Don Grusin once enjoyed life as an economist: as a teaching assistant at CU, while working on graduate degrees; teaching on a Fulbright Fellowship in Mexico in the mid 1960s; and as an economics instructor at Foothill College in the San Francisco area. After working for Quincy Jones on albums and tours, he saw the light and changed career paths. He moved to Los Angeles to be a full-time studio-recording musician, piano, keyboard player, producer, composer and arranger of Jazz and World music.
He produced a Grammy-winning album for Ernie Watts, the superb saxophonist, and made a series of solo albums in New York, and in Japan through the 1980s and 1990s. Grusinís playing, recording and producing has taken him to some of the greatest places on the planet, including Brazil, Japan, Sweden, Venezuela, Cuba, South Africa and Boulder.
Always experimenting with new ways to create fresh and alive music, Grusin combines his favorite players and singers with digital percussion loops and samples to make hybrid analog/digital albums.
His most recent projects include producing tracks for harmonica player Toots Theilman, composing tracks for Brazilian songwriters, and writing and producing songs for Lorraine Feather on her latest Cafe Society CD. He wrote the opening track for Flora Purimís latest album Speak No Evil, just out this month. And he is doing tracks for Rap and Urban Soul albums and films. He is composing and producing songs for upcoming albums for the new wave of young singers in Los Angeles.
You can hear him playing piano on the Julia Louis-Dreyfus television series Waiting for Ellie.