Lee Ritenour’s Six String Theory Rhythm Player Grand Prize Winners: 


2016 Grand Prize Winners: 

Nicolas Hetko, Piano

Raphael Pannier, Drums

Isaias Elpes, Bass


2014 Grand Prize Winners:

Giorgi Mikadze, Piano

Kenneth Salters, Drums

Dywane Thomas Jr. “MonoNeon”, Bass


2012 Grand Prize Winners:

Demetrius Nabors, Piano (tie)

Hans de Wild, Piano (tie)

Selim Munir, Drums

Michael Feinberg, Bass


Update on Previous Rhythm Winners: 

Raphael Pannier (2016 Drum Winner) In Drum Magazine after Win:


French Magazine “Batteur” Interview:  https://www.batteurmag.com/article/raphael-pannier/

raphael-pannier_2016-sst-drum-winner-interview raphael-pannier-drum-winner-2016

Giorgi Mikadze  (2014 Piano Winner) has performed with Lee Ritenour and gone on tour with him. Giorgi has also become a Yamaha Artist and recently was granted a MakeJazz Fellowship in LA.

Isaias Elpes (2016 Bass Winner) Interviewed after winning here:





Selim Munir  aka Slim Gabriel  (2012 Drum Winner)  Signed to Warner Brothers Records & Performs with his band FACE.

face-band-selim-munir-drum-winner-2012 face-band-with-selim-munir-photo-2016



Michael Feinberg (2012 Bass Winner)

Signed first record contract on Sunnyside Records. Also Faculty member at New Jersey Performing Arts Center and the New York Jazz Academy.

Hans de Wild (2012 Keyboard Winner in a tie)

Performed at a Lee Ritenour concert in Holland last year. Hans won 4 year scholarship to Berklee College of Music.


Quotes from 2014 SST Judges

Keb’ Mo’: “They are all fantastic. Hard to choose, but this is only one contest in the game of life.”

Vince Gill: “Picking a winner was truly impossible. All these guitar players have my utmost respect.”

Steve Lukather: “Jeez I love them all and wish I could hug them, for trying so hard. They are ALL great, they really are. OK here goes… God I hate this… damn glad it is not ME on the chopping block! haha”

Abe Laboriel Jr: “this was not easy…”

Chris Coleman: “This was seriously close!! CRAZY!!”

Daniel Jobim: “So many good players out there so it was hard to choose!”

Don Alder: “The winners are getting some incredible opportunities, like performing at venues I’ve only dreamed of playing.”

Pat Kelley: “I really enjoyed seeing all of the videos. The semi-finalists are all amazing players and it was a difficult choice”

Nathan East: “Wow, some of these bass players are crazy good!”

Will Kennedy: “Wow! That was an amazing line up this year!!”

Hotei: “All of the candidates were really fantastic, so it was not so easy to evaluate them”

Tom Kennedy: “It’s always difficult, but I definitely based my decisions on functionality first”

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