the Governor's Arts Award Winners

Dave Grusin

Santa Fe

2021 Recipient, Music

Dave Grusin has been described as one of the 20th Century's most important music composers. Millions of people all over the world know and love his music, but even his most ardent fans don't completely realize what a phenomenal career he has had.

Grusin has been described as "flawless" by his peers, amazing when you consider that he had five simultaneous careers - composer, pianist, arranger, performer, and record company executive. Although a New Mexico resident for the past 34 years, he led a completely bi-coastal life for decades, flying between Los Angeles and New York to work with an astounding list of music and film artists. Industry icons called on Grusin when they needed something extraordinary, including Barbra Streisand, Steven Spielberg, Quincy Jones, Norman Lear, Sydney Pollack, Warren Beatty, James Taylor, Paul Simon, Renee Fleming, Andy Williams, Sarah Vaughn, Al Jarreau, Carmen McRae, Phil Ramone, Marilyn & Alan Bergman, Sergio Mendes, Billy Joel, Judy Collins, Peggy Lee, Chaka Khan, and Nancy Wilson to name a few.

Frequently honored by his peers, Grusin has had eight Academy Award nominations, 80 Grammy Award nominations (GRP Records), 38 Personal Grammy Award nominations, four Golden Globe nominations, three honorary doctorate degrees, and one Emmy Award nomination.

Grusin was a music and film industry pioneer during the "Golden Age" of music production in the film and the music industries. Taking a huge leap of faith by co-founding GRP Records with his partner Larry Rosen, he created the first record label to go "all digital" at a time when other labels were afraid to change. Beating all the odds, GRP became the highest selling jazz label for five consecutive years.

Grusins most enduring legacy may live on in his beloved melodies and arrangements for film. The themes for films such as "On Golden Pond," "The Firm," "The Fabulous Baker Boys," "Havana," "Tootsie," "Heaven Can Wait," and "Three Days of the Condor" are written about in textbooks and revered by new and veteran composers around the world.