Don Grusin
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Don Grusin was born and raised in Colorado, a setting that proved inspirational and nurturing in his musical development. Music was always in his life. He worked his way through college playing in jazz clubs, while he studied sociology as an undergraduate. Luckily, he attended the Conference on World Affairs, which made a pretty big impression. To this day the Conference is a tiller in his point of view. After receiving a masterís degree in economics from CU, he taught as a Fulbright professor in Mexico and subsequently in the U.S., when Quincy Jones encouraged him to join his band for a Japan-U.S. tour in the mid 1970s. Grusin took a leave from economics, Los Angeles became home, and music became the rule.

Grusin was the creative sparkplug for the acclaimed fusion ensemble Friendship and has recorded and produced dozens of albums, including the Grammy-winning Musician for Ernie Watts. Grusin received a Grammy nomination for his live contemporary jazz DVD and CD The Hang, and another Grammy this year for his contribution to Paul Winter's CD Crestone.

Last year was spent playing and recording in Sydney, Brazil, London, Jakarta, and Caracas. This yearís schedule will add Japanese and European venues and recording sessions to his itinerary. An upcoming release, available this April, explores the acoustic synergy between his much-loved grand piano and contemporary percussion loops.

He is currently developing a multidisciplinary platform which will utilize world music videos as educational and marketing tools leading to greater global social awareness and action. This project cuts across economics, music, film and video studies, and marketing.

Don Grusin is the recipient of CU's Alumni Association's 2006 George Norlin Award for distinguished lifetime achievement.