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John Patitucci, Nathan East and More to Judge Lee Ritenour’s Six String Theory Music Competition

nathan east - bass musician magazine - march 2014Lee Ritenour has brought together a host of talented musicians friends to judge the applicants of his Six String Theory competition in guitar, bass, piano and drums. This ‘who’s who’ of incredible talent include: Steve Lukather, Joe Bonamassa, Daryl Stuermer, Joe Satriani, Dave Grusin, John Scofield, Dave Weckl , Harvey Mason, Sonny Emory, Will Kennedy, Chris Coleman, Patrice Rushen, John Beasley, John Patitucci, Nathan East and many more (see homepage )

The competition is open for registration in Guitar, Bass, Piano/Keys and Drums until May 15, 2014. Applicants register 2 YouTube videos on the website ( with all judging done online and winners announced June 1, 2014.

Ritenour describes his motivation to create and host this bi-annual competition, now in it’s 4th run:  “It’s a way for me to give back to some younger players that are trying to make a mark for themselves. To mentor and give to the generations that are coming up now. It’s just ridiculous the amount of talent that is floating around out there. It’s a great way for them to test where they’re at musically. It’s turned out to be a wonderful thing.”

Bassist-John-Patitucci-Bass-Musician-Magazine“I’m just in the ramping up stages of the new album, planning the concept and putting the pieces together,” said Ritenour. “I’m at the bottom of the ground looking at the top of the mountain saying, ‘Oh my God that’s a very high mountain.’ That’s something I feel every time I start an album. By the time I get through conceptualizing and composing and then I get into the studio, the rest of it from there on out is a piece of cake. It’s the initial part that’s challenging. I will be making the record this year. I’m not sure if we’ll put it out this year or the first quarter of next year.”

“The guitar winner in the Six String Theory Guitar Competition will get to play a track on the record,” Ritenour said. “In the 2012 competition, the rhythm section winners got to play a track on my “Rhythm Sessions” album. So that’s something that’s ongoing for these people. You get on a record where you’re being treated like a total pro with the best studio and the best players around you. Again, it’s a way to measure your own abilities. The only insurance policy a musician has is music education. The better you can be on your instrument — composing, arranging, writing, playing, producing — the more weapons you have and the longer you’re going to last in this business. You’ve got to stay humble.”

“My job as a musician is to really move people and make them smile,” says Ritenour. “To transcend wherever they’ve been in their life that day or that week and get to another place where they’re hearing their favorite song. We have a lot of fun on stage. I really like to interact with my band — that’s my whole thing. I like featuring my band and what they do well. So I try to bring the best out in my players and connect with my audience.”

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By Rob Nagy

21st Century Media News Service

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