Ghetto Upper Class Blendo!

Friends! Coming to your eyes today powered by the Brazilian magic of vocalist Simone. Her recording Café Com Leite is playing on the box and it’s inspiring me to keep these words spilling forth. The music is a blend of traditional samba with some of the coolest orchestration and production you’ll ever here—fantastic in every which way. So my words are aiming in your direction and hopefully that’s a welcome thing from your angle. Here we go!

Leonard going sideways! Jazz in Julian with (left to right) Tripp, Bob, Leonard and Peter.

We rallied the troupes up to Julian over the weekend for a great concert at the Julian Library. The band was kicking and we even got young Kate Sprague into the sonic loop. Afterwards we stayed overnight in a classic old school hotel and then had a charming breakfast the next morning. Picture Victorian setup with Leonard breaking into an R&B flavored improvisation thanking the waitresses for the fine fare—ghetto upper class blendo!

Breakfast in Julian with Stef and Peter.

Onwards to the winding drive home, I landed back at SpragueLand for a day recording with Lisa Hightower and her gifted vocal students. She pulls this together once a year and it’s a chance for the kids to sing in a studio and come out with a nice recording. They sounded fantastic and all of the parents were there too. So, I’m in the control room playing the guitar and engineering and with me are the parents, listening with headphones on. After one exceptional take by one of the vocalists, the grandmother, at the end when it’s supposed to be silent, says “ooohhh I love it.” That made it to the tape and we had a laugh.

Coming up, we’re Blurring the Edges this week at the Cuyamaca College Theatre. It’ll be maestro Fred Benedetti, brother Tripp and me doing what we love to do—blurring the edges between jazz, samba, folk, Beatles, blues, and flamenco. Hope to see you there and especially to those that live out east. We don’t get that way that often.

Oh, and here’s a nice little blip in the UT online today.
On Thursday night I’m playing a show with bassist Ben Wanicur and his group at 3rd Space in San Diego. We’re recording a record next week and Ben had the foresight to drum up a live gig to give us another chance to immerse ourselves in the challenging music that he’s written. He digs odd meters and he’s morphed a version of Caravan in 13 that’s been a challenge. Counting as we speak!
I’m hooking up with Leonard, the band, and the revolving luggage on Friday night at the SD Airport and their ongoing Terminal Jazz music series. I know it sounds weird but it actually works. They set up a stage and it’s for sure a happy moment for those travellers and loved ones that are reuniting for the weekend. Good for us too to play music.

Looking off into early next week, we’re playing a show next Tuesday at the UCSD Loft. The vibe is The Beatles and opening for us is an a cappella group from UCSD called the Tritones singing their way into the Fab Four. The evening then shifts to us alchemizing jazz into “Got to Get You Into My Life”, “Come Together”, “I’ve Just Seen a Face” and other gems. The band is kicking and we have special guest Anthony Smith on keyboards for this hit. Can’t wait and maybe mark it down if it sounds interesting.

Recently a few new projects launched into the real world and I wanted to let you know about them.


Pianist Danny Green just released his new CD called A Thousand Ways Home. It’s a collection of his own compositions and the style is jazz and samba. He’s a wonderful pianist and his band is top notch. I guested on one tune and my brother Tripp mixed the whole recording. It sounds really nice. Go here for more info.

I mentioned earlier that Anthony Smith is playing with us on the upcoming Beatles gig. In addition to being a fantastic pianist and composer, Anthony is also a writer and has recently released his first book called The Lizard Stays in the Cage. I’m currently reading it and loving it and laughing all the way to the gig. It’s a collection of his vivid life stories swirling around the humorous situations that us musos often find ourselves in. Picture Hunter Thompson meets Kerouac meets jazz piano player. Check it out!

That’s it for now and many thanks for reading….adios, Peter