Lee Ritenour – Festival (1988)

coverFestival is an album by American guitarist Lee Ritenour released in 1988, recorded for the GRP label. Festival is a collaboration of New York/LA Jazz musicians and Brazilian musicians. The album reached number three on the Billboard Contemporary Jazz chart.

Ritenour’s second acoustic album, like his first, has an overall Brazilian theme but this time, he recorded his ensemble of New York, L.A. and Brazilian musicians in one locale, New York City. This is a superior record to Rio, though, because there is a deeper Brazilian feeling to the arrangements, and Lee’s own playing is even more refined and meaningful. “Waiting For You,” a solo track on an acoustic guitar synthesizer, is especially attractive. The core crew consists of a collection of pro’s pros — Ernie Watts on alto and tenor, Dave Grusin or Bob James on keyboards, Marcus Miller or Anthony Jackson on bass, Omar Hakim on drums, Paulinho Da Costa and Carlinhos Brown on percussion — who lay down smooth yet gently grooving backdrops for Rit to ride. Joao Bosco and Gracinha Leporace contribute fascinating Portuguese vocals to the album’s two most appealing and thoroughly Brazilian-flavored tracks, “Latin Lovers” and “Odile, Odila” — and Caetano Veloso brings a softer-focused vocal style to “Linda.”


  1. Night Rhythms  (Lee Ritenour) – 4:32
  2. Latin Lovers  (Aldir Blanc / Joao Bosco) – 6:17
  3. Humana  (Ivan Lins / Victor Martins) – 4:39
  4. Rio Soul  (Tim Landers) – 5:24
  5. Waiting For You  (Lee Ritenour) – 2:23
  6. Oldile, Oldila  (Joao Bosco / Martinho Da Vila) – 4:58
  7. Linda – Voce E Linda  (Caetano Veloso) – 5:28
  8. New York/Brazil  (Lee Ritenour) – 4:22
  9. The Inner Look  (Bob James) – 5:17


From New York:

From Brazil:

From Los Angeles:

  • Ernie Watts – Saxophone
  • Jerry Hey
  • Larry Williams
  • Johnny Mandel
  • Randy Kerber



Released: 1988
Recorded: 1988 – New York City
Genre: Jazz, Latin, Funk / Soul
Style: Fusion, Smooth Jazz, Latin Jazz
Length: 43:20

Label – GRP Records

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