibu.

Musicians on the Rit 2 album: Lee Ritenour, Harvey Mason, Jeff Porcaro, John Robinson, Alex Acuna, Carlos Vega, Nathan East, Neil Stubenhaus, Abraham Laboriel, Don Grusin, David Foster, Greg Mathieson, Greg Phillinganes, Michael Boddicker, Paulinho Da Costa, Harvey Mason, Tom Scott, Jerry Hey, Larry Hall, Gary Grant, Bill Reichenbach, Lou McCreary, Gary Herbig, Larry Williams, Bill Champlin, Richard Page, Steve George, Eric Tagg & John Farrar.


Elektra Records 1981

Tracks: Mr. Briefcase, (Just) Tell Me Pretty Lies, No Sympathy, Is It You ?, Dreamwalk, Countdown (Captain Fingers), Good Question, (You Caught Me) Smilin', On The Slow Glide & No Sympathy (Reprise).

Musicians on the Rit album: Lee Ritenour Guitars : Lee Ritenour, David Hungate, Louis Johnson, Abraham Laboriel, John Pierce, Michael Boddicker, David Foster, Don Grusin, Greg Mathieson, Greg Phillinganes, Richard Tee, Carlos Vega, Harvey Mason, Jeff Porcaro, Rick Shlosser, Alex Acuna, Paulinho Da Costa, Steve Forman, Harvey Mason, Chuck Findley, Gary Grant, Jerry Hey, Charlie Loper, Lew McCreary, Bill Reichenbach, Johnny Mandel, Bill Champlin & Eric Tagg.


Feel The Night

Elektra Records 1979

Tracks: Feel The Night, Market Place, Wicked Wine, French Roast, You Make Me Feel Like Dancing, Midnight Lady & Uh Oh !

Musicians on the Feel The Night album: Lee Ritenour, Steve Lukather, Abraham Laboriel, Michael Boddicker, Dave Grusin, Don Grusin, David Foster, Joe Sample, Ian Underwood, Steve Gadd, Alex Acuna, Steve Forman, Ernie Watts, Larry Williams, Chuck Findley, Jerry Hey, Lew McCreary, Patti Austin & Tom Bahler.

The Captain´s Journey

Elektra Records 1978

Tracks: Captain's Journey Pt. 2 : The Calm / Pt. 2 : The Storm, Morning Glory, Sugar Loaf Express, Matchmakers, What Do You Want ?, That's Enough For Me & Etude.

Musicians on the Captain´s Journey album: Lee Ritenour, Jay Graydon, Mitch Holder, Anthony Jackson, Abraham Laboriel, Dave Grusin, Don Grusin, David Foster, Patrice Rushen, Ian Underwood, Ed Walsh, Alex Acuna, Steve Gadd, Sue Evans, Paulinho Da Costa, Steve Forman, Larry Rosen, Steve Thornton, Ernie Watts, Raymond Beckenstein, Eddie Daniels, Dave Valentin, David Nadien, Patti Austin, Tom Baylor, Bill Champlin, Venette Gloud & Carmen Twillie.

Captain Fingers

Epic Records 1977

Tracks: Captain Fingers, Dolphin Dreams, Fly by Night, Margarita, Isn't She Lovely, Space Glide & Sun Song.

Musicians on the Captain Fingers album: Lee Ritenour, Harvey Mason, Jeff Porcaro, Dennis Budimir, Jay Graydon, Mitch Holder, Ray Parker Jr., Anthony Jackson, Alphonso Johnson, Bill Dickinson, Charles Meeks, Mike Porcaro, Dave Grusin, Dawilli Gonga, Ian Underwood, Patrice Rushen, David Foster, Harvey Mason, Steve Forman, Victor Feldman, Ernie Watts & Bill Champlin.