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Dave Grusin manuscripts

Identifier: CoU-AMRC-39

Scope and Contents

Manuscript scores of Dave Grusin (b. 1934), composer, graduate of the University of Colorado (B.Mus., 1956), including manuscript scores and parts for film and television compositions, as well as sketches and published arrangements. Notable in the collection are manuscript and sketches of several award-winning and award-nominated film scores, including "The Milagro Beanfield War," "On Golden Pond," and "The Fabulous Baker Boys"


  • ca. 1960-2000



Publication Rights

All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the American Music Research Center.

Biography of Dave Grusin

Born in Littleton, Colorado on June 26, 1934, Dave Grusin has made a name for himself as a composer of film scores, record producer, and fusion keyboardist. After graduating from Littleton High School in Denver, Colorado, he attended the University of Colorado at Boulder where he received a bachelor of music in piano performance. He had planned on remaining in Colorado to work on graduate studies until Warner Imig, former dean of music at the University of Colorado at Boulder, convinced him to move to a city with more musical opportunities. In 1959 Mr. Grusin moved to New York City to pursue graduate studies at the Manhattan School of Music. He withdrew from the school, however, because he was given the opportunity to work as a keyboardist and music director for the Andy Williams Show. Because of this appointment he was able to get into composing for television and film, and composed his first film score, Divorce American Style, in 1965. During this time he also recorded as a keyboardist with the Benny Goodman Quintet, Milt Hinton, Don Lamond, Thad Jones, and Frank Foster.

Having become firmly established as an arranger, composer, and keyboardist, his musical career became an eclectic mix of recording, performing, composing, and producing. He formed, along with Larry Rosen, in 1978, the GRP record label that specialized in fusion inspired jazz. Until 1982, when the label housed such performers as Dave Valentin, Billy Cobham, Earl Klugh, and Lee Ritenour, it was distributed by Arista. In 1990 it became a part of MCA and took charge of all of MCA’s jazz material, including the Impulse! label and classic Decca Reissues. The label’s new sessions have involved great jazz musicians such as: Dizzy Gillespie, Chick Corea, Gerry Mulligan, Gary Burton, Michael Brecker, and Arturo Sandoval. In 1994, Grusin retired from his executive position, although he has remained a consultant and performer.

During the time when he was involved with GRP, he was still a very active film composer. He has composed numerous film scores, and has been nominated for four Acadamy Awards: Heaven can Wait, The Champ, On Golden Pond, and Tootsie. In 1989 he won the Oscar for The Milagro Beanfield War. In addition, he has won numerous Grammy Awards for his score to The Graduate, and for his recordings NY/LA Dream Band and Harlequin. About his incredibly busy schedule and juggling of careers Grusin says, “I enjoy it all, but it always seems that after a film I can’t wait to get back to the recording studio because by then, recording seems so simple by comparison. But then the opposite is true at the end of an album.”

Dave Grusin’s hard work has left him a niche in music history as a composer of film and television soundtracks and original jazz compositions, as a recording artist and keyboardist, as a producer, and as an avid defender of jazz fusion. In 1988 he received an honorary doctorate from the Berkley College of Music. In 2003, he travels between his homes in New York City, NY, Santa Fe, NM, and Montana, and he continues to compose, record and perform.


100 linear feet

Language of Materials



Arranged by production type (films, TV shows, concerts, commercials) and alphabetically by title.

Physical Location

Housed in the American Music Research Center

The Dave Grusin manuscripts
An inventory of holdings at the American Music Research Center
Conversion Draft
Chris Shannon, Cassandra M. Volpe
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written inEnglish.

Repository Details

Part of the University of Colorado Boulder Libraries, Rare and Distinctive Collections Repository

1720 Pleasant Street
184 UCB
Boulder Colorado 80503 United States